Educator Brian Briggs Puts Innovation in Motion

Educator Brian Briggs Puts Innovation in Motion

Educator Brian Briggs Puts Innovation in Motion

It’s no secret that California has some pretty innovative educators. Brian Briggs, Director of Innovation for a Northern California elementary school district, is a product of that progressive mindset, and makes his name integrating coding, STEAM, and science into the curriculum.  Brian will be moderating Monday’s #Tynkerchat, with our dedicated code-minded educators. Here’s a little more about Brian:      

Brian Briggs is the Director of Innovation and Instructional Technology for Plumas Lake Elementary School District. Brian enjoys working with teachers and students teaching, training and learning alongside them with new and exciting topics in Educational Technology. He loves the use of coding and robots, and has always been a nut for hands on Science. Brian is most excited about STEAM is the creating of projects and getting students engaged, also getting them involved working with and creating curriculum. He also loves seeing the excitement of students and teachers working together as teams to create or complete a desired goal.  You can reach him on Twitter at @BriBriggs

This week, Brian shared his vision of innovation with us: 

1. As the Director of Innovation for your school district, how would you say innovation is being defined in education right now?

I would say that innovation in education is not always about technology. I think innovation occurs in all areas of education that are looking to change or improve policies, services and/or programs in creative ways for all students

2. What is your advice to teachers who fear the word “innovation?”

Innovation does not mean a radical change in the current methods, it can be baby steps of change toward the greater goal.  So I would advise to have teachers that fear the word to just take small steps until they feel comfortable. 

3. Is it okay for students to know more about a subject than their teachers (like Computer Science)? How do schools get beyond that, if so?

I think it is acceptable for students to know more than their teachers. Teachers should be asking for the students’ assistance in fields like Computer Science and actually learn these processes together, collaboratively. For example, look at the videos on YouTube create and produced by students. Some are self taught so these are skills that they can bring to education even if they were not learned in the classroom.

4. How important would you say Computer Science is right now for our students?

I think computer science is a very important skills for students right now especially with career and college readiness. More and more jobs are requiring programming abilities to even be considered for a position from agriculture jobs to Zoologists.

5. Though controversial, some schools have started offering CS as an alternative to foreign language. Is that an acceptable solution to fitting it into the schedule?

I think it is acceptable alternative and more relevant in this day of age. This is a great option too for those students that what to learn a trade or vocational route. I see it as wonderful alternative to a foreign language and to be honest, I can’t speak the foreign language that I was taught in high school & college. 

***

Thanks again Brian! We’ll look for you on Twitter at @BriBriggs

Join Brian as he moderates #Tynkerchat for us this Monday. 

Join #TynkerChat here!

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Daniel Rezac is the Education Community Manager at Tynker. He's been a science teacher, a technology coach, STEAM Coordinator, and school Tech Director working with students from Pre-K to adults. Feel free to reach out to him at daniel [at] tynker.com.

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