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Failure is Mandatory: Creating a Culture of Innovation

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I recently had a piece posted at Edudemic, Failure is Mandatory: Creating a Culture of Innovation, co-written with my EdTechTeacher co-founder Tom Daccord.

It pulls together a number of themes that we've been talking and thinking about over the last five years, especially the idea that teacher experimentation is a vital part of innovating with technology integration. If teachers feel like there's no room for error, then they will make no room for risk, and we'll have no change.

Progressive leaders make room for failure, analyze instructional shortcomings, and use that information to build institutional knowledge of best practices. They work to set teaching and learning priorities and point out how effective tech integration supports the institution's primary learning goals. They encourage faculty to collaborate and share their experiences. They alert others to shortfalls and ineffective uses, and support faculty as they think more constructively and effectively about technology integration. An institutional cycle of experimentation and reflection thus reduces some of the individual or community fears about technology while building institutional capacity and growth.


There is no learning without mistakes, and schools and teachers need to model risk-taking and innovation for their students. If we never walk out on the edge, how can we lead our students there?

For regular updates, follow me on Twitter at @bjfr and for my papers, presentations and so forth, visit EdTechResearcher.

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