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Digital innovation

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Duration: 2:20

At Aorere College, all year nine students take a whole year’s course called Digital Innovation and Design as a core subject. This gives students a foundation in digital fluency, digital technologies, and design to use across all learning areas. DP, Stuart Kelly introduces how innovation requires students to have confidence in themselves and be prepared to fail as part of the process. Technology teacher, Muzzafer Ali uses LEGO as a vehicle to explore innovation with his students. Student, Rakshay summarises why he thinks innovation is important, "to build something that could better someone else’s life."

Audio Visual

Title slide: Digital innovation

enabling e-Learning

Stuart Kelly, Deputy principal 

What I love about this course is that anything the students create is innovative because it hasn’t existed before. And, this is a fundamental concept of the 9DID programme. 

Stuart speaking to the camera.
Where students get freedom (within certain parameters) they can go for gold. Image – text: Curiosity and Creation, symbol: paintbrush and spanner.
So for example when a student is building a website, we don’t tell them, “You need to put a picture behind your header or in your header.” Students will just go do that.  Student on a computer looking at their own website.
Others students, we don’t tell them how they have to do their layout that is completely up to the students. And so, what we’ve seen is that innovation takes time, we can’t say to them, first period, "Right, innovate!” Because a lot of innovation is confidence, as much as ability. Stuart speaking to the camera.
And so, for example when we get the students building LEGO structures we get them building emotions. We get them building bridges. Students in groups, building structures with LEGO.
We also get them to build the house of their dreams, or a futuristic machine that hasn’t existed.

Student on computer, designing a house.

Student scrolling through screens on laptop

Innovation is a very powerful construct but it needs to be supported by saying to the students – it’s not the end product. Innovation is a process rather than an outcome. And, what we’ve found is increasingly as the students are comfortable with the whole fail concept they are more likely to have a go. Stuart speaking to the camera.

Muzaffar Ali, Digital Technology teacher

I’m not sure if innovation can necessarily be taught.

Muzaffar speaking to the camera.
I think it is something that we can try to encourage students to, you know, how do you bring about everything that’s around you in an innovative and creative way? Muzaffar standing in front of a class teaching.
For example, in the DID classes we look at innovation through, Two students building with LEGO at a desk.
“Hey these are the resources available and this is an outcome that you are trying to achieve. Now how are you going to get there?”  Muzaffar speaking to the camera.
For example in the LEGO unit that we have, we try to get students to think about you are very limited in resources again. So you only have LEGO but you’re trying to build a tower that represents something that is abstract Two students building a LEGO tower at a desk.
or you’re trying to build something that’s completely abstract – now, how are you going to materialise that? Muzaffar speaking to the camera.

Rakshay, student

To me innovation is helping to, like, build something to help other people. So I could create a software, or a robot, or something that could better someone else’s life.

Rakshay speaking to the camera.

Tags: Technology, Secondary, Digital fluency, Design, Kia Ako