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Creating a Culture of Innovation

Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, 2 to 3 p.m. ET
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 Creating a Culture of Innovation(10/11/2013) 
9:35
Bryan Toporek: 
Good morning and welcome to today's free live chat, Creating a Culture of Innovation, sponsored by Amplify Tablet. I've just opened the chat for questions, so please start submitting yours below.

We'll be back at 2 p.m. ET with superintendents David Britten and Linda Clark. Hope you can join us!
Friday October 11, 2013 9:35 Bryan Toporek
9:35
Bryan Toporek: 
In the meantime, check out our special report, Managing the Digital District, for more on the digital evolution of school districts.
Friday October 11, 2013 9:35 Bryan Toporek
1:55
Bryan Toporek: 
Welcome to today's free live chat, Creating a Culture of Innovation, sponsored by Amplify Tablet. We'll be getting underway in about five minutes.

In the meantime, please continue submitting your questions below. Thanks! 
Friday October 11, 2013 1:55 Bryan Toporek
2:01
Bryan Toporek: 
OK, folks, we're ready to get underway. I'm turning control of the chat over to today's moderator, Sean Cavanagh. 

Take it away, Sean!
Friday October 11, 2013 2:01 Bryan Toporek
2:03
Sean Cavanagh: 
Welcome to today's chat on "Creating a Culture of Innovation" in districts. I'm Sean Cavanagh, an associate editor and longtime reporter at Education Week. I'm joined by a pair of guests who have sought to foster change, in technology and other areas, in their districts. I'll let them introduce themselves now.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:03 Sean Cavanagh
2:03
David Britten: 
Thank you, Sean. This is my 6th year as superintendent for a small urban poor, culturally diverse district near Grand Rapids, Michigan. I try modeling everyday how I want to see technology used to support innovative learning in the classroom and professional lives of our staff. Modeling includes my willingness to learn from everyone around me, too.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:03 David Britten
2:03
Linda Clark: 
Dr. Linda Clark, superintendent of Joint School District #2 in Idaho (10 years). Largest district in the state with 36,200. The district has been committed to continuous improvement for more than 2 decades and we are constantly looking for new and innovative to ways address our challenges. We have brought innovations to addressing growth, technology,and operations. The staff is small by the standards of districts our size and our General Fund per pupil funding is among the lowest in the nation ($4,077/student). Innovation is a must for us.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:03 Linda Clark
2:04
Sean Cavanagh: 
Thank you both.

David, I'll start by posing this question to you from Damon:
Friday October 11, 2013 2:04 Sean Cavanagh
2:04
[Comment From DamonDamon: ] 
What are some things district leaders fail to think about when implementing 1:1 devices or other technology initiatives?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:04 Damon
2:04
David Britten: 
Often, we leave too many staff behind at first which creates an uneven implementation and even resistance.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:04 David Britten
2:05
Linda Clark: 
One important consideration is the devices themselves. Does a 1;1 with everyone getting the same device meet the varied instructional needs.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:05 Linda Clark
2:05
Sean Cavanagh: 
Linda, this one goes to you -- about whether students can play a role in districts' attempts at innovation:
Friday October 11, 2013 2:05 Sean Cavanagh
2:05
[Comment From MaxMax: ] 
Do you encourage your schools' students to contribute to the culture of innovation? If so, how?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:05 Max
2:05
Sean Cavanagh: 
And David, feel free to answer that one from Max, too.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:05 Sean Cavanagh
2:06
David Britten: 
Max, we haven't engaged in this enough. Mainly, we've used surveys of older students and studied how they use technology in their personal lives, trying to imitate some of that in the classroom.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:06 David Britten
2:06
Linda Clark: 
I believe that the failure to engage students in decision making is a flaw in the problem solving process in many districts. I have a Youth Council comprised of the presidents and VP of all 9 high school student councils and they provide important insight for me.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:06 Linda Clark
2:07
Sean Cavanagh: 
Linda, I know that you've placed an emphasis on a "bottom up" approach to technology in your districts, allowing teachers to have a strong say in shaping what gets used. Can you describe how you've gone about that?

