Innovation in Name Only

I just finished reading Audrey Waters ebook “The Monsters of Education Technology”, a collection of her talks and essays. I always find much to like (not to mention agree with) in Audrey’s thoughts, but this particular line was one that jumped out at me:

Progressive teachers knew very well how to use the computer for their own ends as an instrument of change; School knew very well how to nip this subversion in the bud.

Over the years, I’ve met and worked with many educators I would call “progressive” when it came to using technology in their instruction (although they were certainly in the minority). I’ve also listened to far too many administrators and politicians praising those progressive teachers, saying that we need more of them.

However, those same administrators and politicians then create policies and processes that work very hard to stamp out any real innovation in the classroom.

The bottom line is that most of those progressive teachers define innovation far differently than most of the people running the system. Especially when it comes to instructional technology.

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