2 Comments

  1. George,

    I think many of us jumped on the SmartBoard bandwagon. For me, they were my first big technology purchase. Going through the experience of implementing them taught me a lot about integrating tech into the classroom – good, bad, and ugly. Certainly, one lesson learned was around the barriers to access and how they can impact consistent use in the classroom.

  2. You hit the nail on the head…when you sit to track every single ed tech product that was “all the rage” the common pattern is the same – its success/failure within a district/school/classroom has more to do with removing barriers to effective implementation than has to do with the technology itself.
    Having myself been on the SMART Board bandwagon and loving it in my math class and then transitioning to a consultant role supporting all school districts in Ontario as they transitioned to digital, this fact was ever more aparent…the concerning part is that most people in the procurement / “implementation” role within a system last ~3-5 years in the role…which is about the time it takes to truly learn/internalize said lesson…and then someone replaces them and has to go through the same learning…its a nasty cycle…and this has been going on way before SMART Boards…remember the dedicated computer lab model, the 1-2 computers in the class model, laptops on a cart, TV’s on carts, overhead projectors, pull-down maps/graphing paper, tangible manipulatives?…and that’s just hardware stuff..think about all the “concept” stuff schools have tried implementing…new instructional strategies/ classroom management techniques etc….the list goes on and on.
    I now sit as SMART’s Global Education Strategist and work quite intensively with our product development teams and I can tell you that I take every opportunity to remind our developers that they have to design with the assumption that an effective implementation strategy is NOT in place when our teachers/students start using our hardware/software. Now, I’m not saying it should only be up to tech. companies to solve this problem….ed. systems alike need to account for this too….but the more stakeholders aware and involved in accounting for this problem the greater the likelihood 5-10 years from now we won’t be reading a blog post on this topic (at least that’s my hope).

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