Sucker's Choices - How Tech Can Succeed in Schools

In reading the slide below, I ran across a list for Why Technology is Failing. In particular, this slide caught my eye:

For fun, I decided to flip it around to positive:

  1. Accountability for technology-curriculum integration
  2. Attention to results that
  3. Trust between Curriculum-Technology Departments rather than opposition.
  4. Active communication and collaboration between Curriculum and Technology Departments.
  5. Re-inventing the wheel as needed to further individual learning and making other's work one's own, but relying on a global network of learners and educators to share what works and emulating that.
  6. Hmm...
One of my favorite books--and audio series--is the Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations series. It goes after the tough conversations--and provides the necessary tools--that involve dealing with #3 and #4 in the list above.

Doug Johnson, as I cited in Spectrum Unbound, asks a few tough questions:
Who limits the spectrum of discussion in your school? Do districts and buildings keep some issues off the table? Why? And are there ways to allow such conversations that skirt the traditional conversational gate-keepers?Hmmmmmmm.Are you being kept "passive and obedient" by not addressing the bigger issues of educational policy? What are they? How is it done? How do you fight it?
Crucial Conversations is neat because throughout the audio series, they suggest one refuse "The Sucker's Choice." Here's a description of the main teachings around refusing the sucker's choice via Sources of Insight:

  • Don’t fall prey to a Sucker’s Choice. A Sucker’s Choice is a this or a that, an either / or … etc. The assumption is that you have to trade one thing for another.
  • Find an “and” solution over “either / or“. Find a way to have it both ways. Challenge yourself to seek the higher ground.
  • Know what you want and what you don’t want. Stating what you want and don’t want are powerful because they clarify your intentions. Clarifying what you don’t want can be particularly powerful because of the principle of contrast. It can can also help take away perceived threats. Clarifying intentions is an important step because it’s easy to get lost in the content and lose sight of the real intentions. Your intentions guide you through your dialogue.

Harmony and Results. Quality and Relationship.

Identifying what you really want, what you don't want, then figuring out how to get there. It's a great approach. Every day, I listen to the news and hear about sucker's choices. Of course, none come to mind at this very moment.

What are the Sucker's Choices in EdTech implementation? Let me take a stab...can you add more?

  • We'll either use iPads or nothing at all.
  • We'll integrate technology into all our content areas or not at all.
  • We'll either do implement BYOD in all our schools simultaneously or ban it.
Ok, maybe I'm just tired, but those are lousy. Help?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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