Carts, Horses, Technology and Teaching – #28daysofwriting day 4

Image credit: The Cart Before the Horse by Emilio Labrador CC Licensed on Flickr

Had a good day’s training today, talking to various people about what factors can lead to (and can get in way) of the adoption of digital learning. While there were lots of things identified, standing back in reflection I think it’s fair to say that wherever a school tries to launch a particular piece of technology for it’s own sake it invariably fails. But when someone can see how a particular piece of technology can help achieve something the school or teacher is already trying to achieve then it has a much greater chance of succeeding.

A few examples would I include:

  • Making sure people have access to information (dates, files etc) when and where they need them
  • Removing barriers to quick and easy communication
  • Being able to get work to and from a mobile device (especially iPads)
  • Having learners have easy access to the same tools in school and at home, on the devices that eg have easy access to
  • Cutting down on unnecessary copying and pasting between documents, or losing track of who’s got the latest version

It’s interesting that many of the headline grabbing promotional claims made by tech companies don’t appear in the list. Maybe what’s needed are less people trying to sell or promote a particular solution and more people who have the knowledge to help people match these problems to simply, safe, scalable solutions.

And yet, still loads of schools that I talk to have got it adoption plans that exist in isolation, or that list a particular piece of technology as out an outcome in their development plans, rather than as an enabler to other (more useful and meaningful?) outcomes.

Ultimately it’s culture that ensures the successful adoption of technology far more than the platform itself (although a poor solution will itself act as a barrier). We need more people talking and thinking about that than about how much money they’ve spent on their learning platform, or how many iPads they have in their schools.

<cheeky plug>

I’ll be discussing things like is in my workshop at the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Conference at Berkhamsted School on Sat 21st March.

</cheeky plug>


Edited to change the date to the 4th. Oops.

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