Thursday, May 28, 2009

Existing Alternatives

“Disruptive technologies must be applied in applications where the alternative is nothing” (p. 74). Is this the reason many educators resist new technologies?

New technologies reach multiple learning styles, ensure student content mastery and embrace formative and summative assessment. Yet many educators are reluctant to adopt them as teaching and learning practices because there are long-standing, traditional practices in place and/or out-dated, familiar technologies which are more comfortably applied. There are alternatives to implementing innovative technologies.

These multiple layers of technology hinder the practical application of new technologies in education, as we “cram” old technologies into student learning experiences. How do we move students and teachers to “disrupt” class when there are existing applications?


  1. I think your question poses an interesting ethical dilemma for leaders - what does it mean to be advocating for disruption/innovation when a primary role of educational leaders is to protect the school to ensure educational opportunity for all students. For me, I reconcile this issue by advocating for widespread student use of technology, because if students are empowered they will create demand for change. I think adults will be more interested in adopting new technologies if they think they need to do so in order to meet the needs of students.

  2. In many ways already, part of our growth in our own use of technology comes about because of trying to keep up with our kids. (What the heck are those kids doing on that computer anyway?) But maybe that's where the sense of urgency will come from. So, how do we get the kids leading their teachers into it?