Zach Rondot, M. Ed.
4th Grade Teacher
Masters of Educational Technology
Grayson McKinney, Ed. S.
4th Grade Teacher
Educational Specialist, Administration & Leadership
Welcome to Our Blog!
We are Zach Rondot (@MrRondot) and Grayson McKinney (@GMcKinney2), two youngish and innovative teachers from Troy, Michigan. We are passionate about being innovative in our practice and pushing the need for innovation in education. Our goal in creating this blog is to show you how we have come to leverage technology in our classroom to cultivate critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity – skills that empower our students to find their voice and make their thinking visible – while preparing them for the jobs of the future.
This summer we went to a professional development in our district led by George Couros (author of The Innovator’s Mindset), and we were inspired to create a blog to share our ideas of innovation and the way we use technology to transform the learning in our classroom. Other sources of our inspiration come from leaders in the educational world – Mark Church and Ron Ritchhart (From Harvard University’s Project Zero, and co-authors of Making Thinking Visible).
Our hope is to one day add our names to the register of movers and shakers of educational reform. With our combined elementary teaching experience of 14 years, we have discovered many effective strategies that work when it comes to integrating and leveraging technology to get the most out of kids. We’re here to share our expertise with you, and hope to create a community of like-minded educators that can connect, share, and improve our teaching practices!
This is your opportunity to design schools that value creation over compliance, and making over memorizing. -George Couros (@gcouros)
Our Path to Innovation
To borrow George Couros’ definition from The Innovator’s Mindset, “Innovation is a way of thinking that creates something new and better. Innovation can come from either “invention” (something totally new) or “iteration” (a change of something that already exists)” (Couros, 2015). It is important to note that innovation can be a physical creation but often times it is simply a mind shift in which one sees traditional education through a new lens, serving a new purpose.
Why Do we need Innovation for Education??
Here are a few stats for you, form the National Math + Science Initiative:
- McKinsey Global Institute estimates that 320 million manufacturing jobs globally will be affected by 3D printing.
- United States Department of Labor estimates that 65% of students in grade school today will have a job that has not been invented yet.
- The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 60% of job openings in the 21st century will require skills that only 20% of the American workforce now possesses.
As you can see, we are no longer preparing our students to work on an assembly line for 30 years. We are preparing students who will come up with a new and better way for robots to complete tasks more efficiently on an assembly line. We must raise a generation of students who have the essential 21st-century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication – and we think we are on to the way to do just that. Follow us on our journey, and learn how to create the next generation of movers and shakers of our country and the world.
For the first time in history, we are preparing students for a future that we cannot clearly describe. -Unknown