Thursday, January 7, 2010

More on Disruptive Innovation

Thanks very much to Scott McLeod, author of the Dangerously Irrelevant blog, for sharing the text and audio of his recent presentation to the NEA. Thanks very much to one of Scott's readers (Art Wolinsky) for synchronizing the two and making them available for everyone to enjoy.  You can find the individual components HERE and the combined version HERE.  If you have any interest in the topic of disruptive innovation or educational change, I recommend you take 20 minutes and watch/listen to this presentation.

Bob Dyan said the times, they are a changing.  Scott McLeod's presentation will give you a great overview of the theory that explains why.  I'm not a betting man (mostly because I'm on PIL and not as flush as normal), but if I were I might be tempted to bet the 2019 target promoted by Christensen may be reached a bit earlier than that!

The book Disrupting Class, by Clayton Christensen and Michael Horn, makes a great deal of sense to me. The idea of disruptive innovation driving successful organizations from the marketplace makes sense as a potential influence on the structure of education when explained in the book. I believe another book I read a while ago, A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, helps to further explain the conditions that exist in society to support the upcoming disruption of our systems.

McLeod's presentation will be most helpful to me when trying to explain the changes that will take place during this next decade. When talking to people about the change I believe is coming, they frequently struggle to comprehend the breadth of the dramatic change that is coming. Old perspectives say there is no way kids can learn online in large numbers.  The problem with that belief though is we are not using old perspectives. Our students are creating new perspectives every day.

By focusing on what education is going to look like (i.e. an almost 50-50 blend of online and traditional classes at the HS level by 2019), I think I have been contributing to people's inability to understand the innovation that is happening as we speak.  I shouldn't focus on the end. It is too dramatic a jump. Rather, to help people understand the influence online learning is going to have, I should be focusing on the conditions being created that will foster kids learning online. I should explain more about how kids are starting to demonstrate their learning.  McLeod's presentation did a much better job of helping his audience (and us on the web watching it) build our understanding of what is happening.

The slides showing the exponential curve, especially, will help me to help others understand this concept the next time we are having a discussion about it.  Great presentation Scott!  Thanks for sharing it!



Scott McLeod said...

Thanks so much for the kind words about the presentation and for passing it along. Much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.