One leader said it this way:
Using the netbooks, iTouches, Smart Pens, digital cameras, etc., never cease to amaze students and create excitement in the classrooms. It would be very hard to go "back" to only the paper and pen activities. Students and teachers see literacy in a different way.
Another had this to say:
"Teachers have become more "alive" and motivated. Students with problems (especially ELLs and special education students) have improved their behavior and are more into learning because of the integration of technology. It is like day and night."We also arranged what we call Innovation Field Trips which enable educators to visit other schools and their classroom to see how they were innovatively addressing a particular problem of practice. You can check out the Innovation Field Trips at http://InnovationFieldtrips.org. The leaders found the Innovation Field Trips to be a tremendous learning experience. They explained that seeing strategies in action helps them understand how to incorporate the strategies back at their schools. They said that seeing activities that are coordinated, connected, and realistic brings it all together for them. It also gives people ideas for doing things in a different way in their own school. The leaders shared that it is exciting to see students so motivated and involved. They said that the experiences have been “eye-opening,” especially the focus on literacy. In particular they also felt that the debriefing sessions were great and learning-filled. They shared that because the field trips allow them to see authentic and real innovation in action it helps take away some of the pressure and stress of incorporating innovative practices back at their own schools.
One leader had this to say:
“Seeing the tools being used makes me think that it is ‘do-able.’ I get ideas for my school.”Having a place to showcase and celebrate the innovative work that students and their teachers are engaging in is quite powerful. The Innovate My Class and Innovation Field Trips sites provide a great way for any educator, parent, or student to learn from and share innovative practices.I invite leaders and teachers to share at these sites how they and their students are engaging in innovative work.