How would Collins’s paradigm help improve the school, and where does it need reworking to better fit the nonprofit sector?
In this paper I will try to explain that how Collins’s paradigm help improve the school, and where it needs reworking to better fit the nonprofit sector. In his book, Collins creates a framework of a great organization. He does not make a formal definition of “GREAT”, however he draws a framework to reach and have a great organization.
The author points out that the flywheel of change “from good to great” has three main components:
1. Disciplined People (level 5 leadership, First Who then What),
2. Disciplined Thought (Confront the Brutal Facts, Hedgehog Concept) and,
3. Disciplined Action (Culture of Discipline, Technology Accelerators).
Particularly, he gives meaningful examples from the real life, especially from business, to stress each component. Here, I will try to make a transformation and adaptation for schools. I do not know if all the parts of paradigm fit into School as an organization, but I am convinced that general paradigm fits to schools life. I want to start with the first important principle of the framework:
“Get the Right People on the Bus and Get the Wrong People Off” is the first principle in the book to have the great organizations. Some schools, especially private schools’ teachers get fired and new teachers are hired. I interviewed some of the teachers recently, and I asked two physical education (PE) teachers that why they were let go and both answered, “The heads said that they changed perspective of PE lesson.” In some departments, they really have the right people who are perfect in their position with their ability, education, personal properties, relationship, etc. However, in some departments, people who lack education, ability, and communication have the seats. There is a big difference between people’s behavior before the job interview and after the interview. With the wrong people, how can we discuss the challenging points in the school? This question is a kind of paradox.
“Confronting the Brutal Facts and the Stockdale Paradox” is the second principle. Great leaders keep and follow their goals. However, while they are doing these;
The author points out that “Yes, leadership is about vision. But leadership is equally about creating a climate where the truth is heard and the brutal facts confronted. There’s a huge difference between the opportunity to ‘have your say’ and the opportunity to be heard” (p.74).
“The Stockdale Paradox retains faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties and at the same time confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
In terms of school, it is especially true for the head, leaders, and boards in the school. The teachers and staff want to be responsible of the achievement of students if the achievement is high. However, if the achievement is low, who will take responsibility of being unsuccessful?
The key point is here. Without solving the fundamental problems in the school, how we can jump up next step? In some school, without solving and discussing challenging points about national curriculum – which is mandatory in accordance with ministry of national education – how we can apply and integrate The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Program that offers high quality programs of international education to a worldwide community of schools?
“Hedgehog Concept!” Greek poet Archilochus said, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one thing“. As mentioned in the book that the leaders of the organizations know what they can do best in the organization, what drives their economic engine, and what organization is deeply passionate about. “Hedgehog Concept is not a goal to be the best, a strategy to be the best, an intention to be the best, a plan to be the best. It is an understanding of what you can be the best at“ (p.98). “The essence of the process is to get the right people engaged in vigorous dialogue and debate, in fused with the brutal facts and guided by questions formed by the three circles” (p.114).
Three Circles of the Hedgehog Concept (Collins, 2001)
“Precisely, the Hedgehog concept is a simple, crystalline concept that flows from deep understanding about the intersection of the three circles” (p.95).
Adaptation of Hedgehog Concept to School:
The schools are the social sectors. They focus on human education. The author rethinks the important differences between business and social sector. Otherwise, it is difficult and not meaningful to try to apply everything into education sector. As it is mentioned in text of Collins (2005, p.19), “the whole purpose of the social sectors is to meet social objectives, human needs and national priorities that cannot be priced at a profit.” By considering this idea, we rethink about hedgehog concept in the social sector. Collins stated that “in circle one, ‘passion’ is understand what you organization stands (its values) and why it exists (its mission or core purpose). In circle two, ‘best at’ is to understand what your organization can uniquely contribute to the people it touches, better than any other organization on the planet. In circle three, resource engine is to understand what best drives your engine, broken into three parts: time, money, and brand” (p.19, Collins, 2005). By considering these important points, we can apply hedgehog concept into school system as:
Every worker in the school - top to down, down to top - must have a passion in their hearth to achieve the goals. They must deeply believe in themselves and their goals. The author pointed out that “We should only do those things that we can get passionate about” (p.109). We have two great examples of people who get passionate on their work: Adam Smith on economy, and Darwin on the Evolution. If the schools combine three circles of the concept, they will be able to create their schools’ hedgehog concept. Moreover, they are the best people in their specialization subject area. They do not need extra motivation, because they have already motivated with doing their best in the school. This is related to “Culture of Discipline” that we will talk about self-motivated people.
