ISTE20Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Digital Leadership
Summit at ISTE20 Live
ISTE21Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Nurturing Innovators in the Classroom and Beyond

Location: W183c

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Wednesday, June 27, 11:30 am–12:30 pm
Location: W183c

James Butt   Dr. Laura Taddei  
Students benefit from developing innovation, creativity and an entrepreneurial mindset. We will discuss risk taking and ways to support students as innovative, creative, entrepreneurial thinkers; explore innovation and creativity through hands-on creative design experiences; and discuss ways to engage families and the community in this process.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Innovative learning environments
Grade level: PK-5
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Science
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Collaborate and co-learn with students to discover and use new digital resources and diagnose and troubleshoot technology issues.
For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
  • Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation
Related exhibitors: EdgeMakers

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Our purpose is to provide strategies and ideas on ways to nurture students and create a classroom and school environment that develops innovation, creativity, and an entrepreneurial mindset. In order for teachers to create this kind of environment, they need opportunities to take risks and explore innovation and creativity through hands-on creative experiences. We also believe that in order to fully support students in being innovative designers, we need to engage families and the community. Ideas will be discussed and shared on how to do this.

We discuss and share the use of technology tools, but we focus on the learning and only using technology that will help support the learning.

Learners will practice being innovative designers by solving problems and creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.

Learners will collaborate and share ideas on ways they encourage innovation, creativity, and an entrepreneurial mindset in their students.

Learners will develop ways to engage families and communities in nurturing students to be innovative and creative.


Initial topics discussed (45 min):

Possibility Thinking - Breaking down barriers against traditional constraints against creativity and innovation

Simple Proven Techniques for Creativity and Innovation - We introduce Systematic Inventive Thinking and explore ways of implementing it in the classroom

Learning through Tinkering - Goal-based exploration of materials and ideas that build problem solving skills

Communicating and Collaborating through Storytelling - Using storytelling as a way to for participants to act out and share their creative and innovative ideas; engaging families and communities in nurturing creativity and innovation

Building Entrepreneurial Thinkers - Encouraging students to set personal goals and possess the traits of an entrepreneur

Reflection/Questions (10 min)

Action Plan (5 min) - What will you take immediately and implement in your own classroom to nurture creativity, innovation and entrepreneurism?

Supporting research

Boyd, D. (2015, March 2). The creative power of children. Systematic creativity is a skill that even children can learn. Psychology Today. Retrieved from

Boyd, D., & Goldenberg, J. (2013). Inside the box. A proven system of creativity for
breakthrough results. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Budhai, S & Taddei, L. (2015). Teaching the 4cs with technology: How do I use 21st century tools to teach 21st century skills? ASCD Arias.

Herold, C. (2010). Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs [Video file]. Retrieved from the TED website:

International Society for Technology of Education (2016). ISTE Standards for Students.

International Society for Technology of Education (2017). ISTE Standards for Teachers.

Kallick, B. & Zmuda, A. (2017). Students at the center: Personalized learning with habits of mind. ASCD.

Maslyk, J. (2016). STEAM makers: Fostering creativity and innovation in the elementary classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Office of Educational Technology. (n.d.). Call to action [Brief]. Retrieved from

Partnership for 21st Century Learning. (2016, January). Framework for 21st century learning.
Retrieved from

Partnership for 21st Century Learning. (2015, May ). P21 framework definitions. Retrieved from

Taddei, L. & Budhai, S. (2017). Nurturing young innovators: Cultivating creativity in the classroom, home, and community. International Society for Technology in Education.

Tesconi, S. (n.d.). Documenting a project using a failures box. In Blikstein, P., Martinez, S.
& Pang, H. (n.d.). Meaningful making: Projects and inspirations for fab labs and

Thornton, M. (2015, August 31). Creating space for risk [Blog post]. Retrieved from

More [+]


person photo
James Butt, CIE Advising

Jim is an aerospace engineer and former senior manager of rotorcraft R&D and Innovation at Boeing. He has over 35 years of experience in engineering, creativity, and program management. He is working to bring knowledge of and hands-on techniques from engineering to building an entrepreneurial classroom.

person photo
Dr. Laura Taddei, Neumann University

Laura is an associate professor of education and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses as well as coordinates a BA program for adult learners. Laura has over 20 years experience working with adult learners providing training, professional development and coaching in corporate and educational settings. She is coauthor of Nurturing Young Innovators: Cultivating Creativity in the Home, School and Community and Teaching the 4 Cs with Technology: How Do I Teach 21st Century Skills with 21st Century Tools.. Her energy is infectious and her enthusiasm for sharing her knowledge and skills with others has brought her frequent speaking engagements.

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