Monday, 21 September 2015

Innovation Generation

Many of the Innovation Generation are deeply worried about the future of the planet, seek healthier lifestyles, and want to make a difference more than they want to make money. But they are swimming against the tides of tradition. A lot of parents still harbor hopes that their children will persue prestigious careers and be economically better off than they are. Too many teachers and employers still reward the "old school" behaviours of deference to authority and striving for "success", conventionally defined - and count on carrots and sticks for motivation. The result is that many in the Innovation Generation are skeptical of adult authority and the institutions that their elders have presided over. School is a game the Innovation Generation knows they have to play to get "credentialed", but they do it with as little effort as possible. Most have no desire to climb the corporate ladder and wait twenty years to do something interesting or worthwhile. They have no patience with worksheets or busywork. They have dreams and ambitions that demand time and space - and active nurturing.  
The problem is that many of those in their forties, fifties and sixties who work in established institutions don't make the time and space for the younger generation's dreams and ambitions. Leaders of conventional schools and businesses don't know what to do with this Innovation Generation. These young people have different dreams, different aspirations from their elders.
Page 19, Creating Innovators, Tony Wagner

Why am I posting this,
When I read this book it kept striking me that what we are doing within the Technology Curriculum and Digital Technologies needs to change. No longer is it ok to give the students the same project and expect an outcome. Why are we not allowing students to develop websites with a social need for example.

Last year a student wanted to make a change, help end child poverty.
This was picked up by the Internet Party who pushed it out through their social media.

Allowing students time to develop outcomes and think of new ideas is what is required in schools. It is amazing when I think of the work and time that students put into developing their ideas in class, developing programmes that supported an issue around spelling, a security system in a house through a raspberry pi due to a break in of a fellow student. These projects are ones that I would have never thought of. Students being able to have the confidence to talk about these projects and develop the understanding of skills and knowledge required to make these projects work. A lot of people will talk about the final outcome, few will talk about the process that it takes to get there, the failures along the way.

I meet with my Hub students today and asked them about their successes this term, all were able to talk about them and why they were successes. When I asked the question about failure,  they struggled to talk about them.
You are going to fail - and likely more than once. If you don't fail, then you are probably playing it too safe. Failing hurts like hell - especially failing in public. But you will learn some of your most valuable lessons from failure - far more from your successes. As you reflect on the causes of your failure(s), you will come to better understand yourself - your strengths and weaknesses - and you will adjust your aspirations accordingly. You will also become clearer about what it is you are trying to do and what is required to make it work. Think of failure as iteration, as learning.
 Page 246, Creating Innovators, Tony Wagner

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Hi Gerard
I've taken note of this book title. It looks like a really interesting read!
Next year our Year 8 students will have a new Computer Science curriculum. It only lasts for one semester (two terms), but they'll be tasked with producing an app using App Inventor. I was thinking of setting it up with a theme and let them interpret from there. Whether they create a game, social media application, utility or whatever; as you say, the process is what's really important. And if students can develop something that really fires them up, all the better!
Jenny (@gadgetgurl42)