Disrupt: to break apart : rupture b : to throw into disorder <agitators trying to disrupt the meeting> 2 : to interrupt the normal course or unity of (from Merriam Webster.com).
The above definition does a nice job of expressing my thoughts - My idea of disruptive technologies in terms of education is that they are tools used to interrupt what traditionally takes place in a classroom. We've laid the groundwork for this just in the few discussions we've had for class thus far. Disruptive technologies challenge educators to rethink their pedagogies, values, approaches, "best practices", relationships with students (and the list goes on...). Disruptive technologies enable the classroom realm to morph into a place where the teacher is no longer the "enlightened one" and student the "tabula rasa". Disruptive technologies change how we view experts in the classroom - students now take up this role more readily and organically. Disruptive technologies allow for multi-modal creation. Disruptive technologies propel the idea of "classroom" beyond the physical space within a school. All of this might be uncomfortable for teachers used to being all-knowing transmitters of information and that is a GOOD THING! The discomfort will hopefully lead many educators to reevaluate and revisit their current practices.
As an educator myself, this has led me to question and reflect upon some of my own practices. For example, when I first started teaching, I assigned projects that limited the medium that students could use (i.e. write a paper), partially because I was afraid of what they would produce or how it might work with what I had already planned. I think a step toward educators embracing disruptive technologies is accepting the idea that they might have to give up a certain amount of "control" of their students. I could see this being difficult for teachers who have become complacent with routines or newer teachers who are just learning how a classroom environment functions.
As someone who teaches pre-service educators, this question has fueled for me very important discussion ideas for seminar. At a time when pre-service teachers are just beginning to formulate their ideas of what a classroom might look like or how they might categorize their teaching philosophies, introducing the idea of disruptive technologies is essential.