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January 22, 2012

2

Information Overload?

by Chris Lindholm

As we step up our push in @ISD191 to integrate more technology in our classrooms and organizational work, we are certain to experience push back from those who are overwhelmed by the language of technology.  For those who don’t speak or understand the language, learning to use new tools and ways of doing our work demands a great deal of effort.  The struggle of managing the constant flow of information and ongoing dialogues while also trying to be tightly focused on my core work – not to mention trying to be a good husband and father of two young kids – is a very real wrestling match for me.  Some days I feel like our new reality is a lot like the what is portrayed in the humorous video commercial below from Xerox shared in a slide share presentation by TDOttowa on 21st century leadership.

The real deal is… aspiring to be “prepared for the 21st century” is, well, too little too late.  It started twelve years ago…  Our mission and calling in education is to prepare our students to be successful in the days that lie ahead of them, not the days that lie behind us adults struggling to keep up.  My decision to be a teacher requires me to be a step ahead of today, something that is very clear when I’m able to spend time in a classroom with high school students discussing their future plans.  Their passion to dive into tomorrow is always inspiring!

The slide share presentation below by T.D’Amico shares some good advice for those of us trying to lead in this fast paced environment and for those struggling to keep up with the “language of technology.”  Being well-connected/networked, strategically filtering inputs, and creating systematic structures to organize, categorize, and address multiple channels of dialogue are skills key to success in this new environment.  We have the responsibility to not only learn these key skills, our profession calls us to teach these skills to our students.  The driving force of this learning must be our building level and district level collaborative teams, tapping into the natural talents and passions of ISD191 staff.  Together, through intentional collaboration, we continuously work to prepare ourselves to prepare our students.  That is what I signed up for!

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. It really scares me when I talk to people who are mid 30s and above who declare “I’m not good with technology” as if it’s some badge of honor. It isn’t an option anymore. I don’t think it can be said often enough….”my decision to be a teacher requires me to be a step ahead of today.” Too many are stuck in they way their job was back in 1998, and want to hold onto that FOREVER. It think part of that comes from holding one job your entire life…change isn’t part of your reality before 2007. I’ve had 3 jobs in 9 years. My dad worked at 1 place for 40 years. The times have changed.

    The challenge for all of us who are crazy enough to be or want to be leaders is to get staff to see the error of their point of view without being a hammer, but I feel we’re far beyond making making change and progress optional. I appreciate your positive, but firm tone on the matter Chris. I know I need to find that in myself.

    Reply
  2. Jan 23 2012

    Thanks Nathan, for pulling out that quote and speaking to the nuanced leadership necessary in our schools. We do have to be firm, and we do have to be leaders of grace and compassion. This is a “both/and” that all great leaders model. Lead on!!

    Reply

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