What is “innovation”?
Depending upon the context, “innovation” may mean different things. When used in the context of industry, the term emphasizes “new” (such as introducing new ideas, devices, or methods). Innovation leads to the creation of new products and services that fill (or create) a need.
In the field of education, however, “innovation” emphasizes the pursuit of “best practice”: the ceaseless search for instructional strategies and tools that foster an optimal learning environment.
The difference? One emphasizes “new”, whereas the other emphasizes “optimal”.
As a tool, technology provides the opportunity to produce better outcomes due to increased efficiency, accessibility, or opportunity. Just as technology should not be used simply for the sake of technology, “new” should not be the goal if it is employed at the expense of learning.
“Instructional Innovation” in District 86 describes the pursuit of techniques, strategies, and practices that help foster better learning outcomes through constant experimentation, reflection, and improvement.