And David, I'll ask you -- how does the input you receive from teachers shape your decisions about technology?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:07 Sean Cavanagh
2:09
David Britten: 
Sean, we've learned some tough lessons listening to teachers and modified the 1:1 part of our plan at secondary as a result. We're now taking more care in gathering input up front from our K-5 teachers as we proceed.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:09 David Britten
2:09
Sean Cavanagh: 
What would be the biggest lessons you've learned?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:09 Sean Cavanagh
2:09
Linda Clark: 
Sean, one of the techniques we are using is providing technology grants for teachers. This process has given them ownership and an opportunity to innovate in a safe environment. We provide training and support and have given grants for expansion of many of the initial ideas.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:09 Linda Clark
2:10
David Britten: 
Sean, the first big lesson is ensuring your infrastructure supports your devices and the activities in the classroom. That was a difficult first year.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:10 David Britten
2:10
Sean Cavanagh: 
Linda -- an important Q here from our audience. How do you look for innovation outside of technology?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:10 Sean Cavanagh
2:10
[Comment From Dottie BarbeauDottie Barbeau: ] 
considering innovations other than technology - By what criteria do you judge if something is an innovation or just an implementation of a current practice that you just haven't implemented yet? Not everything new to you is innovative, it's just new.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:10 Dottie Barbeau
2:12
Sean Cavanagh: 
David, I know you've placed an emphasis on trying to help teachers work with each other and overcome problems (I believe in bi-weekly sessions?) Can you describe what kind of training/PD you've done?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:12 Sean Cavanagh
2:12
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What has been proven as effective professional development with 1:1 technology?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:12 Guest
2:12
Linda Clark: 
Sean, we look for innovation everywhere. When I became supt. our admin was housed in 11 buildings on 8 sites. We purchased an empty warehouse, found a university partner and now have a building (500,00 sq ft) that houses the district office, training center, a PT Center, an IB high school and the university. All done without a bond and at a fraction of the cost. The training center provides cash flow.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:12 Linda Clark
2:12
David Britten: 
Dottie, I don't think innovative means it always has to be something no one else has ever tried. If an idea or project disrupts your usual teaching and learning methods, it could lead to innovation for you and your students.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:12 David Britten
2:13
Linda Clark: 
Dottie, I believe innovation can be both a totally new idea or an improvement on an old idea.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:13 Linda Clark
2:14
Linda Clark: 
Guest, we are having a lot of success with face to face training, followed up with a strong web site that provides many different tools and types of training.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:14 Linda Clark
2:14
Sean Cavanagh: 
David -- here's a big-picture Q from the audience.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:14 Sean Cavanagh
2:14
[Comment From KevinKevin: ] 
What are the key characteristics of a school district that has embraced a culture of innovation?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:14 Kevin
2:15
Linda Clark: 
. . . further, the use of master teachers who are released to provide support to teachers is a terrific method
Friday October 11, 2013 2:15 Linda Clark
2:15
David Britten: 
Kevin, a culture that allows risk-taking, develops collaborative ownership (not top-down driven), and communicates as well as celebrates innovation when it occurs.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:15 David Britten
2:16
Linda Clark: 
Kevin, such a district must have a commitment to improvement and a dedication to use data to drive change (and to monitor and adjust). There must be a safe environment where it is ok to try, fail and try again. Communication is a big factor
Friday October 11, 2013 2:16 Linda Clark
2:16
Sean Cavanagh: 
Linda: On the topic of innovation, I know that you've tried to use federal E-rate in interesting ways, that are helpful to your teachers. Given the big focus today on making changes to E-rate, can you describe what you've done?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:16 Sean Cavanagh
2:17
David Britten: 
Guest, I'm not so sure a "culture of innovation" is something we need to develop. I believe it's actually a result when we are developing a culture that values the foundations of what leads to innovation. The innovation will be the result.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:17 David Britten
2:17
Sean Cavanagh: 
David, I know you've taken to blogs and social media to get the message out to your commuinity about what you're doing. Here's a question from Jerry along those lines:
Friday October 11, 2013 2:17 Sean Cavanagh
2:17
[Comment From JerryJerry: ] 
Do you solicit ideas from outside your schools? That is, from parents, the community, businesses? If so, how?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:17 Jerry
2:17
Linda Clark: 
Sean, initially we used portions of the e-rate funds to start the district Innovative Grant process. We have morphed those grants into state technology funds as we need to use the e-rate to expand the wireless connectivity for classrooms.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:17 Linda Clark
2:18
David Britten: 
Jerry, I personally manage the district Facebook and Twitter accounts along with my blogs, and I look for ideas from everyone on them, including parents, alumni, students, staff, Board, etc....
Friday October 11, 2013 2:18 David Britten
2:19
Linda Clark: 
Jerry, we have strong ties with all of these groups and I use "councils" made up of their members much I as do the Youth Council. In addition, I actively work with the 5 mayors, city councils and Chamber. I also invite "Ask the supt" via email