“Culture of Discipline” is about the self-motivated employees. “The point is to first get self-disciplined people who engage in very rigorous thinking, who then take disciplined action within the framework of a consistent system designed around the Hedgehog Concept.” (p.126).
I think that the culture of discipline is not a new concept in the book, especially for school as an organization. On the other hand, every organizational culture must have;
Consider a football team as a class in the school. They have a goal. To get the goal, they have a policy and schedule to make practice, they all know the rules, they never skip any training or practice, and because of this, they become successful in the football field. The audience watches an exciting football match, however, behind the curtain there is a big plan with high discipline. It is also the same for school governance. In the school, this concept works easily;
However, when we talk about school, educating people, and instruction, it is not smart to mention profit or making money, even in international schools. The schools’ role is educating people not marketing the products. Having well educated population is not easier than having a new machine or cigarette. Making changing on human behaviors is not easy, but changing or choosing your machine is so easy. This is the shortfall of Collins’s concept.
“The Flywheel Concept” is a good tool to understand development process of good to great. According to school’s need, while the boards are making the transformation from good to great, they must deeply focus on each process step by step (people, actions, decisions, activities, seminars, etc.). The author points out this process the turning “flywheel”. In a business sector, the main goal is to make money and invest in new sectors. In education, however, the main goal is to educate people and to invest in human development. Even though the turning flywheel has seemed to have similar properties in terms of education sector, we must change something. As I mentioned before, people can change products easily. Changing of human behavior is not easy. It takes times to make change in education.
However, there are mutual points for both sides: business and social (education). They are right people in right place, patient and disciplined people-thought-action, working hard and deeply, and face facts and challenge the problems, need time and money and people. As result of this process, by monitoring the turning flywheel, we must examine the every point on the flywheel and we must make change if we need in any points. However, I could not see any component on emotion on the turning flywheel. It seems so capitalist to me! We must add emotional intelligence to make the flywheel transformation into education.
“Level 5 Leadership” is compared to high-profile celebrity leaders with elite and superior skills and personalities. Level five leaders are self-effacing, quiet, reserved. The author points out that level five leaders build enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. By considering Collins’s hierarchy of leadership, it is difficult to place the school to the school head on the hierarchy. The school principals or heads must have leadership skills. They have to build relationships and work collaboration among teachers, students, parents, boards, support staff, members of ministry of natural education, and other community. Some school principle tries to do this, but most of them are not a level five leadership. They are so polite to everybody, silent. They She try to create time to speak everybody who knock their door, speak slowly. Some parents and teachers think that it is a sign of their weakness. I do not agree with them. However, other people in the school easily influence them. I think that this is one of their weaknesses. So, They could not build a good school development team with the right people.
For a school leader, it is difficult to apply concept “getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the seats”. The school principle as a leader wants to gain every people into society. Being great, good, or bad is not important; they are people who are living in same country.
So, principal is important in the school: not because of being on the top, but because they have an impact on people. If they use their power honestly, they should motivate the people, build strong relationship and common goals among all. Being produced and sustained student achievement must be profits for a school principle.
To end to say; my point is not fit with Collins’ concept. I support to combine with Bolman & Deal (2003, p.314) “Reframing Organization” and “Collins’s framework”. Starting with structural frame, having a school policy, vision, and applicable mission are the first. Confronting the brutal fact, hedgehog concept (what is school best, educational engine), technology accelerator, and flywheel is not an infinite loop. It requires improvements in each turn. Additionally, in the human resources frame, it merges with level five leaders and first who then what. In the symbolic frame, peers never lose faith, leaders apply hedgehog concept (deeply passionate) and form a culture of discipline.
