J. Nash

Iowa State University (UNITED STATES)
Millions of children today have access to high performance computing devices on a daily basis in their schools. The ubiquity of computers in schools is creating an environment wherein discussions are less about whether to integrate computers into schools but rather how best should that occur.

The Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), a U.S. center with an international focus, housed at Iowa State University and the University of Kentucky, is leading an effort to create a global school technology leadership program that will meet the needs of school leaders in the coming decade. If successful, CASTLE’s legacy will be the creation of cadres of school leaders who are instilled with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to navigate the waters of 21st century schooling. How then should they best apply those attributes? What then?

School leaders must ensure that the integration of technology into schools creates a situation that is better than the one that exists now. Currently this is a condition that is assumed, but not guaranteed if not explicitly designed. In this session I will argue that the tenets of design thinking are well suited to serve school leaders in this regard. In this session I will suggest that school leaders who adopt a “design attitude,” as opposed to a commonly used “decision attitude,” will be able to create exponential, innovative change in schools. Citing case studies and other emerging research data, I will demonstrate the promise of a design thinking approach in creating lasting, impactful change in schools. I will also discuss how the cases show promise for creating change in schools outside the United States.