Innovative companies like Google and Apple invest a ton of money in research and development.
For every idea or project that hits big, there are many ideas that don’t make it. This is because the R&D team is constantly trying and failing.
In education, we don’t invest a great deal of money into research and development, although many educators try to incorporate R&D on their own accord. It would be great if every educator could commit some of their valuable time for R&D purposes to increase efficiency in the learning process, as well as the added bonus of modeling innovation for students.
Using time for R&D can help your school or classroom experience these added benefits:
Creating new innovations. Taking the time to try new things and experiment within the classroom might just lead to an innovative breakthrough. Many of the Edtech platforms and tools that we use everyday started as a simple idea in a classroom.
Adding features to existing products. Sometimes, trying to develop an added wrinkle to an already existing process ultimately enhances the classroom. For example, try adding digital tools to your communication process to increase your audience or to more easily share information.
Gaining Knowledge of Existing Systems/Processes. Researching and trying new things can help you to figure out what already works or doesn’t work for you or your students. You may try something and learn that there is a reason you had been doing it a certain way. You might be able to learn a lot about your students’ reading habits by simply observing them throughout a 20 minute reading session.
Increased efficiency and productivity. Constantly focusing on R&D helps to make your classroom run smoother and more productively. Are the routines/procedures that you started the year with now slowing down the learning process for students? Spend a week trying out new routines to see which help students to be more efficient. After a week, put the best routines in place.
Commitment to Driving Ahead. Some of the best and most forward-thinking educators are those who are willing to use R&D to find the best learning opportunities and experiences for students. Those who are willing to try and fail are constantly finding themselves at the forefront of innovation in education.
Some ideas that we try will not work, but some will, and that is how we continue to improve the education system.