Manager does not want to make a big change in people. Many of them work with each other for many years. They have an emotional link between people in the school. If a teacher works for five years in a school happily, after making big change in the school, the heads cannot say to the teacher “we do not want you, because you are not people right now.” There are many shortfalls in Collins‟ concept as I explained above. Thus, we need to combine and reframe the leadership and school development with Bolman and Deal.
Bolman, L. & Deal, T. (2003). Reframing Organizations. Third Edition.
Collins, J. (2001). Good to Great. Boulder
Collins, J. (2005). Good to Great, and the Social Sectors. Boulder, pp. 17-23.
Special thanks to Pearl Rock Kane who is the Klingenstein Family Chair Professor of education in the Department of Organization and Leadership, director of the Klingenstein Center for Independent School leadership and advisor for the Master’s degree programs focusing on school leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University.
The Role of School Leadership in the Implementation of Programming and Stem Concepts into Classroom Practice
This short practitioner report discussed the role of the school leadership in the implementation of programming, and STEM concepts into classroom practice in an educational institution in Izmir, Turkey. The study investigated the process of how the school's leadership team including the ICT coordinator made it possible to integrate these relatively new concepts into the school’s curriculum by effectively managing the change process. 50 teachers from different fields including early years, primary, history, science, mathematics, computing, visual arts, and English, were active participants in the implementation program and were asked to regularly reflect on their experiences. The data from the teacher’s reflective journals showed that both programming and STEM concepts were seamlessly integrated into the schools’ curricula and classroom practice. The teachers reported that by receiving training about these concepts and the tools that are necessary for teaching them, was beneficial for supporting the student’s development of 21st-century learning skills such as collaboration, communication and problem-solving. They also explained how the supportive attitude of the leadership team which provided time, resources and training opportunities for teachers, had an impact on the teachers' attitude towards the change process.
Please see the attachment file to read the full article
*Please click on the link to see more http://ijcses.org/index.php/ijcses/article/view/47/59
“ 21. yüzyılın okur yazar olmayan bireyleri, sadece okuyamayan ve yazamayan olmayacaklar, aynı zamanda öğrenemeyen, öğrenmeyen, öğrenemeyecek olanlardır.” -Alvin Toffler
Günümüzün ve geleceğin en önemli öğrenme modelinin “Mobil Öğrenme” olduğunu söylemek abartı olmaz sanırım. Adına ister “Karma öğrenme” deyin, içine “flipped the classroom” yerleştirin, isterseniz tüm öğrencilere tablet bilgisayar verin, bu çalışmalar bize “Mobil Öğrenmeyi” getirir. Çünkü asıl hedef, bugünün bireylerini 21. yüzyıla uygun şekilde yetiştirmektir. Bunun yanında, onların hem yaratıcılık hem de özgün olabilme özelliklerini de geliştirmek eğitimcilerin öncelikleri arasında olmalıdır. Eğitimin okuldan mezun olmakla bitmeyip, sonrasında da süreklilik gerektiren bir eylem olduğunu/olacağını gözlemliyoruz. Sadece Türkiye’de değil, dünyanın pek çok ülkesinde tartışılan bir konu; “çok iş var, kalifiye eleman yok”. Uluslararası danışmanlık şirketlerinden biri olan McKinsey (2012) bu konuda bir rapor yazdı. Raporunda gençlerin iş bulamadığını, ancak iş verenlerin de giriş seviyesinde (bile) becerilere sahip olan bireyler bulamadıklarını söylüyor. Bu durumda, bu açık nasıl kapanır? Gençler sevdikleri işlere, iş verenler de nitelikli çalışanlara nasıl kavuşur? Bunun çözümü ülkeden ülkeye farklılık göstermekle birlikte, ortak bir noktada da buluşmuyor değil. Eğitim ve öğretimin sisteminin değişen iş ve ekonomi dünyasına uygun bireyler yetiştirmesi, bununda yanında yaşam boyu öğrenme becelerinin öğrencilere kazandırılması gerekmektedir.
