Technology and Innovation

I’m the first to admit it: I’m a technophile. I subscribe to Wired magazine. I love my iProducts. I enjoy networking with other educators through social media. And I am a techie-teacher–I’m always experimenting with new technologies in my classroom!

MacBook boxes
Image by Kraen Beck-Petersen [cc by-nc-nd 2.0]
It’s not that I think technology can solve all of our educational problems or make us into super-teachers. But I think technology has it’s place in schools today.

I would never argue for technology in the classroom for it’s own sake. I think we need to always be thoughtful, mindful of how we are using technology, and why we are using technology.

But as I say that…someone has to lead the way, right? Is there someone in your school out there on the leading edge when it comes to exploring new technologies? And maybe that person tries things, and has colossal failures, which makes you think, “There is NO WAY I would do that in my classroom.” (I’ve been that guy with the colossal failures, by the way. Mindful as I try to be with how I use technology to support my pedagogy, there are times that it all falls apart when I’m working with real, live kids. Things don’t always go according to plan…)

How do innovations spread through your school? There are different models exploring how ideas–like new technologies–spread through culture. Everett Rogers developed a theory in the 1960’s to help explain why some ideas are adopted while others fail.

I teach a course for the Master of Education program at Dordt College entitled “Teaching and Learning with Technology.” This idea of diffusion of innovation is one we discuss in the course, especially in regard to how technologies spread through school, and what roles they will take in the process. Here’s a very brief video I created to introduce this topic to my class. I hope you’ll take 5 minutes to watch it, and think about your role in using technology in your school.

So…when it comes to educational technology in your school…what role will you play?

And…perhaps more importantly…why will you choose to play that role?

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