Disrupting Class part 6

Some more of the themes that I find interesting in the book, Disrupting Class, are listed below:

Sustaining Innovations – These are innovations that exist within exiting companies or organizations. Generally, a company continues to add value to their current products or services, e.g. planes fly farther, computer that process faster, televisions with clearer images, or cell phone batteries that last longer. Generally, many of these “new” features are more than the average user can ever use, so for many companies, the cost of adding or discovering these features does not result in a return of investment. (For me, when there is a new version of an operating system, I shudder because I was very happy with the current operating system).

Cramming Computers into Schools – Despite adding computers into classrooms, the classroom looks pretty much the same: lecturing, group discussion, small group assignments and the occasional video. Computers have not increased student-centered learning and project-based teaching practices. And, most importantly, computers have not been used in the way they would have the greatest impact: “allowing students to learn in ways that correspond with how their brains are wired to learn, thereby migrating to a student-centric classroom.”

Nonconsumption – People who have not been able to consume certain products or services. This is the market for a disruptive innovation. (A disruptive innovation does not serve current customers better).

Substitution – When a new approach or technology substitutes for an old one. Four factors drive substitution in relationship to online learning. 1) computer based learning will keep improving; 2) ability of students, teachers and parents to select a learning pathway; 3) looming teacher shortage; 4) costs fall as the market scales up.

Stages of Disruption – Two stage process. First, an innovator makes a product much more affordable and simpler to use than what currently exists. Second, increase in technological change to a modular design which will make it simple and inexpensive to build and upgrade the products.

Research – The body of understanding for a product or service. For any new innovation, the body or research takes time to develop and validate. Goes through three stages: 1) Observation (observe and describe the phenomena); 2) Classification (categorize the attributes); 3) Defining Relationships (associating correlations between attributes).

Consensus of Change – For change to occur, there needs to be agreement within the organization. The driving forces towards change are: A) success and B) identifying a common language and having a shared framing of the problem.

Tools of Cooperation – The leadership methods that work when there is broad or no consensus. If there is broad consensus among people, then the leadership tools that are most effective tools are “leadership” and “management” tools such as: vision, role modeling, strategic planning and training. If there is low consensus among people then the most effective tools are “power” tools such as role definition, hiring and promotion and coercion.

The authors believe that the only way education can change is by applying the principles of common language, power, and separation.

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