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Posts Tagged ‘transparent

I would like to use this video to suggest a standard for technology integration in schools.

Video source

The technology described in the video is GPS. It is so ubiquitous that we take it for granted, e.g., navigating with Google Maps, gaming with location-based apps, tracking packages, precisely timing transactions.

The best technology integration is powerful but transparent. It is an essential must-have, not an optional good-to-have. It is most needed and only noticed when it is gone.

OPEN by mag3737, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  mag3737 

I have had a draft of this reflection sitting in Evernote for such a long time I cannot remember exactly why I wrote it. 

Let us say that you have a complex problem to solve. Some will lock down while others will open up.

One benefit of being strategically open is that it can create more transparent processes. This in turn can build trust.

Being more open with problems, ideas, or policies can result in greater feedback and critique. While doing this might result in slower implementation, you are more likely to get better inputs by crowdsourcing.

I think one reason some people do not like being open is that they fear that others will not understand the complexities of the issues at hand. But how are others expected to understand if you are not open in the first place?

Other times people worry that the process is messy and that being transparent is a sign of discord or weakness. But I think that it takes trust to build more trust.

You have to share some information that you might have withheld in the past. This leads to a more informed group that now knows the context, background, or the reasons why.

If you manage the situation well, it creates trust whether you succeed or fail during implementation. That trust is more important than the problem you tried to solve because it helps with the next problem.

Now I remember why it remained a draft. I was just rambling mentally.

Prior to meeting my classes each semester, I send online surveys out to participants to get to know them. Depending on the class, I may also ask them to prepare other things like playing mobile games, making sure they have QR code readers, etc.

Every now and then I will get a reply to my welcome email about how the participant is worried that they might not be savvy enough with technology. I call that perceived dissonance.

That person thinks that his or her lack of tech-savvy will hold him or her back. Having facilitated courses over the years, I can confidently say that this perception does not become reality. Participants learn along the way and they get help from their peers and me.

What they should be more concerned about is the dissonance that I create (or that they come to realize) about content, their mindsets or belief systems, strategies, and so on. This is the real (and really useful) dissonance.

This is another way of saying that in good technology integration, the technology is essential and enabling, but it is also transparent. It is there to enable self-directed learning, meaningful collaboration, and deep reflection, but it does not get in the way.

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Might this, or something like it, be the future of desktop computing?

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YoutTube turned five last week. So much change in so little time.

The older it gets, the more transparent and part of our lives it becomes. And that is the best type of technology: You don’t notice it when you use it and you feel handicapped when it’s not there.

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