Disruptive Innovation in Our Schools
Christenson defines disruptive innovation as “the phenomenon by which an innovation transforms an existing market or sector by introducing simplicity, convenience, accessibility, and affordability where complication and high cost are the status quo.” (Christensen, 2015). Related to our education system, disruptive innovation is changing our school systems from the outside by introducing technology not to disrupt but to serve those who are not being served at all. This in turn will create a more student centric environment where students are able to learn in the best way for them. By using the idea of disruptive innovation, educators will be able to teach students in more diverse ways to address their learning styles. Teachers will also be able to access more interests that our students have that we may not have at our current disposal. We will be able to create more personalized learning situations for our students and they will become the pilots of their own learning. Educators will become more like coaches or a support system to help the students find what they need to be successful and grow into real world learners.
Too often, our children in the elementary level are taught as one big group, the same skills in the same way. We test them and move them on to the next concept without any regard to whether they mastered the previous one because our state mandates that we cover a certain amount of material every year. Teachers often feel frustrated because they feel like they are on a moving train that can’t be stopped. State assessments and district timelines guide how fast we move and what we teach, instead of the students guiding us. Now don’t get me wrong. We need some guidelines in life, and state standards are good for that reason. But sometimes as professionals we feel that we are limited to what our school districts give us in terms of timelines, benchmarks, and so forth. It can make it hard to step out and try new things because of the lack of time to both learn the new things and figuring out how to make it fit into what is guided by our system.
Wouldn’t it be easier to contact parents via cellphone with upcoming events for the week? How about a discipline system that is kept online and requires little upkeep from the teacher and instant access for the parents. What I would like to see for the teachers at Moore Elementary is to offer a once a month “Appy Hour”, a time for teachers to come together and talk about apps and technology tools that they are using in their classrooms. How awesome would that be to get together in a very informal environment and play around with technology. Not just classroom technology, but apps that we use in our everyday lives. Let’s get around to the good, bad, and ugly of the technology we are using and what it is doing in the classroom.
We are going to talk our way through the grant process as to take advantage of our current Education Foundation and put in grant proposals to get mobile technology in our classrooms or pods. We are fortunate to have many choices, but getting your hands on them when you need them can be quite a challenge. So, by going through the grant process together, but putting them in separately, hopefully we can get a number of devices that are just for our grade levels so the excuse of “there aren’t any available” will be one less reason not to try. Imagine what we can do with all that technology at our fingertips instead of in the library waiting to be checked out.
Even being as camera shy as I am, I plan on using Blab or maybe even Periscope to share the fun with the rest of the faculty who are not able to attend. I think that will address our more hesitant learners, or those with scheduling conflicts. I feel like we are each other’s best resource for what is out there. I will take on the role of facilitating the get together the first time, along with my co-teacher who is much more a digital “native” than I am, but I know the teachers in my building will run with the idea and I won’t have to do much to keep them going. We are also playing with the idea of videotaping some of the apps and programs “in action” to add to our list of resources for teachers who are a little more hesitant.
Christensen Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2015, from http://www.christenseninstitute.org/key-concepts/disruptive-innovation-2/