Still catching up: Episode 1, prompt 1, Season 2 #IMMOOC

What do you see as the purpose of education?  Why might innovation be crucial in education?

So much to learn, so little time. My mantra.

I want for my students to enjoy the pursuit of knowledge so much that they never want to stop learning. Anything. Anytime. I want them to ask good questions, and to be able to discern high quality answers. It is not about the content. In my mind, it never has been. If electron configurations are important to a student’s passion, then they will learn them. If not; I am happy if they realize that there is something about atomic structure that defines, predicts, requires a particular behavior. I do not see it as “settling” for lesser knowledge if that abandonment of specific detail means that they understand there are details they don’t know, but may need to ask about – and oh, by the way… how does science do x, y, or z – that’s a win.

Jeff Hoffman gave a talk at the end of 4th Deshpande Symposium ( that was inspiring. He gave in one line, in my opinion, the reasons we must be innovative in education: it today’s world we have a “democracy of information” that transcends traditional boundaries. And it’s how we use that information that is at our fingertips that is so important.

We are educating in a different world. We know things instantaneously, and don’t have to wait  for the morning newspaper, or even the nightly news. It is our responsibilities as educators to enable and empower our students to understand and progress the world they live in.

(image from: