Archives For technology

Self Driving Cars
Source: Self Driving Cars are Not “Five Years Away”

I have been a exploring change or why it can be so difficult to bring effective change to educational institutions for the past several decades so I when read this post about self driving cars being further off not because of the technology but because of people and policy I was immediately reminded about this reality:

Technology is is the easy part – changing people is hard

What can we do about it? I am still trying to find the definitive answer to this but over the years I have explored the following ideas in pursuit of this answer:

I could go on and on but you will note the the common thread in all these posts is that change starts with us and before we can change anything around out we need to be the ones who are willing to make the biggest change.

Technology Integration

November 4, 2015 — Leave a comment

For a learning theorist and Professor there are few things more invigorating than working with a group of highly motivated learners. My long time colleague and friend Dr. Craig Montgomerie often asks me to join his online Athabasca University class MDDE 610: Survey of Current Educational Technology Applications to provide his students the opportunity engage with a professional like myself who has extensive experience in promoting the use of Educational Technology.

In the MDDE webinar for November 3, 2015 titled Leading learning and technological change we focused on the most difficult challenges in any organizational change — dealing with an organization’s culture and implementing strategies that require a cultural shift. Through examining a case study of the ACU Connected Mobile Learning Initiative we explored how addressing the following four key principles increase your chances of success significantly:

  1. Start with Why
  2. Identify and engage key influencers
  3. Install an effective execution strategy
  4. Enlist and empower self-differentiated leaders

We also analyzed how ignoring even one of these principles can contribute to failure and how these principles are currently being used in the BCIT School of Health Sciences Future of Learning initiative.

Webinar slide deck – MDDE 610 Nov 2015.pdf

The following resources were mentioned or briefly discussed in the webinar and can be used to gain a deeper understanding:

The Head Won’t Go Where the Heart Hasn’t Been
This post stresses that:
If you really want to bring about change in people then you need to appeal their hearts and not to their heads. The sharing of more information or engaging in more rational discourse on its own doesn’t appear to help people to make significant change but an appeal to values, attitudes, and feelings first can motivate people toward making changes.

People who like this stuff…like this stuff
Includes a short annotation and links the books Start with Why (Simon Sinek), Influencer, Four Disciplines of Execution (4DX) and Freidmen’s Failure of Nerve.

Connected The Movie by the ACU Connected Initiative
Link to the ACU Connected mobile movie that started and provided the fundamental Why or vision for Mobile Learning at ACU.

Additional resources on Change and Innovation:

Reshaping Modern Education with Technology Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

You can’t blame the Wall Street Journal for setting up a classic debate between Lisa Nielsen, director of digital engagement and professional learning for the New York City Department of Education and José Bowen the president of Goucher College and author of “Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning.” Nielsen argues that technology can personalize learning, increase collaboration and access to to content and subject matter experts, and prepare learners for the work environments of the future. Bowen argues that technology can be a distracting and that our classrooms need to be places of mental stillness where we (teachers) promote reflection and deep concentration.

The are both right! If used properly and in the right context technology can increase collaboration and access to information enabling learners to do things in ways that they could not do without technology. Used improperly and in the wrong context Jose Bowen is right because technology can distract and if you need to do something face2face that requires great concentration and reflection then technology can get in the way.

The problem is that we all too often focus on the technology itself, assume that it can provide a quick fix and keep on asking the wrong questions when we look for its impact. If we focus on the learning and the learner first, consider what learning outcomes we wish for the learner and then look for strategic activities and technologies to help us achieve those outcomes we can then use technology as a tool to help take the learner where they need to go. Technology should serve the learner and their purposes. Not the other way around.

We still are not getting our priorities strait if we are asking if technology belongs in the classroom. It is not an “if” question it is a “how” questions. Technology is not only in our classroom it is all around us and we use it every day. This simplistic either or thinking and debate over whether or not to use technology in the classroom must stop. For advice on how we can stop this simplistic thinking and debate refer to the post How to Patch “Hole in the Bucket” Thinking

What are you doing to move from an “if” to a “how” discussion?

Read the full WSJ article…