Friday October 11, 2013 2:19 Linda Clark
2:19
David Britten: 
....(Jerry cont) I also work with our small business community.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:19 David Britten
2:19
Sean Cavanagh: 
Linda and David: Both of your districts are relatively small -- under 5,000 student enrollment. Could your efforts realistically be replicated in much larger school systems?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:19 Sean Cavanagh
2:20
Linda Clark: 
. . . for several years, I held a quarterly "Super Saturday: during which I opened the district office and invited the community in to chat. I stopped doing it due to lack of participation.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:20 Linda Clark
2:20
Linda Clark: 
Sean, my district is 36, 250 students.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:20 Linda Clark
2:20
David Britten: 
Sean, I believe so. I don't think size of the district is the barrier but rather the dedication of district leadership to make it happen. Leaders at the top cannot live in fear of technology and innovation or nothing will happen, regardless of size.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:20 David Britten
2:22
David Britten: 
Jim Jensen, the biggest obstacles are FEAR and COMPLACENCY. When these exist, the leaders and teachers usually point to lack of funding, training, resources, etc. as their excuse. That's just what those are.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:22 David Britten
2:22
Sean Cavanagh: 
Here's a question related to 1:1 technology and what leaders need to think about....and on this point, can each of you please remind the audience, how do you define your tech approaches? Is it 1:1 computing, or "bring-your-own-device," or something else?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:22 Sean Cavanagh
2:23
David Britten: 
Certainly, Sean. Our district is a hybrid 1:1/BYOD district. We provide a variety of devices but students can choose to bring and use their own with no barriers.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:23 David Britten
2:23
Sean Cavanagh: 
Whoops Linda -- sorry! 36 K is right? Can I assume that you believe your districts' ideas could be scaled up to even bigger systems?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:23 Sean Cavanagh
2:24
Linda Clark: 
Sean, our approach is unique. At the elementary, we are developing a "rotational" approach where iPADS, iPODS, lap tops and interactive boards are in the room. Students rotate among the hardware and activities. At the secondary, we are piloting a variety of tools that meet identified instructional needs, i.e. laptops in English classes, mini- iPADS in social studies with Discovery Tech Books, iPADS in science.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:24 Linda Clark
2:24
Linda Clark: 
Sean, I believe that what we are doing can be done in districts smaller and larger than ours. It is just a matter of scale.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:24 Linda Clark
2:25
David Britten: 
Lois, several of our teachers have earned grants or donations, and we've received some federal grants to assist us along the way. We are now using some bond funding to cap off our 1:1 rollout, especially at the elementary level.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:25 David Britten
2:25
Sean Cavanagh: 
An important Q here from our audience. You don't pull ideas out of thin air, I imagine:
Friday October 11, 2013 2:25 Sean Cavanagh
2:25
[Comment From DavidDavid: ] 
When preparing the ground for change, where do you look for ideas and inspiration outside of K-12 education? What are some of the challenges involved in adapting outside ideas and lessons for school districts?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:25 David
2:27
David Britten: 
David, our entire vision is inspired by outside K-12 education as we strongly believe though our students have the highest rate of poverty in this region as well as limited English proficiency, they should have the same opportunities to learn and excel as any other student of any other district. That drives our souls every day....
Friday October 11, 2013 2:27 David Britten
2:28
Linda Clark: 
David, we look widely for answers to our challenges. Something that has worked in business can be modified to our setting. An idea in a journal may be expanded or modified. I am constantly searching journals, the internet, ideas from conferences, etc. The most valuable ideas have come from my superintendent colleagues. . . maybe a "seed" that is expanded; an idea we've never tried. As we have grown, it has been important to talk with those who have been us and are now larger.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:28 Linda Clark
2:28
David Britten: 
....(David cont) That being said, we have some strong partnerships with area colleges, philanthropic groups, mentoring organizations, etc. These give us a window into what and how we need to expand our PBL and other innovative programs.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:28 David Britten
2:28
Sean Cavanagh: 
Here's a Q for both of you:
Friday October 11, 2013 2:28 Sean Cavanagh
2:28
[Comment From SamSam: ] 
Do you have any examples of "innovations gone wrong" that helped you get it right?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:28 Sam
2:29
David Britten: 
One additional point, David. Through Twitter, I developed a professional and personal friendship with Pam Moran (@pammoran) in Albemarle County Schools, Virginia. I have learned much from that connection the past 4-5 years.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:29 David Britten
2:31
David Britten: 
Bob G, we're still learning the whole classroom management thing and sometimes we "fight" a little over it. I recently posted a satirical note on my blog over this very matter: Rebel 6 Ramblings http://rebel6.blogspot.com/
Friday October 11, 2013 2:31 David Britten
2:31
Linda Clark: 
David, I would also add that my work with the League of Innovative Schools and ERDI have been the most valuable to me. The supts. who participate in these are a great source of both ideas and a "sounding board" for refining ideas.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:31 Linda Clark
2:31
Sean Cavanagh: 
This question is directed to Linda -- but David, feel fee to add to it:
