5 Comments

  1. Hi George,
    Great post. I agree with many of your points. From a technology perspective today, so much of technology is becoming a commodity. You go to the BETT Show and virtually every thing sounds like a variation of another. Agree in that innovation is a way of thinking (way outside the box) and pursuing a vision that has not yet arrived. I always enjoy your blog posts but rarely comment. Keep it up!

  2. Garibaldi

    I don’t agree that the word innovation only refers to that which improves or is better.

    Many ‘innovations’ are brought in. No one is certain in advance whether an innovation will improve things. The ‘broken windows’ policy of policing in American cities (popularised by Gladwell in ‘Blink’) is a much lauded innovation credited with bringing down the crime rate. Now a bunch of academics reckon it’s done more harm than good and most people with dark skin have plenty of solid evidence that they are being bullied and victimised.
    Our school, Banb7, innovates left, right and centre. Some innovations seem to work, some don’t. Judgements of better and worse are difficult, they are complex, partial, under constant reform and reassessment, often inconclusive, ramifying, we don’t even know if the iphone and advances in computer technology are ‘better’ cos we have largely lost bookshops and newspapers and kids now appear to exercise less, read less, talk less and freewheel on their devices much more. You could spend a lifetime trying to figure out whether things are getting better or worse. Violence has apparently decreased over the centuries (according to Pinker). While showing beheadings on the internet is a recent technological innovation – and some people think that is a good idea.

    Innovations always aim to improve – according to the values and world view of the innovators.

    Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t and sometimes we are not sure. Oftentimes the verdict is out.

  3. Like this framework, George. While Garibaldi is right that innovations aren’t always successful, having the “new and better” framework makes it easy to evaluate change efforts against.

    All too many of the “innovations” in education do little to make learning better for students. That’s what’s missing in conversations about education.

    Hope you are well,
    Bill

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