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Collaborative innovation: What is it and why does it matter to our students?

Just about one month ago we celebrated the 40th anniversary of MacLachlan College with our Ruby Gala. It was a splendid affair and a great chance to get dressed up while enjoying the company of many of our parents and school friends.

While there were many highlights during the evening one in particular stands out. A group of teachers and parents performed a flash mob dance number that brought the crowd to its feet.

It was fun and brilliantly executed. You can catch some of the action here. It got me thinking about collaboration and innovation. This group had never done anything like this before and they worked very hard to pull it off. Have you ever noticed that those things which appear so seamlessly effortless are the result of endless hours of practice, repetition, rehearsal and commitment?

The Home of Disruptive Innovation

Since its founding, MacLachlan has been the home to disruptive innovation. The school’s founder, my mother Audrey Hadfield, believed that every child is unique and as such require an individualized approach to lead them to the achievement of their educational goals. We’ve never veered from that understanding and as we have evolved we understand that the key to innovation is collaboration.

I recently read an article titled Innovating Together: Collaboration as a Driving Force to Improve Student Success on the site er.educause.edu. There was a passage that resonated powerfully with me.

 “Collaboration spurs innovation because bringing together groups of people who have different ideas, approaches, experiences, and areas of expertise creates a fertile environment for generating new concepts and methods. Sharing insights allows ideas to be refined and improved. Charging a group with developing a promising idea incentivizes the group — not just a single individual — to commit to its success and paves the way for trusted collaboration.”*

When I read this it rekindled my confidence and enthusiasm for our school’s strategic direction because it so accurately aligns with our thinking and the process we’ve been using to design our future. We have been actively re-imagining possibilities. In its most succinct form here is what we will do:

MacLachlan College will use the innovation engine to change mindsets and create flexible spaces that reflect learning platforms. 

Join Us As We Re-Imagine Possibilities

Over the next several months I will share with you some of the practicalities of our strategy and you will learn how changes to the physical environment will improve learning, how creating communal spaces for teachers and students will encourage innovative crossfertilization of disciplines and learning, and how MacLachlan students will be future ready!

These are such exciting times at our school and throughout our community. I hope you enjoy my thought leadership blog and invite you to drop me an email and share your comments and thoughts anytime.

Source: * https://er.educause.edu/articles/2015/3/innovating-together-collaboration-as-a-driving-force-to-improve-student-success

Author: MacLachlan College

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