ASB Unplugged is a 1:1 laptop conference for international schools, hosted by the American School of Bombay and the Laptop Institute. These are notes from a session I attended on technology-related change at the secondary level...

  • Andrew Hoover, middle school principal
  • Devin Pratt, high school principal
  • Dianna Pratt, middle/high school tech coordinator

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[the educators in this room are from more countries than you probably can place on a map!]

  • Change is not linear
    • Expect both bursts and delays
  • Complacency and resistance come from...
    • Being busy
    • Maybe being risk adverse
    • Perceived (and actual) threats to professional identity
  • DyKnow software really takes advantage of the tablet PCs' functionality, making it worth the tablets' extra cost
  • Key implementation stages (from John Kotter)
    • Establish a sense of urgency
      • Generate cognitive dissonance!
    • Create a guiding coalition
      • The leadership team has to be on board
    • Develop a vision and strategy
    • Communicate the change vision
      • Repetition of message, vision, goals, etc. is key
      • Lead by example
    • Empower educators for broad-based action
      • Lots of just-in-time professional development
      • Ongoing instrucational support
      • Reliable technology and infrastructure
      • Small, frequent, purposeful meetings
    • Generate short-term wins
      • Teacher-sponsored demos and highlights, tied into concept of enduring understandings
        • Repetition of this gradually overcomes the resisters
      • Teachers are asked to use DyKnow just once and have the lesson observed to get feedback
      • There is a curriculum to foster a sense of responsibility among students
        • Students carry around eggs first; if an egg breaks, the student has to go through a process before she gets another one
        • Later students graduate to laptops but have to leave them at school
        • Finally students get the laptops 24–7
    • Consolidate gains and produce further changes
      • "You don't know how comfortable you are until you start moving on"
      • Keep stressing 'here's where we were 2 years ago and look how much progress we've made'
      • Andrew is using a blog to keep staff, students, and parents informed of progress
      • Work on facilitating dispersed leadership
    • Anchor new approaches in the culture of the school
      • Recognize how culture already has changed and build upon it
      • Foster a climate of continuous improvement (kaizen)

Scott's trip to Mumbai: pics at Flickr, movies at YouTube.