Customer Reviews for

Disrupting Class, Expanded Edition: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns

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  • Posted April 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Common Sense Approach to Education Reform

    Clayton Christensen offers a believable and intuitive approach to fixing our staggering American educational system. In a nutshell: people learn in different ways (no surprise here; it's a well-documented theory). Teachers too often teach one way (or two or three--the point being, teachers standardize. I understand. I've been a teacher most of my life. One of us and many of them in a classroom). His solution: Use 21st century technology and Web 2.0 to individualize lessons to suit needs.

    That's where the problem starts according to Christensen. Schools throw technology at their problems in hopes software, hardware, internet websites, will fix their shrinking test scores. Every technology teacher I know agrees with the author that this approach is flawed and frustrates both students and teachers. Technology is a tool, to be wielded with a skilled hand.

    Christensen gives teachers permission to disrupt class--shake it up! See what's going on. Here are some of my favorite ideas:
    1) If the addition of computers to classrooms were a cure, there would be evidence of it by now. There is not. Test scores have barely budged. 2) Why haven't schools (with so much emphasis on technology) been able to march down this path (of student-centric learning)? ...because they have crammed the new technologies into their existing structure... 3) The world of education is one in which there is little agreement on what the goals are, let alone the methods that are best-suited to achieve them. 4) Public schools have been improving steadily, since 1900, but society moved the goal posts ...changed the definition of improvement...

    I'd recommend this to any teacher intent upon integrating technology into their core curriculum.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2010

    A Different Perspective on Education Reform

    The idea that education reform comes from the minority - those that are on the outside edges of the spectrum - is fascinating. It is encouraging to explore the possibilities of how educators and students can properly use technology to their advantage. Transforming the role of the teacher is not only possible, but necessary if we are wanting to reach different results. The idea that learning can be an individual process, rather than a strictly a group process is refreshing. This book had been recommended to me by several educators and administrators and I'm greatful to have read it. It has given me a fresh set of eyes to approaching some of the problems we are facing today.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Disrupting Class: Book of Wild Speculations

    I became fascinated by the boasts of the subtitle of this book: "How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns." That is a fairly powerful claim. After being entangled in the authors' fanciful charts and background information, I began to look forward to some miraculous new disclosure on this new innovation that will transform the world of learning. I was disappointed. At its best this book offers some interesting theories on innovation in general. At its worst, it argues that technology-based, student centric instructional tools are going to take over the educational world, and according to the authors, this will happen by 2014. (I haven't yet figured out where that specific timeline comes from.) In the nineties there were individuals who predicted that computers would replace teachers. These authors believe that the role of teachers will be transformed to that of tutors. The whole idea of reducing learning into a software program has been tried. The reality is learning is a messy, complicated process, and just as the authors assert, no one process works. But, their belief in the salvation wrought through computer software alone may be misplaced. This book was disappointing because I thought it would offer some clearly applicable innovative ideas for my school. Instead, it promotes theories and ideas. It makes broad sweeps with generalizations and predictions, but offers very little that is practical for the school practitioner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2011

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    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2009

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    Fascinating look at disruptive innovation in education

    The very real value of this useful and, at times, pleasantly surprising book comes from the way the authors apply their expertise in innovation to the field of education. By approaching public education's crisis with new eyes - and conceptualizing education as a product or service like any other - Clayton M. Christensen (The Innovator's Dilemma), Michael B. Horn and Curtis W. Johnson provide insights that escape the tired loops of argument that often define discussions about public education. These writers' obvious willingness to look in new directions for learning innovation is matched by their genuine concern for everyone involved in education. However, they do seem a bit idealistic, as they focus so strongly on the pedagogical and conceptual aspects of education that they seem to skim over other concerns, like logistics and budgets. The authors acknowledge the legal monopoly governing public education without really addressing the social weight and inertia of such a monopoly. In fact, they seem to believe that positive disruption is almost inevitable. getAbstract recommends this thoughtful book to anyone interested in social change and education, and - not tangentially - in how new technologies affect societies.

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