Three big questions arise from this discussion: why, having so many innovators and organizations concerned with innovations, does our education system not benefit from them? What interferes with creating and, especially, implementing transformative, life-changing, and much-needed innovations across schools and colleges in this country? How can we grow, support, and disseminate worthy innovations effectively so that our students succeed in both school and university and achieve the best learning outcomes that will adequately prepare them for life and work? Let us first take a look at what is an educational innovation.
US education desperately needs effective innovations of scale that can help produce high quality learning outcomes across the system and for all students. We can start by intensifying our integration of successful international learning models and creating conditions in our schools and colleges that foster and support innovators and educational entrepreneurs, or edupreneurs (Tait and Faulkner, 2016). Moreover, these transformations should be varied, yet systematic, targeting different vital aspects of education. Deep, multifaceted, and comprehensive innovations, both tangible and intangible, have the capacity to quickly generate scalable effects.
So, stay tuned to this blog for updates on this project, for which we'll share the results of our pilot test with you, as well as other information about how to freely access the Get SET! tool and its support materials, right here on The Innovation Destination site. We'll also tell you about some other exciting new projects in the works, for which we will be creating more innovative and inspiring new materials that librarians and teachers can freely use in their invention education programs, projects and activities.
The Innovation Destination's mentor training is completely free and targets librarians, teachers, parents, and anyone else who mentors young innovators. All you need to do is to click on the Mentoring Young Innovators tab on this site and then register (and remember your password) and you can train to be an effective mentor. We require registration so that we can report user demographics (no names just how many states, job titles, and types of organizations are represented) to our funders.
This website offers a set of free and accessible mentoring training for librarians who wish to learn strategies and methods for successful mentoring. The training was collaboratively developed by The Center for Digital Literacy at Syracuse University and The Center for Mentoring Leadership, Phoenix, Arizona. This training includes an introduction, six online, self-paced, self-directed learning modules, dozens of opportunities to actively participate in your own learning, a summarizing recap and quizzes and assessments to demonstrate what you have learned. We encourage you to take our training and then try it out with some of your school's young innovators. Just click on the orange tab, Mentoring Young Innovators, and register or login to begin your mentoring learning adventure.
Many of the young innovators we interviewed for the Young Innovators Project have developed innovations for health care, safety, and household improvements; most have been technological in nature. This is not surprising as these children were born digital and they are more comfortable with technology than their grandparents and even some of their parents, although it is often at the expense of spending more time with electronic devices and less time in nature. Innovation spaces, STEM programs, and invention conventions across the country provide guidance and support for children to innovate. Yet, this author wonders if part of children's preparation to innovate should also include both free and guided nature exploration and play. Can time spent in nature actually increase creativity and problem-solving so critical to innovation? The research suggests that this may actually be the case.
If you are interested in being a mentor-librarian to aspiring young innovators who visit your library, I encourage you to click on the Mentoring Young Innovators tab of this website, register (it's free), and complete the training. We think you will find it valuable for working with any young person, but particularly those budding young innovators who need your guidance and encouragement as they go through the innovation process.
Welcome to the first post of SMALL Talk blog on The Innovation Destination website of the Young Innovators Project (YIP). YIP is funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services. Its mission is to provide a variety of unique tools and resources for school librarians and other educators who support youth innovation activities through \"The Innovation Destination,\" the project's innovative and free website. The Innovation Destination was created specifically by and for school librarians and young innovators (elementary-high school). It contains (1) lesson plans and learning activities, (2) relevant support resources, (3) self-paced mentor training for educators and parents, (4) this blog and the centerpiece, (5) a searchable database of 500+ video interviews with successful young innovators nationwide, that will teach, inform and inspire America's aspiring young inventors and entrepreneurs. 076b4e4f54