As usual, I spent some of the winter break reflecting on the first semester and thinking ahead to the rest of the year. I really appreciate that time when my mind is free from all of the clutter from the day to day school work. It became perfectly clear to me that our initiative to transform the learning environment by providing teachers and students with ubiquitous access to technology has stalled. Of course, I’m not just talking about the tools, but also the change in philosophy that goes with this transformation.
So, I pulled out the trusty Bone Diagram that David Langford taught me how to use years ago. For those of you who are not familiar with this quality tool, it’s designed to help individuals/organizations clarify the current and desired states. I thought that I would go through the process before taking it to a larger group. So, after clarifying the current and desired states, I identified the barriers that are keeping us from reaching our desired state and the positive forces that will move us toward our desired state. Typically I prioritize the barriers and positive forces and focus my efforts on the vital ones but I have to say that the list of barriers was a bit overwhelming, and at first, discouraging. After taking time to reflect, I stepped away from the diagram and pulled out the advertisement from Maxis that had an impact on me back in October.
For me, this idea provides me with the motivation to work to unstall the initiative. The truth is that I want to be part of something big and I know that many of our teachers and students would like it as well. One of the key positive forces, according to Kotter and Cohen, in The Heart of Change is to “increase urgency” and it’s my job to work with the faculty to make this happen. I look forward to sharing the rest of my diagram with our leadership team in the very near future. Thank goodness for the time to reflect.
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