Recently, I was flipping through the channels and I came across one of my favorite childhood movies, TRON. Now when Disney released this movie in 1982, it was groundbreaking with its special effects and computer animation. Watching it now, it looked cartoonish and the computer animation was more simple than spectacular. For me, it still held some magic from my nostalgia, but for my daughters watching it, they couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. It was a great example of what is cutting edge for one generation, becomes childish and simple for the next, due to the constant improvements in technology. However, even though the technology was no longer jaw dropping, the innovation involved in the making of the film remained impressive.
In the classroom, we are constantly utilizing the latest technology for our students. I still remember the arrival of a laser disc player at my high school and hearing how it would revolutionize learning. Today, many schools have one to one devices for students or allow students to bring their own devices for learning activities. As author George Couros points out, the technology that your students have today is the worst level of technology they will ever know. When we think of technology like that, it can feel defeating as we try to keep up with the latest technology. Luckily for us, it’s not about the technology we use, it’s about the innovation we use. If we are replacing paper worksheets with electronic worksheets, we are simply swapping out one form of busy work with another. If we use technology to connect students, provide them with new tools to research, and offer new ways to demonstrate their knowledge, then we are giving students voice and choice and moving from engagement to empowerment.
One thing is certain, the technology our students have access to will continue to improve and advance. As educators, we need to focus more on being innovative with our tools and less on what tools we are using. The special effects from TRON may have faded into mediocrity, but the innovation that went into creating it continues to be a model for movie makers today. The tools you use with your students may be outdated in the future, but the innovation you use when designing lessons and activities will continue to motivate them as they become life-long learners. Always remember, it’s about the innovation and not the technology!
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs
“There is no innovation and creativity without failure.” – Brene Brown
“Art begins in imitation and ends in innovation.” – Mason Cooley
- Monday, February 12: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
- Tuesday, February 13: IEP (Kaufman) 8:15 AM
- Wednesday, February 14: Happy Valentine’s Day!!
- Thursday, February 15: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM (Presentation by Jen Cory), Jon to ABC Negotiations 1:00 PM
- Friday, February 16: Lock Down at 10:00 AM, Celebration of 100th Day of School, iReady Testing Ends
- Monday, February 19: No School for President’s Day
- Tuesday, February 20: Achievement Team 8:15 AM
- Wednesday, February 21: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM, Founders Day Banquet– Doors Open at 5:30, dinner starts at 6:00 PM
- Thursday, February 22: No Staff Meeting, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
- Monday, February 26: Student of the Month Assembly (Integrity) 9:05 AM
- Wednesday, February 28: Students dismissed at 12:10 PM, Building PD 1:00-4:00 PM
- Wednesday, March 7: Kindergarten Parent Information Night 6:00 – 7:00 PM
- Thursday, March 8: Tornado Drill 3:30 PM
- Friday, March 9: Students dismissed at 12:10 PM / Teacher Work Day in Building
- Saturday, March 10: Pancakes with PTA (Kick off to Book Fair) 9:00-12:00
- Week of March 12: Scholastic Book Fair in the East Commons
- Tuesday, March 13: Grades due in by midnight
- Friday, March 16: Report Cards go home
- Thursday, March 22: Battle of the Books! (lunch in classrooms)
- Tuesday, March 27: Wild About Books Assembly 1:30-2:30 PM All School
- Friday, March 30: No School – Spring Break Begins!