|courtesy of Jim Crossley-raindog|
How many times have you heard that to much of any one thing is not a good idea? The pressure to perform in the K-12 arena seems to push ideas to the extreme and one giant weight is dropped on the balance scale, with no hope of returning to the off balance place that is desired. In Dan Thurmon's book, "Off Balance On Purpose," he writes:
|courtesy of christart.com|
The same thought can be applied to organizations that are struggling to be successful and looking for the magic bullet of change. Instead of looking at the foundational issues within, a bold, dramatic action takes place that results in the scale being tipped completely over.
I think we often tip the scale to the extreme with technology initiatives as a silver bullet approach, missing the foundational pieces that will truly make using technology in our classrooms relevant. Take a look at all the 1:1 initiatives that have struggled over the years because the focus was on the shiny new object and not:
An example of going to the extreme in a 1:1 environment would be piling up every book on campus and having a giant bonfire to celebrate every student having a device. Sure this would afford the ability to eliminate certain texts and some paper use that is not necessary, but a successful 1:1 isn't measured by walking into a classroom and every student having a device open in front of them. We need to think about being off balance enough to sustain meaningful change, without pushing the entire group to the bottom of the canyon for the sake of a photo op.
Welcome ChangeI enjoy change and new things, maybe that is why I don't like riding the same exact trail every day on my bike, or listening to the same music on repeat for a year at a time, I even enjoy clipping a coupon now and again. Speaking of coupons, before creating a stockpile that turns into an episode on hoarding, ask yourself if you are off balance or just going to the extreme for that photo op.