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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Exemplars from the Field

June 23, 2012, 9:42 AM

I just finished reading "Leading technology-rich schools: Award-winning models for success" written by Barbara B. Levin and Lynne Schrum. This is a great book for those wanting concrete examples of schools that get technology leadership. The authors highlight eight schools that are led by top-notch, tech-savvy leaders. Here are some common themes.

  • Vision. Tech leaders have a clear vision of how they want technology to be integrated into their schools. They have a vision of where they want to be and have taken an honest account of their current situation. 
  • Distributed Leadership. Each of these leaders stressed the importance of being a team player, empowering others, and valuing the opinions of all stakeholders.
  • Transparency. Tech savvy school leaders are clear and transparent about every facet of the school's technology initiatives. This means the leader is willing and able to communicate successes and failures. 
  • Planning. Planning, planning, and more planning is at the core of every successful educational technology initiative.
  • Culture. Successful school technology leaders consistently focus on fostering a positive culture of collaboration and risk taking while sharing and celebrating successes. 

Other take aways focus on funding, infrastructure and support, ongoing professional development, changing curriculum and instruction, and building collaborations and partnerships.

The lessons learned from the case studies are not earth shattering. However they are wonderful examples that show "how their leadership makes things happen" (p. 4). It was a refreshing summer reading book!


Exemplars from the Field

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