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Empower a Culture of Innovation

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Sunday, June 23, 3:00–4:00 pm
Location: Room 125

Elisabeth Bostwick  
Collectively we will explore how to create the conditions to empower learning, leading to a culture of innovation. We will reimage learning experiences through integrating STEAM based maker education, Design Thinking, and technology to catalyze agency. Be immersed in learning experiences that foster creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and curiosity.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Mentimeter.com
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Innovative learning environments
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Language arts, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
For Educators:
  • Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.
Related exhibitors: Seesaw Learning

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this presentation is to support educators in developing an understanding that we can empower learning and a culture of innovation through fostering trusting relationships, using divergent thinking protocols and leveraging technology. Participants will learn how to integrate Design Thinking into authentic learning experiences (problem based learning) and infuse elements of maker education as we create wearable technology for the purpose of developing a solution to a relevant problem. Individuals will walk away with a strong understanding of how to spark curiosity and incorporate creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking into any content area. Additionally, participants will grasp how they can leverage technology for similar uses that empower learners to personalize their own learning (Book Creator, Explain Everything, Google Apps for Education, and more!). These apps and websites serve as tools to curate learning, present information, demonstrate understanding and add creative touches unique to each learner. During the session we will use Mentimeter and Padlet (not limited to-always changing) for sharing out, gathering information, and collective brainstorming. Participants will be going through a sample lesson using inquiry that they can turnkey with any age group or share back with colleagues.

I will employ Design Thinking from IDEO, use of technology for interaction, and share the success I have seen in our school and across our district. Learners have deepened their ability to communicate thinking and develop ideas further, leading to innovative advancements in the classroom. This session is filled with tips and strategies that can be implemented in any classroom in addition to technology that can be integrated to empower choice.


I. Introductions: Meet the presenter (7 min)
-Attention drawn to the visible thinking graphic organizer QR code (paper version available too).
-Sharing of contest to receive books that focus on cultures of innovation/empowering learning/learner-centered environments
-Story sharing my why and sparking curiosity on how we can reimagine learning

II. Journey to reconnect with our why. (10 minutes)
-What is Divergent Thinking? Why is it essential? What occurs in its absence? (Supportive research)
-Interactive activity: participants first independently brainstorm future success skills of learners. The purpose is to avoid groupthink and encourage confidence in learners to consider their own ideas PRIOR to sharing with a team.
-Peer-to-peer discussion of what they independently brainstormed
-Then, learners are exposed to the 'talk moves' strategies that foster a culture of risk-taking in the classroom and develops a system for collaborative conversation that leads to deeper communication amongst learners.
-We share out in the room using the protocol to gain experience as learners would.
-Device Interaction using Mentimeter: collectively identify the skills learners will acquire from school that they cannot from YouTube or through Googling the answer to.
-Agency (what it means) and avenues we can foster it.
-Continuum of compliance vs. agency.

III. Creating a Culture that Empowers Learning (15 minutes)
-Peer-to-Peer: What are key elements required in every classroom or school to empower a culture of innovation?
-Leveraging the elements (examples, sharing out on Device using Mentimeter)
-Goal setting and power of reflection
-Culture of yes in the classroom (student leadership)
-Consider what is the outcome or skill you want to cultivate prior to selecting technology.
-Discuss purpose of tech and share my top recommended tech (along with supportive evidence) in the classroom to create, collaborate, communicate, and demonstrate thinking/learning (PowToon, Explain Everything, Book Creator, WeVideo, EdPuzzle, Google Apps, StoryboardThat, ThingLink, SeeSaw Flipgrid and Buncee, are included but always adding on). I do not go into depth about each. Rather, I hit on overarching capabilities and providing choice to learners to express and demonstrate creativity through which ever they select. These are options for educators to select from or rather have their learners select from after exposure. I also am detailed in explaining how I scaffold tech and integrate it beginning in September and how to develop confidence in this area.
-Device Share Mentimeter: Visible Thinking (Think, See, Wonder and/or Think, Puzzle, Explore) I change this up depending on the image selected closer to the conference.

IV. Infusing Authenticity in Learning (18 min)
-Student voice (hear from actual students via videos created using iMovie and WeVideo)
-Interactive Mentimeter: what key words or phrases did we hear from students?
-Bringing together the overarching elements of maker education, project based and passion infused learning into any area.
-Introduction to Design Thinking
-Problem posed: As an engineer, how could we design a form of wearable technology to help assist the boys' soccer team trapped in a cave in Thailand? (Start with empathizing (ask questions), define specifics of the problem, ideate and then prototype.)
-Participants will take pictures capturing their creation and post on our interactive Padlet. They will add text explaining what their creation does. There will also be an opportunity to share out in the room as well.
-Interactive discussion on authentic topics that are relevant to our learners and power of carving out the time for learners to develop interests, leading to passions.

V: Reaching our potential (10 minutes)
-Taking projects similar to the above and connecting globally.
-Example of our class partnering with two classes in New Mexico. This year we will partner with Colorado. Learners participate in STEAM/maker education challenges via Zoom, receive authentic feedback regarding their prototypes from peers in the other state and the redesign. We reconnect after refining our work, then test via Zoom.
-Story of Jason (student who was always ingenuitive but now struggles in high school due to lack of empowerment, relevancy, and a focus on consuming content and completing assessments).
-Call to action: Our kids deserve more, we can create incredible opportunities in any grade level or content area through trusting relationships, empowering learning, fostering agency, developing authentic experiences and integrating STEAM, maker education, and Design Thinking.
-Device Share on Mentimenter: Closing by sharing one goal to start with learned in today's session

Supporting research

“Keys to Successful Elementary Technology Centers.” In: Find Your Path: Integrating Technology in the Elementary Classroom. Learner Agency and Personalized Learning: http://edimagine.com/
“The Element” (Book) or “Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity” (TED Talk) http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html – Sir Ken Robinson - Demonstrates the need go beyond rote, cookie cutter learning to tap into an transformed educational system that fundamentally values creativity and discovers potential. “Drive” (Book) – Daniel H. Pink – Demonstrates the need to motivate students for lifelong learning and develop intrinsic motivation through heuristic tasks, which are engaged for the joy and task itself. “Framework for 21st Century Learning” by Partnership for 21st Century Skills, http://www.p21.org/overview/skills-framework “Meaningful Learning with Technology” by Jane Howland, David Jonassen, and Rose Marra
Design Thinking for Educators, website at http://www.designthinkingforeducators.comHow might we...create the next innovator? article by Lisa Abel-Palmier; https://www.iste.org/explore/ArticleDetail?articleid=79
Seth Godin, "Stop Stealing Dreams," https://sethgodin.typepad.com/files/stop-stealing-dreams6print.pdf

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Elisabeth Bostwick, Inspire Innovation

Elisabeth Bostwick is passionate about sparking curiosity and unleashing creativity to empower learning. Driven to elevate education and support educators, she works as a consultant to support maker education, leveraging technology to enhance learning, and fostering a culture of innovation. Elisabeth is a PBS Digital Innovator and was the recipient of the New York State Excellence in Teaching award. Her first book, Education Write Now Volume II, Top Strategies for Improving Relationships and Culture, will release in December 2018. In early January 2019, her second book, Take the L.E.A.P., Ignite a Culture of Innovation will be released.

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