Barriers to innovation?

Image from Pxhere
In March I posted a survey question as a part of my ongoing research into the adoption of new technologies in learning. The background for this question was a statement I made during a keynote discussion session at Learning Technologies in London in January. I was asked about innovation in organisations. From my experience working in all sectors of education and training, I claimed that the most likely sector to innovate with new learning technologies would be primary education. This would be followed closely by Learning and Development in organisations. Secondary schools and universities/colleges would lag behind, largely because high stakes assessment was an important consideration in these sectors.

There are clearly more factors to consider than these as barriers to the adoption of new ideas and innovation, but this is a good start. The survey question was really a way to confirm whether or not my hypothesis was sound. As you can see from the findings of a small sample of just 314 votes, the results are aligned to my claim. Whether this small sample is representative of the learning community in all sectors is open to discussion. But the result is interesting none the less.

What do you think might be other determining factors, or barriers to innovation and uptake of new technologies for learning? I would love to hear your views, which you're invited to post in the comments box below.

Creative Commons License
Barriers to innovation? by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Fabiana Casella said…
Hello Steve:
Technology adoption in schools has been going around for years here in Buenos Aires and in some provinces along Argentina. I think we are very well updated, but the lack of reliable internet companies, which charge high monthly fees, plus the set up of computer labs or purchasing mobile devices at a reasonable price, are the main problems we face here, let alone we´ve been experiencing power crisis for more than 20 years and became the worst of all times in the past 8 or 9: ´power outages because of lack of investment and maintenance of power lines, population increased for the worse, too. The past government tried to implement 1:1 model in public primary and secondary schools. The netbooks for students and notebooks for teachers worked fairly good for some time but many schools did not have internet access, only intranet. Some private schools took the risk to invest on tablets or ipads but it isn´t my case. I understand the investment in this country is 100 times more difficult than in any other because of the permanent economical instability. I hope you have a better view of what happens here and it will help you with your research.
Steve Wheeler said…
Hi Fabiana, and thanks for the update on the context in Argentina. There is a similar situation in many other Latin American countries. Provision is patchy, and there is a significant digital divide in some areas between those schools that have, and those that don't. When it's compounded by lack of infrastructure, everyone suffers.

I'm interested to note your comments about 1:1 provision, which is a bold move, but there is conflicting evidence that this actually works. Some, such as Negroponte with his one laptop per child model suggest that 1:1 is very good for areas that are hard to reach and with poor infrastructure. Conversely, Mitra's Hole in the Wall project and similar endeavours showed that actually, social collaboration around a single device is more effective for learning. It's an interesting conundrum for digital learning futures.
Rashel Ahmed said…
Hi Steve, Thank you so much for share your very informative article.

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