September 25, 2013 | | 6 Comments

What is your focus?  I started thinking again about education and technology and our focus thanks to a thoughtful blog post by Justin Baeder on his EduLeadership blog.  The blog post, Transformative, Not Nifty highlights the challenges of focus as related to education and how we use technology.

The focus should be on the learning, not the device or the specific tools. I have been around long enough to know that devices and tools change, but if the focus is on learning, the time and effort needed to make instructional changes in classrooms is not lost when something changes.

The very first presentation I made to a school board regarding technology was to seek funding for Apple eMates in 1997/1998.  Yes, we talked extensively about the learning, but it was still a presentation centered around the device.  We had eMates for the board members to use, demonstrated the tools and won support for our proposal.  Before the ink was even dry on the budget, Apple discontinued the eMate.  Lesson learned.

I know now that our real focus was on mobile learning…but we got caught up selling the device to the school board because it was pretty “nifty” at the time. As we continue to push decision makers to understand the importance of students using mobile devices everyday in school, we need to reflect on our focus and clearly understand the issues that are likely to occur. A laser-like focus on student learning will help to mitigate the potential disruption to student learning when devices or tools change.


6 Comments so far

  1.    Jeff Fastnacht on September 25, 2013 12:06 pm

    Well stated Mr. King! I agree completely.

  2.    Lyle Krueger on September 25, 2013 1:41 pm

    Well put Darin!

  3.    alan-j-peterson on September 25, 2013 1:49 pm

    Darin, I absolutely concur! Features sell because unlike results, they are immediate and they are predictable.
    Design has to consider fit, form and function, but which comes first? Western culture almost universally selects fit and form. Superior design starts with function. Your experiences certainly reinforce the need to focus on function first.
    Well stated!

  4.    Duane Schell on September 26, 2013 1:14 pm

    Well said Darin. The same statement regarding focus could be applied to every discipline where we use technology.

  5.    Cindy grabe on September 26, 2013 7:28 pm


  6.    Tanna Kincaid on October 7, 2013 9:14 pm

    Nicely put Darin.

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