Change is Hard


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by deeplifequotes

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.

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2 Responses to Change is Hard

  1. Hi Jason,

    Thanks for this post. It is a nice reminder that while sometimes it feels that our conversations our intense and ensnared by tunnel vision, that they do affect others and help influence ideas and conversations beyond those involved directly. That is the beauty of blogging no? This ability to participate in conversations when and how we choose.

    I also agree that it was a very fruitful conversation. While at times it did feel like it was getting a bit out of hand, you are right we are all pretty good friends, have met face-to-face and interact online quite a bit. Furthermore, we are all quite strong-willed and passionate, so makes for good drama huh?

    But in the end, I think we are asking the right questions and realizing that even as the “vanguard” we are still not totally clear on many things. Thanks for writing this up, it is important to know that these conversations are being listened to and monitored. I would also like to invite you to jump in next time. I know any blog post with 40+ comments can be a bit ridiculous, but judging by your post, it is clear you would be a valuable voice.

  2. Clint Hamada says:

    It’s so easy to get caught up in the echo chamber that is the edublogosphere (yeah, I pulled that term out of retirement!). There is a lot of ‘preaching to the choir’ that goes on because we’re all in the same mindset (mostly). I think it is refreshing and a great example for our students to see that disagreements don’t need to turn into all out flame wars and that civil discourse is possible online, YouTube and CNN comments notwithstanding.

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