Planning Good Change - Page 8 - Next Page

First Things First

In all too many places, the network precedes the purpose and is distantly (if ever) related.

In all too many districts, the network is installed "cookie-cutter" fashion from school to school with little relationship to learning goals and process.

This gap between purpose and design is a recipe for failure and waste.

When we begin with a clearly stated purpose, we can then focus our efforts. This focus produces momentum and results. Mish mash, on the other hand, leads to confusion, scatter and drift.

If we are constructing an "information literate school community," the "building blocks" fall into place.

· The shape of professional development

· The nature of classroom activities

· The placement of equipment

· The layout

· The time-line

· The assessment activities

The Key Elements

A few years back I was asked to write an article about planning for technology by a leading educational journal. When I submitted the article with a list of essential elements, they cut the article in half and deleted half of the integral parts of the system. In the article, I had explained how these components must be skillfully interwoven to reinforce each other in service to improving student learning.

These elements should meld as an integrated package. Remove one component and the effort is likely to fail or flounder. Each element is as important as a key stone. Pull out the keystone and watch the arch tumble to the ground.

If we hope to see an impressive return on our investment, we cannot eliminate, short change or underfund any of these elements.

The editors tried to pull three elements from the article . . . three of the stones from the arch I had constructed!

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Credits: The photographs were shot by Jamie McKenzie.
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