Monday, August 17, 2009

Willing to be disturbed: Will Richardson on the conversation we need to have and the culture we need to develop

Brilliant blog entry from Will Richardson on the way forward for teaching and learning in the technological present and technological future.  I can't catch the whole thing in a single quote, but here's a section that resonated with me right now:

There is a great deal of “tinkering on the edges” when it comes to technology, districts that hope that if they incrementally add enough technology into the mix that somehow that equals change. I can’t tell you how many schools I’ve seen that have a whiteboard in every room yet have absolutely nothing different happening from a curriculum perspective. Old wine, new bottles.

That fundamental redefinition is hard. It takes an awareness on the part of leaders that the world is indeed changing and that current assessment regimes and requirements are becoming less and less relevant to the learning goals of the organization. It takes a vision to imagine what the change might look like, not to paint it with hard lines but to at least have the basic brushstrokes down. It takes a culture that celebrates learning not just among students but among teachers and front office personnel and administrators alike, what Phillip Schlechty calls a “learning organization.” It takes leadership that while admitting its own discomfort and uncertainty with these shifts is prescient and humble enough to know that the only way to deal with those uncertainties is to meet them full on and to support the messiness that will no doubt occur as the organization works through them. It takes time, years of time, maybe decades to effect these types of changes. It takes money and infrastructure. And I think, most importantly, it takes a plan that’s developed collaboratively with every constituency at the table, one that is constantly worked and reworked and adjusted in the process, but one that makes that long-term investment time well spent instead of time spinning wheels. And it takes more, even, than that.

Read it in full here.

ADDED LATER: and then read this entry from Camilla Elliot's blog, Edubeacon: The Innovation is the Network.

One of the greatest challenges expressed in discussions on change management in schools is the ‘getting it to happen’; the changing of old systems for new ones are more suited to today’s students and society. This podcast addresses the adoption of innovation and successful adoption of new methods within schools.

Go to the blog entry for details on the podcast (Andrew Hargardon on Innovation and Networking)



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