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capss' innovation committee

Innovation Wave graphic
Innovation Wave - December 2019

As we ponder the impact of innovations and adaptations on society, our schools and ourselves, the notion and reality of deep transition — or transitions — frames my thinking.

It is said life is defined by transitions. Nothing ever stays the same. Some Buddhist philosophers, and some country singers, might say: “You can’t step into the same river twice.”

That seems right.

The river flows.

How do we prepare our students for a hyper-connected global society defined by significant changes? We cannot predict how the river will flow and change. We can only give our kids the tools to adapt and manage the transitions.

Speaking of transition:

CAPSS has connected with Check out the website. The book by founder Marc Freedman (How to Live Forever) is worthwhile as background.

As we transition into a new global reality of a huge and growing population of elders living longer lives, the need for innovation in how we accomplish meaningful, sustainable intergenerational relationships becomes essential. We are well positioned to act!

Leaders as creators

This might vs. this better

Most of the time, we approach our tasks with the mantra of, “this better work.”

Far better to say, “this might work.”

If you’re designing a bridge or a pacemaker, I’m begging you to embrace established norms and build something that’s going to work, every single time.

For the rest of us, though, the task is to leap forward, to improve, to explore the next frontier.

“This might work” is the slogan for a scientist, an artist and a linchpin.

~ Seth Godin Nov. 17, 2019

Take a look:

Children on tablet_credit: Klaus Vedfelt-Getty

Photo credit: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty

Bring Games and Sports to Classrooms Already

It’s time schools acknowledge that games offer more practical and tangible value than most other subjects taught.

Bernie Bleske
Nov 10 · 5 min read



TedEd logo

11/12/19, 4:00 PM
“People who really change the world are the people who were met with initial and often violent rejections. These people did not let rejection define them. They let their own reaction after rejection define themselves.”


edutopia (@edutopia)

edutopia logo

11/13/19, 7:36 PM
“SEL is in every setting and interaction. It's part of being human. If things get separated into one space, the work is not happening as effectively as it should." Here’s how to teach social emotional skills in an already crowded school day.


RSA Innovation Education Network


Getting Smart: The Future is ...


I am hopeful you find some of these resources to be of value!

Please send me some links and resources you are working with and contemplating so I can add them.

Thank you. 

Chris Clouet
Shelton Public Schools

September 2019 - Innovation Wave

The beginning of the school year –always so busy. But when isn’t it so busy? Is there ever such a time for us? I have not been able to find it, except for the occasional journeys to a deserted beach. (but then – those carnivorous sharks on the prowl, talk about redistricting!)

I am hopeful the column Innovation Wave can become a destination, a respite of sorts, for finding or encountering information to inspire you, to share with staff and parent groups –or to share with your Board.

innovation wave 9-2019

I wish it could be as grand as the awe-provoking Brain Pickings (Maria Popova). It won’t be, sadly. Like you, I too am always trying to balance the more technocratic aspects of the work with opportunities for thinking about the meaning of our efforts in the context of a world in transformation.

Innovation Wave is meant to be a collective effort. By that I mean, if you would please send me links to interesting articles, podcasts, book reviews, and/or some commentary you would like to share with colleagues about your vision for designing, encouraging and leading the way along the pathway of innovative practices.

In my humble opinion, innovation is about our capacity as humans to adapt. As creatures we adapt to survive, and as moody sentient beings we adapt to find pleasure in our existence. We innovate. We plant gardens, invent musical instruments, systems of writing, and the internet. We harness electricity. We make weapons.

It is said we are already in the 4th Industrial Revolution (I highly recommend we all give a listen to presidential candidate, Andrew Yang, on this, whether or not you are interested in voting for him.) Although we often hear (or are told) that our public schools look just like they did in the 19th Century, I don’t buy it.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution, finally, will change not only what we do but also who we
are. It will affect our identity and all the issues associated with it: our sense of privacy, our
notions of ownership, our consumption patterns, the time we devote to work and leisure, and how we develop our careers, cultivate our skills, meet people, and nurture relationships.”
Klaus Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution

innovation wave 9-2019 chart


The Fourth Industrial Revolution

We have all been a part of substantial changes and innovations in the designs we use to organize and deliver instruction, how we measure learning growth, and how we incorporate true student voice and choice into the work. And then there is the use of ever-evolving tools.

No, we aren’t locked into the 19th Century and Horace Mann would be disoriented if he did a walk-through in one our many schools. But, in 2019, we may be confined somewhat by 20th Century models. We are in transition. Our practices and tools – even our mission. As David N. Perkins (Harvard Graduate School of Education) writes in Future Wise – Educating Our Children for a Changing World (2014) we must consider the “return-on-learning” (ROL) when designing our offerings for students.

That is what Innovation Wave is for. It is a space where we can share and propose our respective visions of what innovation and adaptability mean to us as school district leaders on our small planet that is getting warmer and more crowded.

While I am generally peace-oriented fellow, like all of you I like to read outside of our professional journals.

The new Marine Corps Commandant, Gen. David Berger, issued an updated Commandant’s Planning Guidance (July 2019). He writes: “ We cannot afford to retain outdated policies, doctrine, organizations or force development strategies.”

Sound familiar?

He is planning to lead his forces to adapt to the new challenges, threats and opportunities his forces may confront.

So it is with educators. Our job as leaders charged with preparing our youth for the future requires us to co-create the future with our colleagues, our staffs, our students and communities. We need to encourage much of the state’s political leadership take their eyes off of the rearview mirror.

Resources for your consideration:

On Linkedin? Check this out

Thinking about strategies for weaving technology into more personalized learning approaches and aligning your work to their well-thought-out standards? iNacol is tremendous!

Thinking about innovation in light of social fragmentation? Check this out Or, check this out

Do we need better, more intentional and meaningful multigenerational interaction? (better the occasional chorus visiting a senior center) Check out

Innovation Wave

CAPSS is committed to ongoing efforts to share ideas regarding current effective education practices in Connecticut and around the world with the membership. The Innovation Committee will offer a regular mini-column highlighting links to interesting articles and reviews, as well as podcasts related to expansive concepts of innovation in our work.

Although it has become cliché to proclaim the accelerating pace of change will transform every aspect of human existence –it doesn’t mean it is not true.

As leaders in our field, we are so often bogged down in negotiations, problem resolution and politics of all sorts that we often have little time to explore. Innovation Wave will offer thought-provoking links to ideas and practices both in education and from outside.

Innovation Wave will be linked to our website, but will also be pushed out to you via this small column in our Leader's Report.

Please send me news of activities in your district that you would be open to having colleagues visit. An aspect of our redesigning of the education experiences of our students is to redesign the partnerships among our group.

Check out these links:

NOVA: The Design Process: From Idea to Solution | PBS Learning Media

Fast Company

Stanford Innovation Lab with Tina Seelig | Apple Podcasts

There are two key underpinnings to Innovation Wave.

1.    No one is the expert on all things ‘innovative’.
2.    We need to share our successes, our failures to launch, and our works in progress.

We can do this! Other states are committed to adapting public education to the transformations underway. We cannot afford to be the ‘land of steady habits’.

The leadership network of CAPSS can be leaders of innovation.


Chris Clouet
Innovation Committee Chair