A Framework for Innovation in Learning

By Charles Sosnik

I am continuing to see some amazing speakers at FETC. Dr. Sonny Magana is an award-winning educator, best-selling author, and pioneering educational technology researcher. Sonny is a highly sought-after leadership consultant and instructional coach with more than thirty years’ experience helping educational systems around the world realize the power of transcendent learning. The author of numerous research studies and articles, Sonny’s newest book, “Disruptive Classroom Technologies: A Framework for Innovation in Education,” was recently published to outstanding reviews.

Sonny founded and served as Principal of Washington State’s first CyberSchool in 1996, a groundbreaking blended learning program that continues to meet the needs of at-risk students in Washington. He is a recipient of the prestigious Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award and the Governor’s Commendation for Educational Excellence.

I have known Sonny for some time and have admired his work. He wrote a five-part series on The Future of Education for edCircuit this past year that I believe was groundbreaking and an absolute must-read.

In his session, Sonny demonstrated how technology has not materially advanced learning, even though districts have enthusiastically embraced new technology – yet have not changed the way they are teaching. We have developed classrooms that are digitally rich, but innovation poor.

The simple truth is that innovation in education has the power to transform learning. Sonny has created a framework that explains how. It’s not about more technology. We already have the technology at our fingertips. The T3 Framework is a hierarchy of how we use technology in schools. It helps educators categorize students’ learning with technology as translational (merely translating from traditional to digital), transformational (students taking ownership of learning and actually becoming producers or teachers of knowledge), or transcendent (students investigating a “wicked problem” that matters to them then generating a more robust solution), sorting through the low-value applications to reach high-value, high-impact usage of readily available classroom technologies.

The T3 Framework makes learning personal to learners and incorporates technology to propel thinking and action. It incorporates the best thinking and proven research to create the type of educational system that will prepare our students for success in our global future.

I would encourage you to visit Sonny’s site and learn all you can. You should also get a copy of his newest book, Disruptive Classroom Technologies: A Framework for Innovation in Education. I have a copy and it is truly transformative and has the power to change lives in every district in America and beyond.