Breakout Group: Innovation for Everyone

Breaking Out of the Box: Students as Innovators

March 22, 2017

Breakout Group: _____Innovation for Everyone: Scaffolding for Successful innovation from ALL students

Mentor(s): _____Becca Garrison and Stacey Schultz_______________

Breakout Group Summary: In this group we will be discussing ways to support ALL students in becoming innovators. Young students, students with special needs, and students who are learning English are all capable of working as innovators in the classroom. If teachers utilize the right tools, they can break down barriers and give access to all students to use their creative power, and grow as a learner and contribute to their peer’s learning as well.

Resource Name


Audience/ Grade level

Description: Why/How/When to use

Background Information to Get Started

What a Decade of Education Research Tells Us About Technology in the Hands of Underserved Students

Article for Teachers

Application for all students

This article synthesizes education technology resources to draw the conclusion that students in underprivileged situations are negatively impacted beyond lack of access by lack of creativity in digital assignments. The article offers five strategies for moving beyond remediation on to innovation in order to close the achievement gap

Multimodal Learning Clubs

Article for Teachers

Application for all

Consider multimodality as a way to help ELL students express themselves through language and other systems of communication.

How do special education students benefit from technology?

Article for teachers, Special Education application

Research-based explanation for why it is essential to use digital tools in innovative ways with special needs students, including reference to supportive tools.

Innovative Practice: 5 Strategies for the Early Learning Classroom

Early learners

Elizabeth Garcia offers concrete examples of how to support  innovative thinking among the youngest students.

Redesigning Your Space for Innovation


This site offers a variety of ideas to make your space work for all students. A space that inspires students to learn and innovate!

Tools to Break Down Barriers

TOOL: VoiceThread

Application for all students

This tool allow students to easily assemble images and add speech to create a project to share.

TOOL: Piktochart

Application for all students

Piktochart allows individuals to easily create infographics to synthesize information and share it with the world in a new way!

TOOL: Canva

Grades 3 and up

Simple tool for creating graphics, flyers, etc. which students can use to express their ideas in visually stunning ways.

Storytelling Apps that get English Language Learners Talking

Students Learning English  

This article walks through 6 different resources that can be used to support ELLs in telling stories. By creating stories of their own, students get the opportunity to think creatively and share their work

UDL Tech Toolkit

Application for all students

This site helps you find tools that will help break down barriers for your students and give them access to sharing their learning.

UDL Strategies Toolkit

Application for all students

Another site to help you find tools to break down barriers. It’s organized differently and highlights some additional tools.

Examples of Innovation in Action

Innovation in Elementary School

K-5 Students

AJ Juliani provides connections to inspiring teacher blogs in grades K-5 to give you an idea of what innovation with young students can look like.

Inclusive Classrooms Teacher Inquiry Projects

Application for all students

On this site, explore a variety of different projects and the innovative ways teachers engaged students. You’ll be able to read about the questions the teachers asked, the resources they used and the different outcomes.

Discussion Notes:

-One word to go with innovation for everyone

  • Inspired, Excited x 3, Attainable, Worried, Work in

  • Progress, Hopeful, Overwhelmed

  • Options for our group

  • Question or idea you have about innovation for everyone:

    • How can I harness students’ knowledge and strengths to give them ownership over learning? Can students themselves support all students’ learning (perhaps in the form of mentors, groupings, etc.)? E/F/G: //////

    • As a single classroom teacher ( I am alone- with a lot of equipment - a tech teacher), how can I scaffold for ELL’s and SPED and HIGH learners? I get mired, and different entry points aren’t a possibility when I am trying  to teach things such as CS, so how can I assess appropriately? Additionally , we are 30% SPED and I teach almost the ENTIRE school. It’s a lot to manage! F (but very related to E)

    • When we think of “all” students, the “typical” categories come to mind - ELL, SWD primarily - but what are other ways to think about “all” students that is more inclusive or provides a stronger picture? C ////

    • How can I incorporate technology innovations in a large (32 students) kindergarten classroom to meet the wide variety of needs? A iii

    • I teach in a gifted and talented middle school but we have a few students with IEPs, so I’m struggling with constantly scaffolding UP and scaffolding DOWN. How can I group students effectively in an innovative classroom with a very wide range of abilities? G

    • How can I support teachers with Spec Ed students to be sure technology is not an obstacle?

    • What are some purposeful technology and literacy strategies for elementary students? D /

    • Making activities fun for all students , students will be to conceptually understand content. B  ////

  • Take curriculum

    • Look at EQ’s

      • Examine kids

        • +/- etc

          • How to give access based on that?

          • Think about 3-5 specific kids

            • Helps to plan for all that way


  • Interested in technology


  • Self-control

    • Self control can be taught. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (and other mindfulness-based approaches) that teach students to identify emotions and create distance from them (“I am tired” becomes “I have the feeling of tiredness)

    • The Happiness Trap” is the layperson’s guidebook with mindfulness-based strategies to teach emotional regulation explicitly. I advise the book but free web resources are available at:

  • Responsible use of technology

  • Poor reading skills

  • Poor self control

  • The need to listen to music while working rather than how to leverage technological instruction (ie online resources)

Performance Task:

  • Example-Students had to design a new package for 12 cans of coke

  • Resource-Inclusive Classrooms Inquiry Project-Differentiation for A Growth Mindset

Younger Students

  • Voice Thread: To use with the younger students

  • Project Based for Math?

  • Using SeeSaw

Social-Emotional Learning

Storytelling App

  • Getting kids speaking

  • Thinking about kids and what’s best for them