Balancing Act

Wouldn’t it be nice if for one day we could be Marty Mcfly and jump in a time machine?  We could travel to the future and get a glimpse at what life will be like in the years ahead.  Maybe we would go back and rewrite our past.  We could know today what tomorrow will be like.  We could get a glimpse at future technologies and come back and educate our students accordingly.

Technology is the application of knowledge for practical use.  What good though is technology without the driving force of human beings behind it?  Steve Jobs said “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”

I cannot think of a better quote that summarizes my beliefs of technology than that of what you just read above.  As an administrator, I fight a constant battle in my head each and everyday about the use of technology in our school building.  I read articles about 1:1 schools and BYOD schools.  I read through polices on the usage of cellphones in school.  I’m in constant contact with individuals on whether or not my school building can continue to handle the bandwidth allotted to us. On top of all this, I’m also in charge of the school budget.  How do I balance technology and the budget while maintaining an education system that produces College and Career Ready students?
It is a difficult task but the key word in the equation is “students.”  The decisions we make, as educators, must be based on what is best for our kids.  A decision that is not made in the best interest of our students is a bad decision.  What technology can we bring into the school that will engage our students and invoke creativity?  What technology can we bring into the school that will help students explore the world at their fingertips, and entice them to think critically?  What technology can we provide to our students that will enrich communication, and provide for collaboration across all barriers?

The questions above need to be the driving force for school districts.  Every profession both currently and in the future will need to have individuals that can think critically, be creative, work well with others, and communicate.  These are the characteristics schools need to build on within their walls.  If current technologies can help propel this, then school districts need to budget accordingly.

We cannot however, lose site of the value of the human being.  Steve Jobs is right.  We must value and put faith in our people.  Humans have made technology possible.  We need to continue to foster the building of relationships within our organizations.  If you put this as priority number one, and supply them with the tools (technology) to be successful as priority number two, you will have created an atmosphere conducive for success. 

As the world around us continues to change at a rapid pace we must not become complacent.  We need to continue with a sense of urgency and act like sponges in a sink full of opportunities. I read a quote recently that compared technology information to that of someone drinking from a fire hydrant.  As funny is that may be, it is completely true.  We cannot consume it all at once, and trying to do so would completely drain us as individuals.  We must take it little by little, and keep the best interest of our students in our hearts and minds. 

Now if you will excuse me, my Marty Mcfly paragraph gave me the itch to go watch the movie for the 25th time of my life.
Travis Jordan
Superintendent
Griggs County Central School District #18

@Supt_Jordan

One thought on “Balancing Act

  1. Students at the center is the key to all of this. And I think with technology, it's not just about the tech but what are you doing with it to make a difference in the world. It sounds like you're doing what is best now for your district!
    Love the fire hydrant visual.

    Like

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