On bandwagons and innovation The importance of school culture

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I was recently at a conference where I met a newly appointed school leader who had heard of my work in technology integration. As we were introduced, the expression on his face gradually changed from your-name-rings-a-bell to ah-I-know.

He was interested to know what the latest trend was in technology in education and quick-fired some questions about using technology in the classroom, answering quite a number of them himself with a lavish sprinkle of the latest buzzwords.

He was, it turned out, on the look out for “the latest innovative practices”. As if innovation was a product you could purchase wholesale at conferences.

What I really wanted to say to him was that innovation is a culture that needs to be fed and allowed to grow and flourish, that he should encourage and celebrate the innovative practices already existing in his own school and that he didn’t need to be anywhere near computers or the internet to be innovative.

But it soon became obvious that he knew all the answers anyway, so I told him what he wanted to hear. I told him to get some iPads. He agreed enthusiastically.

After remarking on my accent, he revealed that he’s always been a great fan of Fawlty Towers and we shook hands good-bye.

Many thanks to Tim Lauer for the fantastic photograph.

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