Friday October 11, 2013 2:31 Sean Cavanagh
2:31
[Comment From JasonJason: ] 
Linda, you mentioned the low per-pupil funding in the district. What are some ways for school districts to innovate within their existing resources? Does that motivate your team to look to teachers to drive innovation?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:31 Jason
2:32
David Britten: 
Tracy, sustainability is critical. That's why we chose initially to implement our tech and innovation vision around restructuring our budget to not only roll it out but maintain it over time. We have only 1900 students but we have a fantastic 5-member tech/media team that is doing wonders working within this sustainment framework.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:32 David Britten
2:34
[Comment From TracyTracy: ] 
The biggest question we are facing is sustainability of all change/innovation that has taken place. How have you/do you address your sustainability of innovation?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:34 Tracy
2:34
Linda Clark: 
Jason, most of our innovations have, of necessity, come from our existing resources. It is the nature of poor funding. In addition, with the drastic cuts from our legislature, we have had to find ways to continue our efforts with even less funding (loss of $40 million over 3 years). We absolutely look to our teachers and respect all tat they are doing to be innovative. They are faced with high class sizes and limited resources. As a result, they led the way in seeking outside funding via grants and now bring in more than 1.2 million annually in grants. . .
Friday October 11, 2013 2:34 Linda Clark
2:34
Sean Cavanagh: 
Tracy -- David Britten responded to your Q, above!
Friday October 11, 2013 2:34 Sean Cavanagh
2:34
David Britten: 
Jim/Wichita State - we are expanding the use of PBL and service learning to help drive innovation with or without the use of technology.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:34 David Britten
2:36
Linda Clark: 
. . . We saw the trend and supported their initial effort by employing a part-time grant facilitator who has assisted and supported their efforts, with those great results. We have a pilot "21st Century Classroom" project that began when I went to 5 teachers and said, "if you could design your classroom from the bottom up, what would it look like?" We took their designs (furniture and equipment changes) and funded it as a pilot (with support from the Verizon Foundation). That pilot has now grown to 3 full buildings and expanded classrooms in the initial buildings.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:36 Linda Clark
2:38
Sean Cavanagh: 
David -- here's a question -- which resonates across K-12 -- about keeping up with technology:
Friday October 11, 2013 2:38 Sean Cavanagh
2:38
[Comment From jim jensenjim jensen: ] 
With technology progressing at such a rapid rate, what have been the biggest obstacles in your mind that limit school districts in implementing innovative technologies and pedagogies?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:38 jim jensen
2:39
Sean Cavanagh: 
Another question for both of you about bringing teachers on board. From Chris:
Friday October 11, 2013 2:39 Sean Cavanagh
2:39
[Comment From Chris PuttcampChris Puttcamp: ] 
How do we help our teachers create an innovative culture for their students within their classrooms? I'm not thinking about technology but rather getting students to think beyond that one right answer.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:39 Chris Puttcamp
2:40
Linda Clark: 
Jim, lack of funding continues to plague many districts. Also, there is a need for districts to do a better job in communicating to parents and patrons that these are "tools" for learning, instead of those for games, etc.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:40 Linda Clark
2:40
Sean Cavanagh: 
And a related Q from Laura H:
Friday October 11, 2013 2:40 Sean Cavanagh
2:40
[Comment From Laura H.Laura H.: ] 
What are some tips for communicating big district-wide changes to teachers?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:40 Laura H.
2:41
David Britten: 
Chris Puttcamp - sometimes teachers just need to understand what they are or aren't doing to challenge student thinking. We've employed instructional coaches over the past three years to work with them in the classroom and get them to engage students in deeper conversations and questioning.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:41 David Britten
2:42
Linda Clark: 
Chris, the change in our "21st Century" classroms is amazing. With the focus on technology to enhance learning and student engagement (instead of the old "technology to enhance teaching"), I see students who are actively engaged and taking ownership for their learning. The style and method of teaching has to change in this model.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:42 Linda Clark
2:42
David Britten: 
Laura H - I practice "leading out loud" using transparent communications so everyone in the district knows my thinking and plans in real time. That way nothing is ever a surprise here. I think I'm a little unusual that way especially in my neck of the woods.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:42 David Britten
2:43
David Britten: 
Laura H - additionally, I'm a very patient person who likes to give those who need more time and help just that. At the same time, the early adopters and innovators can run with the ball.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:43 David Britten
2:44
Linda Clark: 
Laura: It takes both 1:1 interactions between teachers and district-wide communication to make these changes work. One of the goals in our "grant" approach was to start the intiative from "the ground up". It has taken wings and generated more enthusiasm in our teachers than I even imagined. They talk to one another, share ideas and want to improve their teaching and, most importantly the student outcomes.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:44 Linda Clark
2:44
Sean Cavanagh: 
Here's a Q taken from today's headlines that I'll pose to you. Many districts seem worried about students using technology in improper ways -- breaching security and going on sites that are not allowed (social media and others supposed to be blocked). Others say these worries are overblown.

