A Question of Transformation: Are you still driving around on a hot day with the windows down?

So...Are you still driving with the windows down and the air- conditioning blasting?

For so many years we spent the hot summer days at the beach. And the trip on the way home we always did the same thing...jump in the car, blast the fan and dream of life inside a refrigerator.

But then I remember my first trip in a car with air conditioning! What luxury! Absolutely incredible to think what was possible with technology.

The introduction of devices in education is very much like the introduction of air conditioning. Both require a change of habit and practise in order realise its full benefits to transform the environment.

If we still jump into the car on a hot summer's day wind down the windows and blast the air conditioning we will not fully appreciate the change it could make to the environment. If you but your hand close enough to the air vent you would feel that the air was definitely cooler, but over time someone would realise that the new technology (air conditioning) was costing more to run and sucking the energy from the car, the financial costs and the energy sapping factor would simply make air conditioning a waste of time in cars!

Another great example of how a change in technology has required a change in habit or practise it the development of the chainsaw.  Whilst like an axe, a chainsaw is a tool that is designed to bring trees down.  However if you use a chainsaw to hack at trees as you would with an axe, you will break the tool and not the tree!  Watch this chainsaw ad from New Zealand and see if you understand what I mean. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW4aEmhyYE0

To buy a chainsaw just to use like an axe is a complete waste of money!

For some schools, this has been their experience during the introduction of devices in education. We have spent a tonne of money and effort on getting the tools into the school and learning how to use them but have not changed our practises within the classroom. We still drive around with the windows wound down.  If we took the time to wind up the windows and change some practises within the school now the technologies are available we would reap the benefits of the changed environment.

If you settle on implementing new tools in the classroom on at a substitutive level (eg, use the tools to do what you have always done in books) people will give up and not see the point.

Can you imagine buying a car without air conditioning or an axe to bring down a forest now a days?  The new technology's success in the is only because people changed their habits to maximise its benefits! 

Click here for another thought provoking post on transforming education through devices 

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iBooks in the iBookstore

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  • READ THIS BEFORE YOU GIVE YOUR CHAILD A DEVICE FOR CHRISTMAS.Finally a book to help parents who have children with devices at home!  Keeping Your Child/Teen Safe in the Online Jungle contains a buffet of ideas for parents in the 21st century.  Chapters include:~ Ideas for managing devices~ Internet monitoring and filtering options~ Helpful websites~ Managing iPads ~ Family sharing  
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  • Measured Success explores the need to gather evidence through a means such as statistical analysis when implementing change.  This book looks particularly for ways to gather evidence for successful BYOD and iPad initiatives in education.  Inform your community with sound and meaningful data, then go and tell your story.  A must have for implementing change.One Best Thing.  
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  • Hacking at Trees with Chainsaws explores the most fundamental flaws with devices in education.  Flaws that ultimately could end up jeopardising the use of devices in education.  This book has three objectives: 1. To explore what is now possible in education because of new tools 2. To draw attention to the risk of implementing an education programme without consideration of how the tools can be used 3. To provide some frameworks help teachers, school leaders and district supervisors integrate devices in a meaningfully way that will add value to learning.   With devices in education it is not what you have that counts, it is how you use I.T. that counts.
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