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Technology Leadership Book Summary

Technology Leadership Book Summary

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Published by kjmckay915

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Published by: kjmckay915 on Dec 12, 2010
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Kimberly McKay EDLD 5306 Concepts of Educational Technology 12/12/2010 
 
Technology/Leadership Book Summary
The Tipping Point How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
by Malcolm Gladwell. Although this book did not specifically address educational technology, the idea thatthere are a number of factors and patterns that influence technology trends is applicable. Aseducators and administrators in K-16 we must be cognizant of trends that influence everythingfrom the way our students learn and communicate to campus infrastructure. Specifically, RobinDunbar¶s Rule of 150: the maximum number of people with whom one can maintain stable andproductive social relationships. I often wonder why wildly successful programs for at riskstudents are affecting such small populations. Why don¶t they bring the programs to scaleimpacting and serving more students? Gladwell gives some insight as to why this may not bepossible. The key to maintaining control and avoiding mission creep is to limit the group size sothat communication and relationships are maximized.Malcolm Gladwell defines tipping point as that ³magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold and spreads like wildfire.´He likens the trend to an epidemicwhereby ³little things can make a big difference,´ resulting in extreme popularity or changes inthe environment and the culture. In the book, Gladwell studies phenomenons in pop-cultureand historical events as well as crime and public health that have tipped or change dramaticallyas result of a combination of intended and unintended circumstances. Gladwell usesreal-worldand well-known trends to demonstrate the ³tipping point,´ allowing the reader to identify withrelevant³epidemics.´Through research of these phenomenons, Gladwell identifies three keyfactors or rules that each play an integral role determining whether a particular trend will ³tip´into popularity: Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context.The first factor, Law of Few, Gladwell identifies people he calls ³connectors, mavens andsalesman´ that affect trends. Connectors, mavens and salesman are influential, charismaticpeople who primarily impact ³word of mouth´ epidemics. To illustrate this point, Gladwell useshistoric and pop-culture examples. Paul Revere, a famous connector, spread a ³word of mouthepidemic´ when he rode through the country side spreading the news: ³The British are coming!´Because he was a trusted, well-respected member of society, thePatriots heeded Paul Revere¶swarning and mobilized to successfully fight the British army. Conversely, another, not-so-wellknown Patriot, William Dawes, also set out on the same Midnight Ride; however, he was not assuccessful. He was not a connector.The second type of person, mavens are people who have a strong desire to help other consumers by helping them make decisions. Mavens are information consumers who have theknowledge and the social skills to start word-of-mouth epidemics, but don¶t have the ability tospread the word. The salesman, the third type of person, has the ability to persuade andmotivate people into action. While mavens will simply give us the information to make our owndecision, salesman will convince us of a decision. Both are integral in tipping word-of-mouthepidemics.The second factor, the Stickiness Factor, speaks to the quality of a message andwhether or not it grabs, and keeps, people¶s attention. Gladwell uses the evolution of Sesame

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