Yaşam boyu öğrenme becerilerini öğrencilerin rutini haline getirmek mobil öğrenmenin “neden” önemli olduğunun açık bir kanıtıdır. Peki nedir “mobil öğrenme”? Mobil öğrenme; öğrenme ihtiyacının her durumda karşılanmasına olanak tanıyan öğrenme ortamlarıdır. En büyük özelliği, öğrenmenin mekandan ve zamandan bağımsızdır olmasıdır. Mobil öğrenme sayesinde, bilginin çok çabuk eskiyip tükendiği dünyada, çalışanlar uzmanlık alanlarına göre kendilerini geliştirme olanağı bulabilirler.
K-12 ve Üniversite düzeyinde Mobil öğrenme nasıl Uygulanır?
Okullar değişen eğitim sistemlerine, öğretim metotlarına ve 21. yüzyıl öğrenen profiline göre müfredatlarını, ders etkinliklerini, değerlendirme araçlarını ve ölçütlerini güncellemelidirler. Her gün karşımıza çıkan yeni araçları ve uygulamaları denemeden önce okul kültürüne göre bir gelişim planı hazırlanmalıdır. Bunun hazır bir reçetesi yok ama bazı temel basamaklar dikkatle düzenlenirse okullarımızı ve dolayısıyla öğrencilerimizi geleceğe hazırlayabiliriz.
Okulunuzda uygulamak istediğiniz model ne olursa olsun, teknoloji artık o işin önemli bir parçası. Öncelikle bunu kabul etmeliyiz. İdari hizmetlerden, öğretim etkinlerine kadar işlerimizi kolaylaştıran teknolojinin eğitime katkısı nasıl gerçekleşir? Nasıl uygularsak eğitim teknolojileri girişimleri başarılı sonuçlar verir? Kendi tecrübelerimden yola çıkarak oluşturduğum listeyi şu şekilde sıralayabilirim;
Eğitim Teknolojileri Entegrasyonu önemlidir!
Tüm bu yazılanları okurken, insanları bu kadar zorlamaya ne gerek var diye düşünebilirsiniz. Bunun en önemli nedeni gelişen dünyaya ayak uydurmak, onlar koşuyorsa en azından biz de tempomuzu artırmalıyız ki gelecek daha iyi değil, mükemmel olsun. Eğitim açısından ise bize ve öğrencilerimize katkılarını şu şekilde sıralayabiliriz;
Sonuç olarak; bu yazımda mobil öğrenmenin önemini ve okullarda başarılı bir şekilde uygulanması için gerekli olan temel maddeleri ve eğitim teknolojileri entegrasyonun neden önemli olduğundan bahsettik. Tabii ki mobil öğrenme burada yazılanlarla sınırlı değil, ancak uygulamalara “nereden başlanacağı ve nasıl planlanacağı” konusunda yardımcı olacağını düşünüyorum.
Dönem ödevlerinin verildiği zamanlar vardı, şimdilerde performans ödevi olarak veriliyor, hala var mı o da değişti mi bilmiyorum. Üniversite yıllarında ise daha çok üst sınıflara gelindiğinde hocaların projelerimize rehberlik ettikleri, konuyu öğrenmek, araştırma yapmak, rapor hazırlamak ve sunum haline getirmenin tamamen öğrencinin sorumluluğunda olduğu en verimli derslerimiz vardı... Hocalarımızla buluşma saatlerimizde, neler yaptığımızı, neler öğrendiğimizi ve nasıl ürün ortaya çıkaracağımızı ya da çıkardığımızı konuşur, tartışır, eksiklerimizi onların rehberliğinde tamamlardık...
Son iki yılın en popüler ders etkinlerinden biri olan ve “Flipping The Classroom” ya da Türkçe olarak yaygınlaşan adıyla “Sınıfları ters düz etmek” aslında yeni bir şey değil! Onu bu kadar popüler yapan, mobil cihazların artması, internet üzerinden verilen derslerin yaygınlaşması, yazılımların çoğalması ve sistemin tüm öğrenci seviyelerini kapsamak istemesi... Bunun altında yatan herkesin mobil cihazı olmalı, daha çok tablet satmalıyız düşüncesinde olan teknoloji firmalarını da bu çemberin dışında tutuyorum. Yani konu sadece eğitimin iyileştirilmesi!