(See the recent woes in LA Unified -- http://bit.ly/18MB8As)

Where do each of you come down on how much security needs to be put on students tech devices?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:44 Sean Cavanagh
2:45
Sean Cavanagh: 
Sorry, that one's for both of you to answer if you're inclined
Friday October 11, 2013 2:45 Sean Cavanagh
2:46
David Britten: 
Sean - we've had to make adjustments based on experience. For example, we've had Twitter off, then on, then off again as we look for ways to better guide students and help teachers understand the classroom management role. I think we'll continue learning right along with the kids on this.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:46 David Britten
2:46
Linda Clark: 
Sean, that is a great question and one we continue to grapple with. Traditionally, we have had a very powerful fire wall, and many protections - even protecting staff from themselves. With the current emphasis on technology expansion, we have lifted the limits for staff. We continue to limit student sites and follow both our district policy and the assurances we sign for e-rate.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:46 Linda Clark
2:47
David Britten: 
Sean - in a follow-up, having the superintendent on your Facebook or Twitter account sometimes inhibits poor behavior by many of our students. LOL
Friday October 11, 2013 2:47 David Britten
2:48
Linda Clark: 
. . . This is an area that must have constant scrutiny. We will continue to lift limits but still provide the protection our community expects.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:48 Linda Clark
2:48
Sean Cavanagh: 
Yes, David, I can see how that would make students think twice about certain postings....

