My current post as the Director of Communication and Innovation at the American School of Kuwait has caused me to begin thinking more intentionally about the word 'innovation' and the place it holds in modern day education. I seem to encounter this word daily in my job search, RSS feeds, and in conversation with colleagues. It has become a ubiquitous word that can be thrown anywhere in hopes of reflecting relevance to current culture. But do we really understand its implications and what it means? And moreover, do we really want it?
Innovation is about leveraging thought and putting it into action. It is about viewing the positive and negative from a non-traditional lens and being willing to not only improve upon a rough draft, but upon what might once have been considered ready for submission. Someone who is innovative isn’t only someone who can offer a new solution to an existing problem but someone who can appreciate what is being done well and resist the urge to settle for the status quo. Innovators see opportunity where others see completion. They look for opportunities to help participate in the process. They disrupt.
It is within this element of disruption where being an innovator can be most challenging. Good innovators not only observe, plan, and act, they reflect, engage, and adjust. They do not disrupt for innovation’s sake. They look to fix what is broken and improve upon what is already working. This desire for continued refinement and fine-tuning is what makes innovators so valuable in education and so necessary in a world where technology has made change a daily part of life.