Technology Does Not Cause Transformation

In reading Jim Collins’ Good To Great, I learned that Collins and his team spent ten and a half years gathering data about the distinguishing features and characteristics of some of the world’s best companies.

There were two findings that I found particularly interesting and run parellel to current issues in school administration.

1. The good-to-great companies researched by Collins’ team not only focused on what they needed to do to become great, they focused equally on what not to do and what they needed to stop doing.

2. “Technology and technology-driven change has virtually nothing to do with igniting a transformation from good to great. Technology can accelerate a transformation, but technology cannot cause a transformation. “

As I relate these two findings to my own teaching , I recognize three things I have stopped doing as I’ve transitioned to a 21st century educator.

1. I have stopped lecturing and have created more student-centered lessons. 

2. I have stopped using paper whenever possible and have instead incorporated engaging digital tools into my classroom; namely Edmodo, Google docs, & Twitter.

3. I have stopped focusing on how much time I have to cover the curriculum and instead have focused on the knowledge and skill development of my students; emphasizing depth over breadth.

As a result of what I have stopped doing, my classroom environment is on its way to true transformation. Part of that transformation involves using technology as much as I possibly can. I try new tools and take risks but it’s not because of technology that my classroom is transforming.

Technology is allowing me to create a more engaging and student-centered classroom. It is allowing me to deliver more personalized instruction and more effectively teach creativity, communication, and collaboration skills.

So yes, I want to use and learn more about technology, but not for the sake of just having more technology. I want more technology because I see the positive impact it can have on student learning and because I know my students will be expected to use technology in college and in their professions.

As a future lead learner, I will continue to discover new ways to use technology to accelerate the transformation of my school’s culture and engage learners. I will encourage everyone in my building to collaborate on not only what we need to do, but have an equal focus on what we need to stop doing to truly go from good to great. 

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