HDSB The SHIFT

Demonstrating a Shared Culture of Innovation - One Classroom at a Time

Educators are innovators.

The 21st Century arrived almost twenty years ago. In that time we’ve seen so much change in society. Wifi, Google, the iPhone, Online Streaming, the Self Driving Car, Social Media, to name a few are all innovations of the past twenty years that continue to disrupt the status quo. Classrooms and schools can flex to accommodate these societal changes, or remain static and push back against them.

The Shift is focused on helping teachers prepare their students for tomorrow. We do this by sharing teaching practices that will embrace tomorrow’s reality, while at the same time connecting educators with ideas that promote deeper learning.

Teachers and students thrive in an environment that

  • Empowers the individual

  • Connects learning to real world experiences

  • Inspires the learner and teacher

  • Incorporates technology with purpose

The Shift is interested in the classrooms and schools where the advances of the 21st Century are leveraged to create rich experiences for students and teachers.

Innovative Skill Set

Innovators have a common set of skills. They are able to question and challenge the common wisdom by asking why or why not. They experiment, to see what happens when they explore and tinker. Innovators observe, they watch people and events and notice everything. Networking is important to innovative people, who look for knowledge everything. Finally, innovators are always connecting unrelated questions and knowledge.

Innovative individuals bring with them the skills of design thinking, they are optimistic and enjoy collaboration. They have the ability to see the world from many perspectives and are always building empathy wherever they go.

Innovators are curious people who have the critical thinking and problem solving skills that allow them to adapt to many situations.


Teaching Innovation

Can people be taught to be innovative and creative? At The Shift, we know that the answer is yes…and, there are certain learning conditions that foster innovation.

Classrooms that have a strong positive community, foster a spirit of risk taking and allow for reflection, that pose authentic problems and make room for experiential learning are places where innovation can take root. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that innovation requires the most up to date technology. Rather, technology that is used in classrooms must be used with purpose. The latest gadget is neat, but if it is being used “just because” that will not lead students to find their inner spark of creativity.

Educators who find themselves in schools where the same learning conditions are present will also feel empowered to innovate inside their own classrooms.