Through my experiences this summer, I have learned a great deal about disruptive innovation and technology in education. The sweeping changes that have occurred in technology over the past 5 years alone have had a profound effect on how we all learn; teachers and students alike. In the next few years, I will be helping to shape the face of online learning in my school district. During that time, I am sure I will see many changes as we get our feet wet, learning what works best and what does not. But in the next five years, I would like to see our program grow to provide a high school education in an online format by providing assignments and instruction from teachers within our own learning management system such as Moodle.
Currently, our school services students who are considered fully online and work from home, students who attend face to face classes during the day, as well as online, and those who make up credits in a virtual lab. The most important innovation I see that would benefit our program is the use of handheld tablets like the iPad or Android tablets. This would require the use of a Wi-Fi signal in our school, as well as funds to purchase the tablets. But once this is complete, this will allow students to interact with the online curriculum, as well as learning labs setup throughout the school.
The consensus of many IT departments in public schools has been to react to the change in technology education by trying to keep up with infrastructure and cost. To make our school more proactive, I think a move toward a wireless environment would allow students and teachers to bring their own devices to the learning environment. This would free many resources, both fiscal and physical, and apply them to curriculum design.
Knowing that change never stops and that we all, as educators, need to look every forward into what changes will come, I am providing a list reading of resources that I plan to read over the course of this year. This list is for me so I can be ready for the effects that innovation and technology will have on education and for all of those who are interested in keeping pace with technology and education. A few of these resources address the concept of technology and infrastructure resources. Others focus on best practices and use of technology in the classroom.
- Christensen, C.M. & Eyring, H. (2011). The innovative university: Changing the dna of higher education from the inside out. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
The first stop on my list is The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out by Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring. This book takes a look at the concept of disruptive innovation and relates it to Higher Education. Higher education has stayed basically the same over the past century, and has showed little evolution, because it has not been required to compete on a grand level with other entities. As more options for online degree programs have come into the marketplace, colleges and universities, the incumbent product, are now faced with dealing with a new innovation of sorts. This book will apply the concepts of innovation to the brick and mortar institutions of higher education and provides examples for creating change in the face of disruption. As an adjunct instructor, I find this concept interesting because I teach online for a local community college. The approach this book gives will be insightful, having already read Disrupting Class by Christensen, Horn, and Johnson.
- Means, B., Penuel, W.R., & Padilla, C. (2001). The connected school: Technology and learning in high school. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Since I also make my living as a high school teacher, I picked The Connected School because it covers a topic that we are entrenched in every day: how to provide an education and still provide students the 21st century technology skills they need. Although this title is a bit older, high schools still face a great deal of resistance regarding cost and infrastructure in providing computer access. This book discusses the role of technology and computers in student’s lives as well as how to find the right technology to fit student needs.
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Other resources in my reading list include the books below as well as a list of blogs and websites I want to read or read on a regular basis:
• Kelly, F.S., McCain, T., & Jukes, I. (2009). Teaching the digital generation: No more cookie cutter high schools. Ontario, Canada: Corwin Press.
• Collins, A. and Halverson, R. (2009). Rethinking education in the age of technology: The digital revolution and schooling in america. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
• Wright, L. (2011, August 2). Adaptive learning technologies are the future of education. Retrieved from http://educationinnovation.typepad.com/
• Educational Technology. Retrieved from http://people.uis.edu/rschr1/et/
• Educational Technology Guy. Retrieved from http://educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.com/
• Technology Integration in Education. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration
• The Innovative Educator. Retrieved from http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/
• Dreams of Education. Retrieved from http://dreamsofeducation.wordpress.com/
• iLearn Technology. Retrieved from http://ilearntechnology.com/