Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Jesus was an Innovator.


INNOVATION: The place where NEED and PASSION intersect under an umbrella of CREATIVITY

It is my opinion that Jesus was the ultimate innovator. Out of wine at a wedding? No problem, let me turn some water into wine for this shindig. Too many people to feed? No problem, give me a few loaves and fishes and I'll feed this crowd. The masses won't listen to me? Oh well, I'll go hang out with the people that aren't accepted and love and accept them. Need to spread the word? I'll gather together a random group of men to share the good news. Speaking of good news, they aren't really listening to the message, I know...I'll speak in parables so that my message will be relevant forever. Jesus looked for ways to be innovative to best meet the needs of people. As a christian, spending time looking at how Jesus taught others is part of my life. As an educator, I can't help but see that his teaching would be considered entertaining, as well as cutting edge in many ways. His tactics were questioned by the traditional masses. His scope and sequence, curriculum mapping and goals seemed gasp worthy at times. 

When Jesus prayed for his disciples he said in John 17:14 "I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world." It is commonly heard in Christian circles that we are to be in this world but not of it. Is this not the place that innovation begins? Are we not then called to be innovators? Did Jesus not model reaching every person with his message- not just the Jewish people but the Gentiles as well? Not just those that appeared morally upright but the tax collectors and prostitutes?

Forgive the analogy but does that not also mean that I have a responsibility to teach not only the easy student but the hard student as well? Could that possibly mean looking for ways to innovatively personalize the educational process for each student? Dare I say tapping into the use of technology that allows for this type of thing to not only be possible but to be a positive impact on education for students that often don't see education in a positive light? 

If I am to be seen as different in this world is it to utilize my innovative "bent" for a greater good? Is that truly even different in today's world? If I am to be different in this world, does that mean speaking into things like artificial intelligence, algorithms and iOT devices from a biblical perspective?

If I am to be different in this world, am I to teach others as individuals and not as a collective whole? Am I to do away with the concept of average? Am I to be seen as a rebel or a revolutionary in the educational arena? This is all about me but what about other educators? What should education look like in the future? Contemporary or classical? I think we would all agree not antiquated. Is there a right or a wrong perspective? Can the varying perspectives live harmoniously together? If I expect to reach the individual student should I not also have respect for the individual teacher?  How much innovation is enough? Too much? How do we measure it's effectiveness? Should that be a goal? 

I do believe Jesus was an innovator. I wrestle with what a modern day Jesus would look like- what modes of communication would he tap into? How would he teach the masses? I do believe Jesus was an innovator. In a world that weekly creates efficiencies to both learn the user and streamline the learning process through technology advancements, I believe I am called to be an innovator as well...for the masses.