Initiating Technology Innovation

Over the last 5 weeks, I have been reading about and researching different forms of disruptive innovation, a term defined by Clayton Christensen in the mid 1990s.  Christensen’s work has been revolutionary and it has reminded me of the Importance of Urgency in teaching our young children- a topic that John Kotter addresses effectively.

As educators in an ever-changing,  digital world, it is critical that we NOT become complacent.  Rather, we should always be looking for new and innovative things that we can be doing in the classroom.

Based on my current middle school class experiences, I have developed a proposal in which all students in Division III will be utilizing the student ePortfolio.  I have spent a great deal of time researching several educational technology trends to support my proposal of the ePortfolios.  The findings in my research have been laid out in a Literature Review of Global Trends, and are essentially the backbone of my initiative.  If there is any question as to how effective ePortfolios are in the middle school and high school level, the review will eliminate any doubt.


With any new initiative, there needs to be a plan of action.  I’ve devised a plan for implementation that will take place in three phases and that go hand in hand with our new “THINK-MAKE-TALK initiative.  I realize that change does not happen in an instant, but rather, is something that happens over time.  With this as a starting point, we have the necessary thoughts and tools to go out and begin this initiative, with time to go back and reflect on what is working and what is not working.

To further promote my idea of the implementation of the ePortfolio in our school, I have created the video below to really tell the story of how I got to this point.  I think it’s important to tell the story behind any proposal because then, your idea becomes personal.  If we can show our leaders and colleagues something they can all relate to, it builds for a stronger proposal.

There are a multitude of resources out there to assist in better understanding change, disruptive innovation and educational technology.  Below are a list of books that I plan to read to enhance my knowledge on the topic and to refer back to during the innovation process.

Disrupting Class, Expanded Edition: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns: Edition 2 by Clayton M. Christensen

The Innovator’s Guide to Growth: Putting Disruptive Innovation to Work by Scott D. Anthony, Mark W. Johnson, Joseph V. Sinfield, Elizabeth J. Altman

Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work by Whitney Johnson

Sustainable Disruptive Innovation by Inder Sidhu

The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out by Clayton M. Christensen

Implementing Student ePortfolios- The Outline


The ePortfolio has proved to be a powerful learning tool for all learners and it is my goal is to have everyone in Division III utilizing the ePortfolio by August of 2017.  This means that the 2016-2017 school year is critical time for us to begin the implementation process.  I have devised a plan for implementation that will take place in three phases and that go hand in hand with our “THINK-MAKE-TALK” concept.


Phase I- THINK:  During the Summer leading up to the 2016-2017 school year, myself along with the Director of Communications and the Covenant team will decide on which platform we will be utilizing for the digital portfolios.  Consider which is the most versatile, user friendly and cost effective. Will we create a separate, student-shared Google Drive account and in turn utilize Google Sites?  Other options to consider include WordPress and Blogster.  Next, myself and our Director of Fine Arts will review our currently offered Fine Art electives and carefully work in an “ePortfolio Building” course for 8th Graders. An ePortfolio training course will also be set up for all Division III teachers so that middle school teachers can be educated on the expectations and goals in utilizing digital portfolios for our students.  Covenant will be on sight to walk us through the creation process specific to the platform we decide to use.

Phase II- MAKE:  The “ePorftolio Building” course will start in Quarters 1 & 2 of the 2016-2017 school year for 8th grade.  In this course, we will review the ePortfolio concept.  How is it meant to be used?  What sort of content will be posted in it? How can it be personalized?  We will introduce the ePortfolio to 7th graders in Quarters 2 & 3, and at the conclusion of the school year we will review what worked well and what didn’t, so that at the start of the 2017-2018 school year, everyone is grades 5-8 will be in the process of creating their own ePortfolios.

Phase III- TALK:  By August of 2017, all Division III students will be creating their own digital Portfolios.  Aside from posting valuable content in the portfolios, students will be actively reflecting on their learning through blog postings and commenting.  These portfolios will become their voices, so to speak, and by the time they are in the high school and college application process, they will have a strong educational resume to forward to higher education institutions.