What is Vintage Innovation?

Vintage Innovation redefines innovation not as “new and flashy” but as “better and different.” It isn’t a rejection of new approaches or cutting-edge technology so much as an embrace of the old and the new.

It’s the overlap of the “tried and true” and the “never tried.” It’s a mash-up of low-fi tech and new tech. It’s the idea of finding relevance by looking back and looking forward. It’s a focus on timeless skills in new contexts. It’s the idea that innovation happens when teachers take a both/and approach as they empower their students in the present to prepare them for an uncertain future.

Get the Book!

Teachers Are the Heart of Innovation

If you are a teacher, you are an innovator. You are the experimenter trying new strategies. You are the architect designing new learning opportunities. Apps change. Gadgets break. Technology grows obsolete. But one thing remains: teachers change the world. And one way to do this is through a vintage innovation approach. With vintage innovation, teachers ask:

    • How do I innovate when I don’t have the best technology?
    • How can I use vintage tools, ideas, and approaches in new ways?
    • How can I use constraints to spark creativity?
    • How do I blend together the “tried and true” with the “never tried?”

The Best Way to Prepare Students for the Future Is to Empower Them in the Present

We can’t predict the future and yet so much time and attention goes into learning how to code, how to use a 3D printer, and a number of other tech-focused endeavors. But what if we took a different approach? In a world of constant change, what if we helped students become divergent thinkers? In an automated world, what if our students used analog tools? In a world of artificial intelligence and machine learning our students need to think philosophically. In a sea of instant information, our students need to be curators and journalists. Our students need to develop the soft skills that machines lack, like collaboration and empathy.

The following video explores what happens when we redefine relevance through a Vintage Innovation Lens.

Vintage Innovation is for you if . . .

In Vintage Innovation, John Spencer provides a counterintuitive look at what it means to prepare students for the future. Along the way, he provides teachers, coaches, and administrators with a roadmap that will inspire innovation in the classroom.

If you are a teacher eager to design deeper learning experiences that also help students vital lifelong soft skills.

You are a superintendent, district administrator, or principal who is leading change and working to help your staff thrive in a 21st-century learning environment but you do not view technology as the fix-all.

You are a coach, staff developer, or teacher leader that is crafting professional learning experiences and wants to encourage colleagues to innovate within their practice.