What does it mean to be different? It’s a question I’ve often reflected on, inconclusively. Ever since I realized that being bullied in middle school has forced me to step back from any social engagement, to observe the interactions of others and myself from afar, I’ve known I was apart, and different.
Over time, you come to value the power of individuality, the power to act in ways different than others. When considering a new initiative, I often ask, “Is this something your campus or district has done previously?” If the answer is a “No, we’ve never done this before,” then I take some small measure of pride that I have helped folks make new tracks across the land. There is no guarantee that the results of acting differently will yield the desired results, but doing the same old thing and expecting different results…well, Einstein didn’t think much of that either.
But folks get defensive. And angry. Or they withdraw. Or they just get tired. Tired of hearing again and again that what’s occurring isn’t sufficient for either today or tomorrow. Even when maybe, just maybe, they also know it’s true.
It’s tough to be change advocates. Or change agents. Or pains in the butt, as some call us. It would be so much easier to temper the rhetoric, to roll back the expectations, to ramp back the pace. But we know that we need to stay the course. Because our students – and our educators – and our society – need and deserve something different.
These days, in educational technology, it IS time to do something different. In fact, when I do something I’ve never done before, I am grateful, not only for the learning opportunity it grants me, but also, the opportunity it offers others…whether they want it or not.
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