Our Disruptive Technology

 My Self-Assessment Results | found at  thatstemclass.com

I was in a feedback session for some software and I was shocked when I was asked about what I would expect if I clicked on a specific icon. I was giving my reaction to what I have been exposed to. Eventually, the people and I would mold this feature into being just like every other chat window experience we had encountered. We hadn't created anything new but instead, we made a replica of something that was old and working. Was this good for the company? Of course. Was it disruptive and exciting? Not in my book, it was safe.

I am a good teacher. I have a passion for my content area but lack all the knowledge for my students. I want to give my students the greatest teacher possible and I am willing to do the difficult task of admitting I am not the greatest at what I do. This is one of the biggest hurdles we must get past. Teachers must adapt and be ready to step back as the experts and allow our students to direct the level of learning. I currently implement specific YouTube videos to supplement my classroom learning objectives. Not only does this get more opportunities for my students to hear the same thing but provides them with the chance to watch outside of the school walls.


I want to work and live in a place where I am willing to try something new. To be brave and add a thing, however disruptive it is, into my life. What is funny is as I think about how crazy that sounds it isn't that crazy at all. Think back to when you were in school and look at how students are learning now. My daughter is using an iPad in her class right now that completely changes the way she interacts with the world. A simple thing like the "worksheets" she uses in class. They are not limited by the quality of copier or budget for printing, she gets rich and vivid activities created by more than just the creativity of her teacher's mind. Then increase the "crazy" involved and I get a ping on my phone when she shares the assignment with us through the SeeSaw app. I get to see more of her creations and learning even faster. This makes it so much easier to peek into what she is learning. It was a little "crazy" at the beginning, thinking of how different it was from the old way.

 courtesy of Jaap Buitendijk (via CNET)

courtesy of Jaap Buitendijk (via CNET)


While listening to one of my favorite audiobooks, Ready Player One, I missed how dynamic the idea of the learning model written about. I have since listened to it four times and thought more deeply about how Wade Watts and his classmates learn. This virtual world is magnificent because it allows way fewer distractions. The book references anti-bullying software that is built in and also limited access from things that are not on the agenda that day. I could only imagine how great the experience would be for my students.

As Michael Horn puts it, the students have control of the time, place, path and pace of their learning.

I am in an online Masters program and I could not fathom what it would be like if I had to report to class each week to a brick and mortar location. My schedule would not allow that. The future of learning is allowing the students to control those four factors of their learning. Being able to pause, rewind, and rewatch their learning already happens in places they frequent like Khan Academy and YouTube. Why not implement this same approach in the traditional classroom?


[Clayton Christensen Institute]. (2014, June 5). Part 6 -- Technology as a Disruptive Force in Education [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/k0ENX-GTUf4

[Clayton Christensen Institute]. (2014, June 5). Part 7 -- Disrupting Higher Education [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/IY18XHjGTFU

Horn, M. [Edmentum]. (2013, March 5). Disrupting Class - Part 3: Disruptive Innovation in Education [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/iX2hOF5YkfQ

Horn, M. [Edmentum]. (2013, March 5). Disrupting Class - Part 4: Blended Learning [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/-TGmqeWprqM

[The Rogers in Motion]. (2017, March 13). Using seesaw in the classroom [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/S0xGWKXCw6g

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