Musings from Mumbai: Fostering a climate of innovation in the middle and high schools

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


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  • Andrew Hoover, middle school principal
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  • Devin Pratt, high school principal
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  • Dianna Pratt, middle/high school tech coordinator
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[the educators in this room are from more countries than you probably can\nplace on a map!]

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

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