“Flipping The Classroom” uygulamaya geçmeden önce bazı sorular soralım, soralım ki hangi ihtiyaca cevap vereceğini net bir şekilde görelim. Bir eğitimci olarak düşünelim;
Neden, Nasıl, Ne zaman kullanmalıyım?
Hangi sınıf düzeyleri için uygun?
Olumsuz yanları olabilir mi?
Neden, Nasıl, Ne zaman kullanmalıyım?
Bir eğitimci olarak sorgulamak lazım! Her zaman popüler olan değil, öğrencilerin, öğrenenlerin ihtiyaçları ve bireysel özellikleri önemlidir... Bu özellikler ve ihtiyaçlar göz önünde bulundurularak öğretim etkinleri belirlenmelidir. Konu, yöntem, kullanılan materyal ne olursa olsun asıl önemli olan öğrencilerin kazanması gereken becerilerdir. Genelde anlaşılması güç olan konularda, tekrar gerektirecek derslerde, konuyu ana hatlarıyla özetlemek gerektiğinde, proje çalışmalarının öncesinde, öğrencilerin ihtiyaç duyacakları bilgilerin sunulması için “Flipping The Classroom” etkinliği kullanılabilir.
Her öğrenci nerede eksiği olduğunu, nereleri anlamadığını bilir... Gerektiğinde konuyu tekrar etmek ister! Dersi iyi dinleyememiş, o gün hasta olmuş ya da herhangi bir nedenden dolayı dersi kaçırmış olabilir... Iste o zaman, öğretmeni tarafından hazırlanmış ders materyali ilaç gibi gelir. Özellikle bu materyal video ya da podcast olarak anlatılmışsa, öğrenci kendi anlama ve öğrenme hızına göre zamanını ayarlayabilir. Dersi tekrar etmek için de gerçekten mükemmel görünüyor! “Öğretmenim hep yanımda” hissi uyandırıyor! İşte tam da bu noktada çok ince bir çizgi var, öğrenciyi tembelliğe itebilir! Nasıl mı?
“Öğretmenim zaten videoyu paylaşıyor, okula gitmeme gerek yok...”
“ Neden not tutayım ki, sınavdan önce izlemem yeter...” gibi durumlara mahal vermemek için, öğretmenin yönergeleri, dersin planı ve kurgusu çok önemli...
Bir dersin tüm içeriğini, tüm aşamalarının video veya sunum olarak öğretim yönetim sistemlerine konulması ve öğrencilerin buradan öğrenmelerini beklemek her zaman doğru değildir. Kaynak amaçlı olabilir, ama bir dersin sürekli bu şekilde öğretilmesinin adi “Flipping The Classroom” değil e-learning (e-öğrenme) olur. Bu da bizi yanıltabilir.
Hangi sınıf düzeyleri için uygun?
Aslında belki tüm sınıf düzeyleri için, derslerin belli bölümlerinde kullanılabilir. Önemli olan kullanım amacı! Dersin amacına ve çıktılarına göre öğretmen yine süreci belirleyen olacaktır. Ama yine de özellikle ilköğretim düzeyi için beklentiyi çok yüksek tutmamak gerekir. Öğrencilerin kendine kendine öğrenmesi de zamanla geliştirilen becerilerden biridir... Dolayısıyla öğrencinin kendi “zaman yönetimini” iyi değerlendirmesi zaman alabilir. Ek olarak, tüm derslerde benzer bir uygulama yapılırsa, özellikle ilköğretim öğrencileri için sağlıksız durumlar olabilir. Bunların en başında da sürekli ekrana bakmak geliyor! Bir yetişkin olarak benim bile sürekli ekrana bakmak, oradan bir şeyler öğrenmek hoşuma gitmiyor. Tek yönlü bir şeyler yapıyor hissine kapılıyorum... Konuşmak, tartışmak, soru-cevap yapmak, öğretmenle birebir iletişimde bulunmak sınıf içinde yaratılan zaman diliminde çok iyi kullanılmalı...
Olumsuz yanları olabilir mi?
