Building ‘Disruptive capacity’ – the challenge for tablet use
Posted March 23, 2013on:
The increasing use of tablet devices in our schools brings with it many advantages. Better access, up to date applications, and student engagement to name but a few. The Scottish Government national procurement framework and other bulk purchase schemes will undoubtedly expedite the provision of these devices to classrooms, but I’d sound just a tiny note of caution, because with any education technology, it’s really about how the tech is used, and what, if any, transformative impact it will have on learning.
I guess the real success of tablet device use will be measured in the way it increases creativity, rather than consumption. And this will depend on weather the tablets are treated as just the ‘evolution’ of technology use; the latest version of Internet access, or on how much they are treated as a truly disruptive technology
Evolutionary technology usually tends to reiterate the status quo. Disruptive technology, on the other hand, tends to move the agenda on towards doing things differently or doing new things all together. During school visits with the ICTEx group last year, I saw a mix of both. And this is bound to happen in any education ecosystem, where some folks will be more confident or ahead of the curve with technology use than others.
The key, in my view, is to build ‘disruptive capacity’ so that new technology adoption quickly moves away from the evolution state into the disruptive landscape. To do this, those of us who would consider ourselves as innovators need to move out of the echo chamber and make much more effort to communicate with those a bit further behind on the curve. The Pedagoo movement in Scotland and the UK is doing a fantastic job in this respect, and other on line communities are trying to do the same in other parts of the world.
This activity will help educators and schools to use tablets, and indeed, any new technology, as disruptive rather than evolutionary. For creativity rather than consumption. Like the kids I saw in an Edinburgh primary school who were collaborating on writing and publishing their own iBooks using their class iPads for example. This sort of creativity moves the use of technology on leaps and bounds to a situation where you couldn’t do the new things without the new tools, creating capacity not only in creativity, but in skills too- real disruptive capacity building in action.
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