One of the greatest organizational and leadership challenges behind any 1:1 program, where every student has access to a digital device, is ensuring transformation of the teaching and learning process. As we often hear, it’s not about the technology – it’s about what we do with it. Changing teaching, learning and leadership practices around the use of digital devices is critical for an implementation to be successful.
As the quote to the right suggests, organizations are by nature very conservative, even when isolated individuals within the organization create pockets of learning that evidence the vision. The greatest challenge for our implementation has been “scaling up” those pockets.
After three years of data collection (surveys, focus groups and the implementation of a walkthrough protocol), it’s clear that systemically, our students do not participate in regular, significant transformative learning experiences (using SAMR as a standard). We have individual pockets which have not expanded content-wide, to grade levels, to buildings, etc.
So here is our question: For the teachers who are designing and implementing transformative learning experiences, what factors are critical to their success? There are a whole host of possibilities: professional development, personal learning networks, knowledge of inquiry, level of technology skills, student attitude, clarity of vision, district leadership, building leadership…. But which are specific to our context? And what can we as leaders do to bridge any gaps, reenergize our implementation and ultimately take the idea of transformative learning to the system level?
Next week, a colleague (@lfuinihetten) and I will have the opportunity to dig deeper into this leadership challenge, working with 18 other school districts from across the country (no doubt with similar challenges), researchers such as Ruben Puentadura and Damian Bebel, and a team of facilitators from Apple, Inc. We are looking forward to the opportunity to explore our challenge and to lead positive change in our 1:1 implementation. More to come after next week….
What are the primary challenges with your 1:1 implementation? How are you addressing them?
The quote above comes from Ed Catmull‘s book, “Creativity, Inc.” The concluding chapter includes a bulleted list of ideas/statements that are worthy of reflection from every school leader. Check out the list here.