What is ‘innovation’ in education? (& I mean something beyond the blah + blah)

Was it a memo coming from the ministry five or six years ago? It seems that all the post-secondaries have either created or re-fashioned existing units into ‘innovation’ departments: Educational Support and Innovation, Centre of Teaching, Learning and Innovation, Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning….etc..

But what is innovation in education? From where I sit, all I’ve seen is the whiz-cool-bang of AR/VR attract the flock like an untrammeled field of alfalfa. But AR/VR is not innovative if it’s used to support the tired old demonstrate/test or drill/test pedagogies, right? And gosh – considering the labour and $$$-intensity to develop and use AR/VR makes one wonder about its value as an innovation that reduces barriers, increases access, and generally makes learning better for more people.

It’s so hard to be reasonable with people when they have their senses locked in a techno-ecstasy, so I’ve started a rough draft of a rubric to use to evaluate educational innovation:

Inquiry questions: Yes/no?
Is it innovative? Is it different and better?  
Is the innovation playing a constructive role in improving educational opportunities and outcomes?  
Does it support learner-centred education?  
Is it a needs-driven approach to innovation?  
Does it apply to learners living in the real-world?  
Does it complement and support good teaching and learning practices?  
Will instructors be supported?  
Can it be scaled to accommodate the majority of instructors and teaching environments?  
Is the focus on teaching and learning practices?  
As the innovation develops, does expertise expand from the few to the many – are individual instructors empowered and able to own the innovation in their own practices?  
Is it truly innovative or is it something that is new/novel?  
Is it truly innovative or is it a belated adoption of improved practice? (eg. adoption of PBL to replace lecture)  

Inspired from:

Achieving Development Goals Innovation In Education and Development: http://pcf4.dec.uwi.edu/innovation.php

OECD Measure Innovation in Education: http://www.oecd.org/education/measuring-innovation-in-education.htm