Identifying, encouraging and supporting educational initiatives and innovations

A British Telecom project that aims to expand new ways of using educational and technological initiatives for the entire teaching community

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Télécom Bretagne BREST
FR France
Web http://readip.blogspot.fr/
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IDENTITYING, ENCOURAGING, SUPPORTING AND DISSEMINATING EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVES AND INNOVATIONS

“Innovating does not mean erasing the past.” It’s from this 2004 Hervé Platteau quote that we wanted to challenge and describe educational initiatives and innovation brought forth by British Telecom educators. Ours is a French institution with two campuses: the main campus is located in Brest, the other in Rennes, a city 250 km away.

In this school, educators are actively involved in teaching and committed to quality of training. In order to motivate and encourage students to stay in school, many teachers are testing new and different ways of interacting that are or are not supported by information and communication technology (ICT).

Integrated into the classic classroom teaching methods, new educational actions with or without ICTE’s can transform a classic classroom into an improved classroom (Isaac, 2008). And if they do not respond to the major or radical innovation qualifiers (Levesque, 2010), then the initiatives are incremental innovations in addition to the existing ones because they add value by acting on students’ motivation and staying in school.

If the major innovations – which represent change that are sometimes radical in learning or teaching methods or even in how the curriculum is structured – is communicated within the institution, incremental and minor innovations will often remain confined to lab, training or departmental instructors.

This confinement feeds a process of closeness and proximity since these innovators often consider their actions unworthy to be innovation qualifiers either because they have already been carried out elsewhere or because they consider them to be too small.

However, through report cards (Guyomar, 2008) or messages given in class forums, student feedback show that these simple actions, these incremental innovations attract and retain the students’ attention and are factors that motivate and encourage them to stay in school.

It is all these actions that do not fundamentally call into question the educational scenarios used, but that increase and enrich them. This deserves to be recognized with comments and advice from their authors in order to encourage and support them and largely be disseminated so that all educators committed to an innovation approach or not can grasp, understand and if they want, adapt or reuse them in their own classes.

With this approach to identifying, encouraging, supporting and disseminating educational initiatives and innovations, we hope to transform the process of closeness and proximity into one of extended closeness (Levesque, 2010). The transformation must be carried out across the institution and with a vision of great openness, of sharing and cooperation through a blog or wiki for everyone interested in educational innovation.

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