Innovative educators know the importance of integrating technology into teaching and learning. Where they sometimes fall short is sharing the "why" with others in the school community.
This was one of the key takeaways from a group of innovative district leaders who came together from around the country to explore important issues at the Tech & Learning Leadership Summit in Phoenix Arizona.
Why Ask Why?
Without the "why" in place you run the danger of administrators and elected officials thinking technology is about increasing test scores. Staff being concerned technology will replace, rather than change, the role of teachers. Parents becoming fearful that screen-time will turn their children into zombies. And, students accepting the use of technology as a substitution for drill and kill worksheets rather than as a tool to empower their learning.
Can we blame them?
While we intuitively know better, if you don't make the "Why" explicit you can't be surprised if intentions are unclear and success is measured incorrectly.
The Golden Circle Model - Simon Sinek
There is a model in place in which to look at this called the Golden Circle created by Simon Sinek. The Golden Circle has the why in the center with how and what in rings around the center. The WHAT ring represents the schools products or services. The HOW is an explanation of what the school does. The WHY is about what a school believes in.
Sinek uses the example of Apple.
Why? They think differently, thereby challenging the status quo.
How? By informing their potential buyers that their eye-catching designs are easy to use.
What? They make computers.
When it comes to technology in your classroom, school, or district how are you answering these questions? How are you incorporating the input of stakeholders, getting everyone on the same page, and communicating these answers?
Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.