Book Review: Disrupt Class–Yes, That’s What I Said

disruptive technologySchools believe that throwing technology at education problems will fix them. Every technology teacher I know understands this is flawed  and will end up frustrating both students and teachers. Technology is a tool, to be wielded with a skilled hand.

Disrupt class–that’s the theory of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, by Clayton Christensen. Shake it up! See what’s going on. (for my complete review of Christensen’s book, visit Amazon)

Here are some great lines from his 2008 educational innovation book:

  • 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.
  • There has to be a better explanation than simply blaming students
  • So if too little money, too few computers, uninterested or unprepared students, parents, a broken teaching paradigm, and strong unions individually are not the root cause of the US public schools’ struggles, might it be that they all are conspiring collectively to constrain the US? Of course but all … are at work in other nations’ schools as well… and many of them obtain better results…
  • Every student learns in a different way
  • Disruption is a positive force
  • 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…
  • the world of education is one in which there is little agreement on what the goals are, let alone the methods best-suited to achieve them.
  • While most people have some capacity in each of the eight intelligences (linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalist), most people excel in only two or three of them
  • If public schools are improving steadily (which Christensen explains they have been, since 1900), then how did we get to today’s environment where there is constant worry and complaint? …society moved the goal posts. …society changed the definition of improvement…
  • …the way schools have employed computers has been perfectly predictable, perfectly logical–and perfectly wrong.  If school admin will implement computer-based learning for courses where there are no teachers, then computer-based learning will… impact the instructional job that teachers are doing in a positive way
  • teachers have implemented computers in the most common-sense way–to sustain their existing practices and pedagogies rather than to displace them.

How many of you are familiar with student-centric teaching methods such as Virtual Labs (i.e., Second Life educational options)  and robots teaching a foreign language?

Anyone else familiar with this book? What are your take-aways from it?

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman.  She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

Categories: Book review, critical thinking, education reform, homeschool, problem solving | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Disrupt Class–Yes, That’s What I Said

  1. Pingback: EthnoQuest |

  2. Pingback: You Have Permission to Disrupt Class « Ask a Tech Teacher

  3. Pingback: Be Featured on Ask a Tech Teacher « Ask a Tech Teacher

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