Grounds for Innovative Culture

Part 1. New media technology in the classroom (50 min.)

Part 2. Shaping a discourse for best practice in a changing world (50 min.)

Part 3. Planning for the development of  innovative culture: selected readings available

1. New media technology in the classroom

Question: What are the implications?

(best practice, district policies, learning, teaching, sustainability, top down projects vs. grassroots initiative in, buy-in, funding distribution within the school…)

Web 2.0:

Technology Enhanced Learning Environments (TELE)

Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History (UVIC)

WISE – The web-based inquiry science environment (Berkeley)

Virtual Guests (Vancouver Island)

2. Shaping a discourse for best practice in a changing world

What will it be like to learn and teach in your school in 5 years?

Our learners are experiencing the world differently than we did. Web 2.0 has altered how we gather, organize, search for and create information. This information and communication transformation has a profound impact on the technologies we use, and will be using in the near future.

The changing nature of learners…

Learners are increasingly becoming right-side thinkers. They are no longer challenged / engaged by passive methods of learning. They want to be active in learning, they want to manipulate, they want to create, and they want to choose tools they feel comfortable with to demonstrate learning.

Don Tapscott – The Net Generation and the School

Ian Jukes and ‘The changing brain’

Learners’ brains are changing as a result of digital bombardment.

Michael Wesch discusses the changing nature of teaching and learning …

We are experiencing a paradigm shift in education as a result of new media technology. Educators must re-think their roles and relinquish traditional control over information. Wesch suggests that educators must make use of new media technologies to engage learners, and to better prepare them for the world.

Opening up the dialogue towards an overall of the education system

Framing Issues

Planning innovative culture is not without challenges. Below are the main issues affecting how we deploy and integrate new media technology in education.


Increasing teacher workload is one of the main causes in attrition in the profession across the industrialized world. How can we introduce new technologies without increasing teachers’ workload?


In order for innovative culture to evolve, staff / faculty has to buy-in. This is challenging because all educators stand at various vantage points.

“There are those who high tail it out the cat door, and you never see them again. There are those who do not show such obvious fear, but who walk sedately away, with great dignity, muttering, ‘That is all very interesting but I really don’t have time for that sort of thing.’ There are those who leap straight to the highest vantage point the can find and criticize loudly from their lofty position about how it is a dreadful thing and would never work for their subject area. There are those who hunker down, shut their eyes, and pretend it isn’t happening, because ‘It too, shall pass.’ There are those who initially take refuge behind the nearest piece of furniture, but peer out, mildly interested. The can probably be enticed to play, once it is well established that it’s safe to do so and that they will not be in great danger after all. And then there are those who come straight up – who want to play with it, embrace it, and are very willing to go along for the ride, wherever it takes them.” (Oriel Kelly)


Socially embedded perceptions about who should use technology, and what it can and cannot do, impede our ability to make objective decisions.

“The math department is interested, but the school has a set budget for technology and department heads meet to disperse it. When this happens, the math request is usually denied as the administration do not see a need in “fancying” up how we teach math. Basically a famous quote of our principal is that ” math teachers are lucky to have whiteboards.”


Integrating new media technologies in education is costly. Applications of choice require powerful machines to run them, high-speed connection to the Internet, tech support, professional development…


What happens when the technology breaks down? Does your school have access to the necessary resources to support student / educator use of new media technologies. Will your school’s budget be able to sustain development and innovation of new media technologies?

Environmental Cost

How green is your IT? Are you choosing partnerships that are concerned with the environmental impact of ICT? Are you demanding upgradable technologies? Are you pushing for environmentally sound policies surrounding technology deployment in your district? Are your students / teachers aware of the real cost of new media technology?

School / District Policies

How will your school / district put in place policies that address the digital divide (between schools, departments, students, educators)? Do you have policies for Internet use? What about legal issues: intellectual property, identity theft, academic honesty…

Top Down (project management) vs. Bottom Up Model (lone ranger)

Who will choose what new technologies will be used in your school / district? How will you support grass root innovation if all the decisions are made at the top? How can a bottom up approach be sustainable? How will you even know what technologies are being used / show promise / are sustainable? Where are the experts? How will you get your team to buy-in?

3. Planning for the development of an innovative culture

Apple, M. (1991). The new technology: Is it part of the solution or part of the problem in education? Computers in the Schools, 8, 59-80.

Bates, Tony. (2000). Leadership, vision, and planning in a post-Fordist organization. In Bates, A.W. (Ed.), Managing technological change – Strategies for college and university leaders. (pp. 36-58). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc.

Bates, Tony. (2007). Strategic planning for e-learning in a polytechnic. In Bullen, Mark & Janes, Diane. (Eds.), Making the transition to e-learning – Strategies and issues. (pp. 76-94). Hershey, PA: Info Science Publishing.

Petrina, Stephen. (2006). Advanced teaching methods for the technology classroom. Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing.

Vice-Principal for the Day

Newark Public Schools Office – Long Range Technology Plan 2007-2010

Mobile Technologies


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