The innovation

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Everett Rogers undertook reviews and a periodic synthesis of innovation and change over a number of decades ending with his seminal book in 2003. Although he did not often focus on education or digital technologies in his own research (which was on the adoption of innovations by farmers in Iowa), Rogers identified five characteristics of successful innovations stands the test of time and some educational research in this field (e.g.**).

Rogers identified five key characteristics:

It should be noted that as Rogers’ syntheses for “surviving change” became more comprehensive over the decades of his reviews, he also identified an increasing range of unexpected outcomes that were detrimental, often to people with less power and cultural capital. Gorski (2008) also warns that innovation with digital technology tends to favour those with access and cultural capital. Rogers (2003) text also reviews also provide an overview of the innovativeness of populations characterising them in a normal bell shaped curve into five groups: early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. It is likely that the “teacher leaders” identified by Sherry and Gibson in the preceding section are likely to be members of the early adopters or early majority, so that not all teachers should be expected to adopt the digital technologies embraced with enthusiasm by their colleagues so that change agents may find alternative perspectives useful to guide their work.