Bana göre bu yöntemin öğrencilere teknolojik cihaz temin etmek yükü getiriyor olması en büyük olumsuzluk... Belki ihtiyaç olarak gösteriliyor, ama hiçbir öğrenci mecbur tutulmamalı ve eksik hissettirilmemeli... Bu durum öğrenme motivasyonlarını yükseltelim, her öğrenciye ulaşalım derken, pek çok öğrenciyi psikolojik olarak kaybetmemize neden olabilir. İstediği kitabı bile alamayan öğrenciler varken, mobil cihaz temin etmek gerçekten bir yük olabiliyor... Bunu görmezden gelemeyiz.
Peki bu olumsuzluk nasıl çözülmeli? Eğer okullar bu şekilde bir öğretim anlayışı benimsemişlerse, bunun alt yapısını da sağlamalı... Okulda öğrenci sayısıyla orantılı bilgisayar laboratuvarları, kütüphane, çalışma odaları olmalı... Öğrencilerin ödünç olarak dizüstü bilgisayar ya da tablet temin edebilecekleri kütüphaneler olmalı. North Carolina eyalet üniversitesinin en beğendiğim özelliğiydi... İstediğiniz her teknolojiyi, hatta işletim sistemi tercihi ve marka belirterek bir hafta, cihaza göre bazen on beş gün ücretsiz olarak ödünç alabiliyorsunuz. Hatta profesyonel video kamera ve fotoğraf makinesi bunlardan biriydi...
Öğrencilere fırsat sunarken, öğretim adına güzel bir şeyler yapmak isterken bilinçli hareket ederek ve iyi bir planlama yapmak bizi hedefe götürür... Sonucu herkesi mutlu eder, öğrenme şevkini artırır, maddi kayıplar olmaz... O nedenle öğrencilerin neye ihtiyacı olduğunu yine öğretmenleri bilir... Yenilik olarak çalışmalar yaparken, öğretmenlerin görüş ve önerileri de alınmalı, dayatmalı bir yenilikten kaçınılmalıdır. Çünkü bu yenilikleri yine öğretmenler hayata geçirecekler...
Even if the results are not good every time, technology integration in education seems essential for 21st century learner profile... Technology is not a magic tool to readily provide activities; the teachers should create curriculum activities, design learning scenarios by using information and communication technologies.
In 21st century (Dede, 2009; Spires, H., Bartlett, M., Garry, A., & Quick, A., 2012) and beyond, developed and developing countries need highly qualified individuals. The schools, teachers, educations leaders, policy makers and companies devote serious effort to integrate technology into curricula to harvest such highly qualified individuals. Therefore, the educations systems, learning and teaching tools and materials, teaching and learning methods need to transform in order to reach contemporary education. We can easily see that every new technologies based on computers have a transformational effect on education. Even if the results are not good every time, technology integration in education seems essential for 21st century learner profile.
Several research studies show that one-to-one learning technologies have a positive impact on learning and teaching (Bebell & O’Dwyer, 2010; Penuel, 2006; Sclater, Sicoly, Abrami, & Wade, 2006). The most motivating and appealing aspect of using one-to-one tablets or laptop or any other mobile technologies is to have access required information at any time any where via internet (Bebell & Kay, 2010). Moreover, the students can create their own class notes by using different software. Therefore information should be personalized (Spires, H. et al., 2012). As a result, they can learn in a meaningful way and they can archive and organize learning materials and projects in the form of an e-portfolio using their tablets, and share it with the rest of the world. This learning environment also makes teaching easier and change the role of the teachers from the only source of information to guiding, advisor, or coach of lesson (Livingston, 2009). Turkish education policy makers also devote an effort to transform education to prepare the individuals for digital age.
Observations from the Pilot Schools and Interviews
Even though the pilot projects is very new and it is so early to deduce conclusive results, we want to support students, teachers, and principals in the pilot schools in meetings in orders to provide pedagogical perspective. We discussed general opinions, concerns and expectations in our meetings. Some of the opinions of the teachers, vice principals, students were as follows:
The problems with LCD Smart Board are effected usage of tablets. Teacher cannot control the tablets with their computers. This situation creates huge classroom management problems. There is a need for classroom management software. The teachers cannot lock the tablets when the students take their tablets to “flight mode”. Students play games using tablets during the lessons, they have difficulty concentrating to lessons.
