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Disruption Welcome in the Classroom — With Technology

27 May 2015 by Desiree Samson

organism. It isn’t static. It isn’t constant. Which makes it disruptive. Businesses, even niche businesses, often forget to, or choose not to, evolve with technology and are turned upside down — because their products, their policies, their customer interface becomes, simply put, outdated. We live in a consumer-driven world, and we are often drawn to technology everything — from convenience to novelty. This is Insight’s Disruptive Technology series. We will be addressing how technology enters an industry and does exactly that — disrupts.


The blackboard or chalkboard has been around for centuries. Take a moment and think about that. What would education have been like before this invention? The chalkboard disrupted the classroom. But even though it’s been around for most of the 21st century, classrooms everywhere are going to see it being erased.

Here is how technology has been disruptive:

Internet: This may seem obvious, especially with how integrated the Internet is in our lives, but the Internet has been around for a very short period of time in terms of the history of education. The Internet is a true game changer, moving the teacher from “the sage on the stage” to a facilitator. It allows students to take virtual field trips, look up real-time events, watch tutorials outside of the classroom — the list goes on and on. This is why broadband in schools is such an important topic for the FCC and anyone invested in education.

Mobile Learning: Smartphones and other personal devices used to be confiscated in the classroom — and while devices are still confiscated for other disruptive purposes — they are increasingly being used for research, project interactions and to answer on-the-spot, instructor questions.

Students used to have to go to the computer lab during a designated time to do research for a report or work on a project, but mobile learning has disrupted this. And even though classrooms may have a few computers for students to use, mobile devices have changed student accessibility. Since tablets — Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, HP Pro Tablet, Lenovo ThinkPad, etc. — are not tethered to a wall, schools can use tablet carts to store and charge devices so they can easily move between classrooms. And schools are continuing to adopt Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies so students can use their personal devices in school.

Social Media: Educators are using social media to connect with one another. Teachers can now network outside of their school and district. With online events like Digital Learning Day that encourage educators to collaborate with one another, to individual state Twitter chats and the weekly worldwide #Edchat, educators are sharing lessons, discussing education policies and swapping classroom management approaches.

Khan Academy: These educational tutorials started out on YouTube as a way for Sal Khan to help his cousin with mathematics and has turned into a free online education platform that focuses on mathematics and science tutorials to help anyone with Internet access. Students across the globe can access subject- and topic-specific help through Khan Academy.

Education Apps: Teachers integrate apps into their curriculum and use them for classroom management. The functionality of education apps varies — everything from creating digital flashcards that can be shared to getting problem-specific help on a subject. Students are not only using these inside of the classroom, but outside, for remediation and homework help.


It is allowing students to take ownership of their learning by making it more personalized and competency based. It is also taking the learning process outside of the classroom by allowing learning to happen anytime and anywhere. It is shifting the role of the teacher and providing them with new ways to interact with their students. And there are more disruptions to come.

Insight Education helps K – 12 schools and districts meet the technology demands of today’s evolving classroom — from integrating devices to storing data and protecting student information. Let us know if we can help your school and district.

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