This post was inspired by a recent blogging conversation I was following from a recent tech conference hosted by Yokahama International School.
Beyond Laptops was a collection of education technology leaders from around the South Eastern region. It was coordinated by one of the regional gurus Kim Cofino. I did not attend this conference but know a few colleagues who attended.
The blogging conversation that I am referring to occurred on another serial South East Asian bloggers site, Jabiz Raisdana. His post conference blog was an honest and reflective piece on the Beyond Laptops conference and his thoughts on moving the educational technology conversations forward. His post brought up a number of comments from readers that pointed out issues and conflicts that they had with the post. The people that were posting comments tended to be people who are (from the outside looking in) close digital friends who regularly share witty banter, deep educational philosophies and examples of what is happening in their schools.
Without making any comments on the opinions that were given, one thing struck me.
CHANGE. IS. HARD.
This was a group of people who are mostly connected digitally and are mostly part of a similar PLN. The discussion was not one where everyone agreed with everyone else.
This discussion involved what may be viewed as conflict.
CHANGE. IS. HARD.
It was a good conversation. There were some aspects of the conversation that I agreed and disagreed with but all in all, despite the perceived conflict, it was a good conversation. It is very difficult in any workplace environment, particularly teaching, to find areas where people always agree. I think in eduspeak we might call this a disruptive teaching moment. It challenged people to think deeply about what is best for our students.
This disruption needs to happen in order for change to happen. These are the types of discussions that administrators have with teachers/ parents on a daily basis. I am not saying that having a differing of opinions is the ONLY way to instigate change but it is very difficult to avoid.
So to those people who were at Beyond Laptops and are part of the conversation, keep the conversation going. It is people like you who continue to push the boundaries and are prepared to stand up for your philosophies that give an end result that has been well researched, discussed and debated. I know that these discussions happen in the digital world. I am sure that they are being had in the physical world, our schools.
Just because something is hard doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen.