Disruption of Innovation

June 8, 2020

Its been a few months since the COVID19 pandemic has taken over the United states and Higher Education has been effected in so many ways.   I was thinking about Innovation and how it effects hands on learning where I have spent the last few years working to build facilities, events and programs that rotate around experiential learning is the key.  We are going through a disruption that effects innovation.  So I ask you these simple questions with my answers.  I am looking for others to share their thoughts and ideas.

Post COVID19 world, what does Active Learning look like? (How does this effect learning?)  

Active learning is the key to entering the marketplace, we have seen that team dynamics are so much more successfully then us working individually on projects.  I have noticed that since I have been working from home our Higher Education institution has become more siloed, instead of the cross discipline collaboration that works very well at our institution.   I think it is out of necessity as well as for the easy of ensuring things run smoothly.

I have been looking for and experimenting with a way to break down these boundaries, one of the experiments that I have been liking is a group virtual meeting that can be hosted by anyone of the members that they can enter the room (we call it VINE) and see, talk, and interact with.  Body language is so important in any conversation we have to remember that visual queue’s help so much in how we understand what the speaker is telling us.   So far we have found VINE to give the team of collaboration and joint purpose.

This is something I am thinking in relation to learning, breakout rooms are good but are only as good as the group that is working together.  I am looking to explore a way of how to facilitate like I would do in person by walking around the class and talking to each team in a virtual way.  Yes I could bounce between breakout rooms but then how do I announce something or demonstrate a great idea one of the teams came up with on the spot.  This has been one of those great things about active learning when a group comes up with an idea that demonstrates the concept in a way their generation understands so much better then I.

Post COVID19, What do MakerSpaces look like?

This has been a more difficult question for me since Makerspaces are all about using technological systems for gaining, hands on experience as well as creating something that may be different or something you weren’t sure on how to do in the past.  By having education programs, events and hands on skills this allows the innovator to create, develop and even fail in a safe space.  This is a complicated part of learning but necessary to apply what students are experiencing in the classroom.

So how will they change, I think it will revolve around less people in the facilities and the focus will be on how to help individuals accomplish their tasks maybe more in a timed way.  Either but having to make appointments to come into the spaces and or reserving a specific piece of technology.  This will allow them to operate it safely but still have access to the needed systems that may change the world.

I think there will also be a limit to the amount of people that can use the systems such as 3D printers in the new model, but I am hoping that Post COVID19 we will be able to bring the technology to them.  I am thinking through a more virtual way where they can actually control the machines through their computer.  They can make the adjustments, configurations and software changes but someone onsite loads the materials they are using for building the prototype.


These are big questions.  What are your ideas?


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