Here's a question about test scores for both of you: How do you juggle integrating tech with the pressure to increase test results.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:48 Sean Cavanagh
2:48
[Comment From CeilCeil: ] 
How have your innovations impacted your district's progress in AYP? and success of special population students (English Language Learners, Learning Support, and others)
Friday October 11, 2013 2:48 Ceil
2:49
David Britten: 
Ceil - our high school just completed a 3-year SIG grant for being in the bottom 5%. At the same time, we continued rolling out our tech plan, the school soared to the 63rd percentile and was ranked higher than the surrounding high schools. I think it's a tool for learning but no guarantee it will raise test scores.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:49 David Britten
2:50
Linda Clark: 
Ceil: Our achievement is very strong, but we have schools that struggle. The results, particularly from the growth testing that we do (NWEA MAP Tests) shows marked improvement in the classrooms that are embracing the innovations.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:50 Linda Clark
2:50
Sean Cavanagh: 
David, Linda -- a Q about how state and fed officials could help.....
Friday October 11, 2013 2:50 Sean Cavanagh
2:50
[Comment From jim jensenjim jensen: ] 
Many questions are centered on how school districts have become innovative in implementing curriculum and technology, but with multiple stakeholders making educational decisions, in your opinion how could state and federal government improve on innovative strategies to improve support for schools?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:50 jim jensen
2:50
David Britten: 
Ceil - technology is a great tool for our ELL population. Many support programs that expand learning time beyond the classroom.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:50 David Britten
2:52
David Britten: 
Jim Jensen: the federal government could do more to expand wired and wireless access similar to the effort made when they built the highway system. The state and feds need to back away from limited tests as indicators of success and use more innovative measurements of learning and success.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:52 David Britten
2:53
Linda Clark: 
Jim - The greatest help that governmental agencies could provide would be to step back and return decision making to the local level. Local school boards are best suited to make the decisions that are appropriate for their communities. The move to "one size fits all" (NCLB) has been counter-productive and its emphasis on proficiency resulted in a lack of focus on the growth of ALL students. I concur with David that expansion of access is a way they could help
Friday October 11, 2013 2:53 Linda Clark
2:53
Sean Cavanagh: 
Per David's point, see the ongoing fed discussion on the E-rate:

