Ian Kitajima Talks Innovation in Education with What School Could Be


On Thursday, January 20th, Oceanit’s Ian Kitajima joined hosts Susannah Johnson and Kapono Ciotti for a What School Could Be “Game Changer Series” livestream discussion. For one hour, Kitajima spoke to an audience of some of education’s biggest changemakers on how he got into education, what it takes to be an innovator, how teachers can start using innovative approaches in the classroom, and what students could do to be “future-ready.”

As Oceanit’s Tech Sherpa, Ian has an inside perspective on the opportunities and potential in technology innovation and believes it’s incredibly important that Hawaiʻi’s students are equipped for a future shaped by artificial intelligence and computer science. After all, he argues, the innovative companies of the future don’t yet exist—they’ll be founded by today’s students, and the best thing we can do to prepare them is to get them engaged with technology and spark their interest now.

To reach the greatest number of students, Ian has focused on first reaching teachers. For the last decade, he has worked tirelessly to empower the community to think innovatively and create the future via Design Thinking and coding. To date, over 10,000 Hawaiʻi educators and industry professionals have gone through Oceanit’s Design Thinking workshops, and Ian is well on his way to reaching the goal of training 5,000 non-technical teachers how to code using Altino programmable cars.

Responding to questions from the livestream audience, Ian discussed fostering innovation in education at length, identifying things teachers can do to encourage innovative thinking, including cultivating a culture of experimentation, providing the room for failure – where it is expected and accepted, making learning experiences that students want versus trying to make students want to learn, and collaborating with people outside education.

Click here to watch the full talk.

Ian Kitajima talks with What School Could Be