Thursday, January 31, 2008

(Good to Great) The Conclusion

So let’s look at how we can make a successful transformation into the 21st century learner into an engage and accelerated learner. One of the strategies is the “Crawl, walk, run can be a very effective approach, even during times of rapid and radical technological change”
, as described by Jim Collins. We need to take those first few baby steps till we feel confident then we can go a little further with out some of the aids till we are finally off and walking with out any help. “The good-to-great Schools used technology as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it.” Here are a few examples that I found that I feel fit into this category. Classroom Performance System (CPS) they are like TV remotes used for summative and formative assessments. The other product was Scranton Performance series this is a web based student assessment that can check students knowledge based on the state standards down to the grade level content expectation (GLCE). Both these tools seem to help motivate, give quick feedback and allow the educators to quickly find students strengths and weaknesses.

I think you could also make a good argument for this fact by Jim Collins, “The idea that technological change is the principal cause in the decline of once-great Schools or companies (or the perpetual mediocrity of others) are not supported by the evidence.” Further more “How a School reacts to technological change is a good indicator of its inner drive for greatness versus mediocrity. Great Schools respond with thoughtfulness and creativity, driven by a compulsion to turn unrealized potential into results; mediocre Schools react and lurch about, motivated by the fear of being left behind. The good-to-great Schools used technology as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it. None of the good-to-great Schools began their transformations with pioneering technology, yet they all became pioneers in the application of technology once they grasped how it fit with their systems of education.” Wow this is a powerful statement in other words as we are making the transition we may not realized it we have morphed from an ugly larva into a beautiful butterfly. I also found his thoughts on giving technology to an organization with out the systems in place and watch it fail as described in this statement very intriguing, Jim Collins says. “You could have taken the exact same leading-edge technologies pioneered at the good-to- great School and handed them to their direct comparisons for free, and the comparisons still would have failed to produce anywhere near the same results. “
So after doing this research I find that it is not how much money we are going to throw at these schools to close the technology gaps. It is instead the implementation, the leadership that drives a school to become great instead of accepting the fact that they maybe good. It is getting the right people on the bus and the right people into the right seats. This is what will make it all work to help educate and educate are children to there full potential and beyond in this Flat world with all this global competitiveness.

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I am the Director of Technology at a K-12 School system.