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/06/12/35erate.h32.html
Friday October 11, 2013 2:53 Sean Cavanagh
2:54
Sean Cavanagh: 
Interesting Q from John on using "early adopters" for both of you:
Friday October 11, 2013 2:54 Sean Cavanagh
2:54
[Comment From JohnJohn: ] 
Do you look for early adopters to bring others on board with innovations? Or, do you try to "convert" the slow adopters--to show that if they can do it, anyone can?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:54 John
2:55
David Britten: 
John - yes, but actually the early adopters identify themselves rather quickly and form a bond with our tech/media team (what I call our "Disney imagineers"). We hold one or two day-long institutes a year we call "Rebel U" where those teachers are showing others what they do, how they do it, and what the results are. It's really starting to steamroll.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:55 David Britten
2:55
Linda Clark: 
John: Our strategy has been to identify and support the early adopters. They are very successful in bringing others along. That said, I have most recently offered the last round of grants only to those who have never had a technology grant of any kind. More than 80 teachers (the slow adopters) applied. That was after 4 rounds of targeting the early folks
Friday October 11, 2013 2:55 Linda Clark
2:56
Sean Cavanagh: 
A question on whether you're seeing a spawning of tech innovations in classrooms:
Friday October 11, 2013 2:56 Sean Cavanagh
2:56
[Comment From Jim/Wichita StateJim/Wichita State: ] 
For Linda: What are some classroom examples of innovation that you have seen in your schools that may or may not be connected to technology?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:56 Jim/Wichita State
2:56
Sean Cavanagh: 
David, feel free to add in on that one, of course
Friday October 11, 2013 2:56 Sean Cavanagh
2:57
David Britten: 
Jim - one thing I'm seeing is more innovative use of learning spaces, inside and outside of school. This ranges from our 90-year-old high school to our 3-year-old 6th Grade Campus constructed to support innovative use of space.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:57 David Britten
2:58
Linda Clark: 
Jim: We have created a large number of Magnet schools and the teachers in those schools (focusing on the arts, STEM, foreign language) are demonstrating lots of innovations in teaching. One teacher has developed and implemented a piano keyboard lab. She writes all of the music and teaches piano to full classrooms of 25 - 32 students at one time.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:58 Linda Clark
2:59
Linda Clark: 
. . . the teachers are using the devices in very innovative ways as well.
Friday October 11, 2013 2:59 Linda Clark
2:59
Sean Cavanagh: 
We're getting near the end, so I'll leave you both w/ a broad question:
Friday October 11, 2013 2:59 Sean Cavanagh
2:59
[Comment From RuthRuth: ] 
How would you define innovation in the context of schools?
Friday October 11, 2013 2:59 Ruth
3:00
David Britten: 
Ruth - innovation is that which develops and supports a learning process that is more natural to our students and connected to their real worlds, both now and in the future. I know that's broad but innovation will always be a moving target.
Friday October 11, 2013 3:00 David Britten
3:00
Sean Cavanagh: 
A reminder to readers: Check out our special report, Managing the Digital District, loaded with stories examining the challenges that school leaders facing in using technology wisely: http://bit.ly/18tDZxu
Friday October 11, 2013 3:00 Sean Cavanagh
3:01
Linda Clark: 
Ruth: Everything we do must be focused on our major goal: ensuring that the students who leave us are prepared for college/career. Innovation is the creative ways in which we seek to attain that goal.
Friday October 11, 2013 3:01 Linda Clark
3:01
David Britten: 
Thank you, Sean.
Friday October 11, 2013 3:01 David Britten
3:01
Bryan Toporek: 
Thanks, Linda and David. That's a great place to wrap up.
Friday October 11, 2013 3:01 Bryan Toporek
3:01
Linda Clark: 
Thanks to Sean and to all who posted questions.
Friday October 11, 2013 3:01 Linda Clark
3:02
Bryan Toporek: 
Thanks to all of you who were able to join us today. We'll have a transcript of today's chat posted on this same page within the hour.

Have a great weekend!
Friday October 11, 2013 3:02 Bryan Toporek
3:05
 

 
 
 

Creating a Culture of Innovation

Friday, October 11, 2013, 2–3 p.m. ET

Transforming a school district's culture from one that is resistant to change to one that experiments with new ideas and policies poses many challenges for district administrators. But some district leaders who have made this transition say there are strategies that can work across school systems that have different characteristics and needs. Our guests discussed how school districts are changing the way they operate to improve schools.

Guests:
David Britten, superintendent, Godfrey-Lee school district, Wyoming, Mich. (@colonelb)
Linda Clark, superintendent, Joint School District No. 2, Meridian, Idaho (@llclarkboise)

Sean Cavanagh, associate editor, Education Week, moderated this chat. (@EdWeekSCavanagh)

Related Stories:
  • Building a District Culture to Foster Innovation (October 2, 2013)
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