Magazine article The Learning Professional

A Spirit of Problem Solving Is Leading the Way to a Future Full of Possibilities

Magazine article The Learning Professional

A Spirit of Problem Solving Is Leading the Way to a Future Full of Possibilities

Article excerpt

The definition of innovation is quite simple - innovation means "something new." Educators have been encountering innovations for decades, and we even have a set of tools - Innovation Configuration maps - to take the steps to realizing change. Yet beyond its most basic meaning, innovation carries with it the hefty burden of expectation. Innovation evokes the future, the potential for solving difficult challenges, the possibility of reaching seemingly impossible goals.

In this issue of JSD, you'll read about some of today's exciting innovations with the potential to transform professional learning. The potential for results from these innovations is high. New technology products and services are effectively reducing isolation, increasing efficiencies and effectiveness, and ensuring equity.

Many educators who have seen initiatives come and go are wondering why there is always another innovation on the horizon. The answer is that, in education, we still have a huge job leftundone. Students are not leaving high school ready for careers or college, and professional learning is not adequately supporting enough educators to reach all students. This isn't acceptable.

While emerging technologies have a real wow factor, the innovations evolving in education weren't created for innovation's sake. There is a real spirit of problem solving that leads educators and researchers to find new ways of approaching intractable challenges. Those working to pioneer potential game-changing solutions see the possibility of systemwide transformations and collective impact - without which our huge job will remain undone.

That is why the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made an enormous investment in what it calls iPD. Originally, iPD stood for innovative professional development, and now it means so much more - striving to move from individualized to personalized and beyond. …

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