It's very easy to get caught up in new tech tools and cutting edge technology. However, John Spencer, author of Vintage Innovation, reminds us that some skills and strategies are timeless and will aide us as learners and innovators in this ever-changing world. Creativity, empathy, and curiosity drive us to learn, adapt and iterate. Collaboration with others in a valuable project will always be something learners can grow from as well as treasure.
"If they [students] can think divergently and make connections between unrelated ideas they'll actually anticipate change more quickly." John states that this is the heart of Vintage Innovation. He describes Vintage Innovation as "when we use old ideas and tools to transform the present." I can wrap my thinking around this definition but I wonder how Vintage Innovation helps learners anticipate change more quickly. I'm sure as I continue reading, this will become more clear to me.
John has created this video to explain Vintage Innovation in greater detail.
In the classroom, too often, we throw away the old and constantly try new things. While new tools are novel and often engaging, we may be missing the "why" to what we are doing. Or we may be walking through the motions of the new tool instead of being highly intentional with our instruction and pedagogy. There is a need for both new and old ideas and as an experienced teacher, I have always tried to keep what works as well as understand why the strategy works. In fact, sometimes I have abandoned activities and strategies because I didn't understand the purpose. Then later after attending a class or session that taught me the relevance and why to the activity, I brought the activity back into the classroom with great purpose and understanding. Also, where appropriate, I combined these "tried and true" activities with new practices, new skills, and tech tools. While Vintage Innovation isn't specific to teaching, I can't help but make these connections to my instruction.
I've always seen the creative process as a mash-up of influences and it's up to the creator to find a way to create something new by placing his or her own "twist" on the material. I look forward to exploring the topic of Vintage Innovation further and push my thinking of what that means for all the creative, musical students in my music classroom.