Waves of Innovation: The Evolution of Enduring Tools and Practices

Concurrent Session 3
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

We often discuss innovation in terms of emerging tools, but rarely do we reflect on those that have persisted over time.  In this session, we will analyze tools that were once lauded, discuss why they were chosen as exceptional, and address whether they remain relevant in today's classroom.

Extended Abstract

As educators, we often discuss innovation in terms of the tools that are emerging and on the horizon.  Rarely, though, do we reflect on those game-changing tools and practices that have persisted over time.  In this session, we will analyze several tools that were once lauded as exemplary materials for use in the classroom, and discuss why they were chosen as exceptional.  We will continue by addressing how they have been utilized over time, and whether they remain relevant in today’s classroom.

The session presenters, all members of the MERLOT Teacher Education Board, actively participate in the peer review process of open educational resources submitted to the collection.  Annually, the board selects a single material that they deem to be one of the best resources reviewed in that year.  These materials are referred to as MERLOT Classics winners, and they are highlighted in the MERLOT search and actively promoted in the teacher education community.

This highly-interactive presentation will begin with a “walk down memory lane” to review past MERLOT Classics winners.  The presenters will share findings on the substance and quality of these materials over time, and invite participants to share their perceptions of similar tools and how they’ve evolved in usage and effectiveness.  They will also have the opportunity to complete a short survey that invites them to address the following questions:

  • What is a technology that you have used for the past 10 years?

  • How have your practices using this tool changed over time?

  • Why is it still useful?

  • What’s comparable that’s currently out there?

Results of the survey will be broadcast in the session to further facilitate the discussion.  In doing so, participants will contribute to a larger research project on the endurance of innovative tools and practices, which will hopefully be shared in a related session at OLC Innovate 2017 in New Orleans.  

This session seeks to demonstrate through discussion how we evolve in terms of our practice and usage of technology.  Upon the conclusion of this presentation, participants will:

  • Reflect on their current usage of tools and innovative practices, and identify those that have persisted in relevance and effectiveness over time

  • Discover selected open educational resources found within MERLOT that have proven useful over the years

  • Contribute to a larger study on the endurance of innovative tools and practices