DAILY INSIGHT: Six laws for tech adoption

By Gary Shattuck, CIO Advisor

In my previous two blogs (here and here) I staked out a position that technology integration has not been universally successful. Obviously, there are districts, schools, and many classrooms in which technology has had a major impact on student learning; however, I contended that a more thorough reorganization of our purposes when it comes to technology in education is needed. We need to change the teachers’ paradigm as it concerns teaching and learning. In order to achieve that reorganization I am proposing Six Laws for the Adoption of Technology in Education. These are:

1. Law of Scarcity: a teacher cannot embed technology if there is no technology to embed. This applies not only to hardware, but also software and infrastructure such as Internet Access.

2. Law of Change: change is endemic in our post-modern society. This accelerating change is impacting everything from economic issues to political, cultural, and societal issues.

3. Law of Beliefs: to fully embrace technology in education a teacher must adopt constructivist pedagogies. Without this adoption, technology in education will forever be used only at a superficial level.

4. Law of Perception: reality is what individuals perceive it to be. Making decisions based upon your reality only can create problems. We must understand other people’s perceptions before moving forward.

5. Law of Diffusion: ideas can spread and become dominant or they can wither and die. Knowing how to foster diffusion of an idea is a key to the use of technology in education at the 2nd-order-of-change level.

6. Law of Leadership: the key to the adoption of all the other laws is the school or district leader. Like all education reforms, leadership matters.

This is the first of a seven-part blog. I will explain each of the above Laws in detail in subsequent blogs.

Gary Shattuck is the director of technology and media services at Newton County Schools in Covington, Georgia.