My sixteen year old son loves steak. I’ve tried to caution him against eating too much red meat, but he inhales steak and macaroni like a machine. I console myself, “He’s a growing young man, don’t you remember when you could eat 3 dinners and not even blink while Dad limped along behind you, his wallet leaking money like a broken faucet?”
For now, I can’t get my son to eat much of anything else. It’s steak, pizza, macaroni, or nothing. If that’s not on the menu, he’s not going to eat at your table.
Do you ever feel that education today is a bit like a teenager? If it isn’t Chromebooks, iPads, whiteboards, oh my!, no one is going to sit at the table? Doug “Blue Skunk” Johnson shared this image a few months ago:
|Doug Johnson, Are You At the Table? Source: Blue Skunk Blog|
It’s an old saying that I took to heart when I was in a large urban school district with a shrinking budget that spurred the creative pursuit of free, open source solutions that I could implement without having to obtain top level approval. Simply, “fly below the radar and do great things for the people” was my motto…I felt like Underdog, unappreciated, unassuming but loved. As we all know, if you aren’t at the table, well then, who you can help is limited, no? Like a dog hunting for scraps beneath its master’s table.
Instructional Technology has seen their place at the table disappear. If you’re a CTO, and not part of the Superintendent’s Cabinet, then the Technology’s Programs ARE on the menu…to be ignored, discarded. And, that’s a horrible thing to have happen.
Why? If the person who represents campus and classroom interests in using technology isn’t at the table, then they aren’t either. And, if you’re not representing campus or classroom interests, what the heck are you doing as the CTO?
My measure of the potential success of an initiative isn’t whether I want to do something, but whether the truth of the answer to this question is so blindingly obvious, even the leaders at the top of the ivory tower can see the light:
Will this project enhance the plight of those who aren’t at the table, improve the situation for those the organization supports?
That’s a social justice question, isn’t it? No longer about budgets, personalities, but rather, doing what’s right for the people you serve. What a simple, powerful mission.