Sharing Your Innovation Story

How do you share your school's story of innovation? Is it a singular event, an annual story, or a reflection of the daily actions taking place within our learning community?

My name is Emily MacLean, and I am the Head of Junior School at Branksome Hall, a leading IB World School for girls in Toronto, Canada. As an Apple Distinguished Educator (Class of 2015), I take great pride in our school becoming an Apple Distinguished School in the fall of 2023.

The Apple Distinguished School application process provided our community with a framework to reflect on our vision, current practices and next steps in the realm of innovation. Through the gathering of artifacts and engaging in discussions, we embraced diverse voices within our community, gaining insights into their perspectives on innovation and ongoing initiatives. Our videos to inspire, imagine and impact showcase a snapshot of the incredible collaborations and student voice on display at the school. Both in our Junior School iHub and in every corner of the Junior School, innovation is reshaping our approaches to ensure that students are well-equipped for their future endeavours.

Branksome Hall Junior School iHub

One of my most gratifying moments is witnessing our students enthusiastically share their work and learning experiences in the realm of innovation. I am most proud when it is our students sharing their work and learning. Whether it's guiding prospective families on school tours, presenting at student-led conferences with their parents or teaching their parents about computational thinking during Computer Science Education Week, our students radiate excitement about the learning possibilities and unique experiences facilitated by the use of Apple technologies. Every day is another step in our journey and these moments are important to share. Whether it is our teachers sharing classroom activities on Instagram or X (formerly Twitter), our Communications Team disseminating updates through school channels, or articles being shared with the broader community, each piece is woven into the rich tapestry of our school's narrative. The aim is to capture and communicate the essence of innovation as a daily and integral part of our educational journey.

Other Posts in the Leadership Conversations Series — Continuous Innovation

How do you share your school's story - the vision, evolution and all the unique moments in your community? Share in the comments below.

*Videos for inspire, imagine and impact edited by Megan McKellar, Class of 2023

3 replies

March 04, 2024

My name is Megan McKellar, I am an Innovation & Technology Coordinator, ADE 2023, and have the pleasure of working together with Emily at Branksome Hall. 

Having crafted narratives for two separate Apple Distinguished Schools, I found the transition from a single-page document to the new application's three-video format particularly insightful. This shift demanded deeper reflection on Branksome Hall's innovation journey, pushing us to identify the most impactful and cohesive elements from our learning experiences with Apple products. I would encourage any school leaders to use video curation and storytelling as an opportunity for reflection on change management. 

This storytelling process offered invaluable self-evaluation as a school. It allowed us to not only celebrate achievements but also identify areas for improvement. Sharing our experience sheds light on both the potential and challenges of technology integration, while also equipping educators with practical ideas to enrich their own practice. I have personally drawn inspiration from other schools' stories, leading to advancements in my own teaching approach.

The exchange of ideas takes place through online platforms like X, LinkedIn, and the Apple Education Community. The sharing can take many forms, for example, through sharing learning engagements on the Apple Education Community, sharing collaboratively developed books through the iBookstore, or resource sharing through X. 

Additionally, as a school we actively foster collaboration through initiatives like school visits, community events, student-led tours, and inter-school partnerships. This collaboration and dialogue helps us to further reflect on our practices to improve learning for students. 

April 01, 2024

Emily, the strategy of "The aim is to capture and communicate the essence of innovation as a daily and integral part of our educational journey" is a game changer for schools. Learning is most often in a series of moments. When you share your story - be it with each other, on social media, creating videos, giving tours - you give the moment momentum to grow and deepen. In any grassroots endeavor, daily iteration is commonplace. Capturing and communicating those moments can propel innovation forward. Thanks so much for sharing!

April 19, 2024

We try to share on our school social media pages what our students are creating, or fun lessons that they get to participate in! Personally, I share on my X account what my students are creating in class. Another ADE and myself presented the story of our iTeam at a conference this year. I am currently in the process of converting that Keynote to an ePUB and a forum post!

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