A nursery is a set of agronomic facilities in which all kinds of plants are planted, germinated, matured and hardened. It is a very useful metaphor when applied to the field of innovation, as we can call the physical or virtual place where new ideas or projects are born that are duly supported so that they can move forward and develop. This is the case of the Educational Innovation Nursery, an initiative that was born in Argentina and that constitutes a community workspace, focused on innovation and collaborative work, through a social network of teaching and learning.
Basically, the Nursery aims to contribute to the professional development of teachers who work in Argentine classrooms and are interested in critically reviewing their teaching practices and incorporating innovation components including ICT into them, through the design and application of collaborative projects.
As a broader and more ambitious objective, this project aims to contribute to the creation of a network of Ibero-American teachers who work in communities of learning and practice, so that each school and each classroom becomes a producer centre of open innovation. and distributed.
It is, therefore, a way of supporting the teacher who feels like transforming and modernizing their profession, but who often faces this task of innovation alone, afflicted by the frequent misunderstanding of the environment and the pressure of the school day today. In the Educational Innovation Nursery, the education professional will find other innovative teachers like him to share experiences, exchange ideas and collaborate on projects together.
The methodology underlying this initiative is based on a pedagogical accompaniment model, through which:
Each participating teacher/school identifies the strengths in their teaching practices, in institutional management and in the design of projects (linked to the different dimensions of school work) that they consider and propose as innovators. b) Each teacher/school identifies aspects that require revision of the ways of doing and/or incorporation of knowledge and training to enrich the way of doing and/or achieve the proposed objectives. c) Each teacher/school decides the horizontal connection and exchanges with colleagues/institutions that are travelling the same path of innovation and who are at different points along the way (with more or less progress, with more or less experienced), with the purpose of joining learning and practice communities, working collaboratively and learning online.
Two of the most important pieces that make up the Educational Innovation Nursery are the Stonemasons and the Collaboratory.
The Stonemasons are working groups made up of the network of teachers involved in Fundación Telefónica Argentina projects. Each of these groups has a specific work program and, at the same time, develops its exchanges and carries out its tasks guided by purposes, objectives and ways of doing that are common to all stonemasons.
On the other hand, the Collaboratory as a meeting and exchange space for teachers interested in developing collaborative projects that involve students from the schools in which each of them works. By working in learning communities and communities of practice, the aim is to study in-depth the design and scope of collaborative projects in general, and in particular on:
ICT convergence educational experiences.
Educational experiences that link art and ICT.
Values education projects and citizenship training within the framework of mobile youth culture.
The Nursery of Educational Innovation is a project still in seed but that potentially can contribute a lot to the educational community and which I will continue talking about.