Innovation is the currency of progress. In our world of seismic changes, innovation has become a holy grail that promises to shepherd us through these uncertain and challenging times. And there isn’t a more visible symbol of innovation than the iPad. It’s captured the hearts and minds of disparate subcultures and organizations.
In education it’s been widely hailed as a revolutionary device, promising to transform education as we know it. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as bulk purchasing iPads and deploying them into the wilds of education. Innovation can’t be installed. It has to be grown — and generally from the margins.
The profusion of digital technology at work, home and everywhere in between is evident to even the most causal observer. In this climate, it’s understandable why many schools are interested in technological integration and innovation. While it seems clear that students will increasingly be expected to be adept at using digital tools in their professional and personal lives, there isn’t great clarity on how exactly these tools should be used. Often visions and goals are nebulous — if they exist at all. We can’t just buy iPads (or any device), add water, and hope that strategy will usher schools to the leading edge of 21st century education. Technology, by itself, isn’t curative. Human agency shapes the path.