Innovation v Integration

When you get your trolley full of tricks, bring others with you!

When you get your trolley full of tricks, bring others with you!

I’ve been looking at online technologies for a few months now and I have to admit to being overwhelmed somewhat by the rapid emergence of new stuff as well as trying to reconcile it all with practical use in the classroom. After attending Umbrella Group meetings and the recent AIS Integrator’s Conference, I felt validated about the technology that I had chosen to use – Blogs and Edmodo. Confident in my path, I sat down with my infinitely patient co-teacher to run her through what I had planned with Edmodo. I was surprised at myself when I was lost for words at her regular question: “Why are we doing this?”

But I was on a roll! I was setting things up, my students were right into it, I felt happy with it all. Why then, did I get derailed when asked to explain the purpose of it all? I was happy in my mind about the benefits of technology integration, but I had neglected an important, nay the most vital aspect of the facilitator’s roll in a school…


It seems so obvious now, that on reflection, I was in a daze. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees, so engulfed and excited at my new developments I was. (Channeling the grammar of Yoda a bit, too.) I was trapped in the void between teacher who can confidently use technology in their own classroom and a facilitator, whose role it is to help others do the same.

I put it to the community of classroom IT users that innovation cannot come at the expense of integration. We talk of a classroom full of ‘New Media’ where ‘Digital Natives’ practice their 21st Century-thing, and we applaud ourselves for being at the coalface. For streaming ahead. You know who is at risk here? The teachers we leave behind.

I made the mistake of not considering my colleague when streaming ahead with my new methods. I can see how it would have ended up – her class asking her why they weren’t doing all the fun things 5PH was? Who looks good and bad in that situation…?

A responsibility for us all is to be mindful of the balance. Innovation v Integration. Come one, come all. Leave no-one behind.