The teachers should be able to create the exam sheets from the tablets; there should be a classroom management system such that students are able to get feedback and their exam results using their tablets. File sending and receiving, e-mail, forums should be allowed between teachers and teachers, students and students, teacher and students. This can also create a positive impact on communication in the school (Spires, Oliver, & Corn, 2011; Lei & Zhao, 2008; Mouza, 2008). Moreover, the students can share and send their homework and project with teachers and other students. Limited Internet connection permits the students and teachers access some web sites, which are official and permitted by MONE. The security issues, limited access to the Internet, and locked video-camera properties de-motivate the students and teachers’ using tablets in education (Drayton, Falk, Stroud, Hobbs, & Hammerman, 2010). During one of our school visits, we made an open survey by asking students “how many of you brought to tablets to school, today?” at one class of ninth grade students. Just three of thirty- four students had brought their tablets to the school. Interestingly and surprisingly this school was one of the top schools in terms of student achievement. One of the students said that they couldn’t do anything with tablets, since there are no office programs, they are not allowed to use Internet, they cannot use any means of communication, and they cannot use video or camera properties. They have electronic version of textbook and they preferred to bring textbook instead of tablets into class. Tablets are expensive, the students does not want to take the responsibility of tablets. As a result of this, development of e- content is also one of the most important issues in the pilot project.
The tablets have basic software for basic operations such as note taking and e-book reading. The expectations of students and teachers are more than e-books and r-books, more than scanned (or electronic) version of the textbooks. E-content should be enriched: with animations, tests, maps, interactive applications, and interactive test and exam questions. R-books should be available in teachers’ tablets, too. There should be office software to use word processing, spreadsheets and presentations to create projects or other activities. Internet usage area should be expanded (research tools, dictionaries, wikis, etc.), and it should be in teacher’s control. There is a need for information and communication teacher and technology technician support in every school. Teachers need more and hands-on training for technology integration to their teaching in their subject area. During the interviews, the teachers from the different subjects (e.g., math, science, history, geography, foreign language, etc.) indicate that they need training specialized in their subject to integrate tablet into classroom activities.
LCD Smart Board usage is more efficient compared to tablet usage. However, e-content is limited especially for tablets. Teachers’ general view is that tablets are unnecessary. Ministry of National Education gave the first training but it was not sufficient and sustainable. Although they feel unconfident on how to integrate tablets to their courses, they want training on its usage first. The software, the scanned version of the school books, and e-content in the tablets are not sufficient for integrate into education. The teachers are unhappy and worried about the fast change. The students’ achievement is found to decrease while the teachers and students are striving to integrate tablets to their learning and integration to the courses.
Teachers’ another general feeling is pressure about they should constantly use the tablets and the LCD Smart Board. They wonder if the technology is the aim or tool. From that point, I can say that the vision and mission of one-to-one tablet project haven’t been combined, yet in Turkey based on the pilot project. Education leaders, principals, teachers, and students should be made aware of the meaning, impact, opportunities of one-to-one tablet project for teaching and learning. The teachers and policy makers should think and create teaching and learning activities beyond the classroom. Tablets and similar kinds of mobile technologies provide teachers, learner or anybody who want to learn whenever, wherever, they want. They should listen to a lesson podcast when they you are in a bus, work on their homework in a café house, create a biology video in a botanic garden, or a history presentation on museum visit, have an interview with people on the street about smoking, create an e-portfolio for the class notes and projects, have an exam online and take the quick feedback. The teachers should guide the students with such activities. Otherwise, using tablets or any other technologies will not create much impact on learning and will not motivate the teachers and students. Technology is not a magic tool to readily provide activities; the teachers should create curriculum activities, design learning scenarios by using information and communication technologies.
There are many components to create a one-to-one tablet environment in education. In the future, the pilot projects will be in a much larger scale. It is important to know the obstacles and problems about the project for the further studies and advancement. One-to-one tablet project in education is not one time trial and should be made sustainable (Livingston, 2009). It is necessary to update the software, train the teachers, and develop the curriculum in the education faculties for the teachers’ readiness and training in order to achieve goals for the 21st century.
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