On Friday I was handed From Fear to Facebook by Matt Levinson, and Disrupting Class: How disruptive Innovation will change the way the world learns by Clayton Christensen. ‘Oh good! Some light weekend reading’, I thought as I settled in on Saturday morning.
Both books challenged me again about how ‘school’ as we know it is being, and will be, changed by technology. They also addressed in different ways the topic of teacher-uptake of technology and professional development. Here are a few highlights from my personal notebook:
From Fear to Facebook –
The most effective and lasting way for teaching to change is when one teacher shares with another, grows inspired, and experiments with a new application. Force feeding through workshops can sometimes backfire and actually slow growth. p. 108 (2010. Levinson)
When something is designed on the outside and pushed into the organization, there’s often a lot of resistence. But when you involve the people themselves, then they already own the new solution, and it’s so much easier then to get the change to happen. p. 32 (Levinson)
Disrupting Class has much to say about the challenges organization face in implementing new models.
…unless top managers actively manage this process (implementation of the disruptive innovation) their organization will shape very disruptive innovation into a sustaining innovation – one that fits the process, values and economic model of the existing business – because organizations cannot naturally disrupt themselves. p. 75
Schools have crammed the computers into the existing teaching and classroom models. Teachers have implemented computers in the most commonsense way – to sustain their existing practices and pedagogies rather than to displace them. p85
People follow charismatic, visionary role models only when they want what the leader wants. People who want something different would treat the same leader with indifference, defiance, or disdain. p.232
Effective Leaders will be aware of, and skilled at, managing the invisible forces that for understandable reasons of self preservation are at play. Christensen’s ideas about Leadership in varying organization climates are worth serious pondering, along with his diagram that visually describes the Tools of Governance that can elicit cooperation (on p.230).
Perhaps an alternate title for this post should be: FACE the DISRUPTION.