Leadership Symposium Early Bird Deadline Approaching | Join K-12 leaders nationwide for three days of empowering strategies, networking, and inspiration! Discounted pricing ends March 1. Register today.
Student Well-Being

Necessity Drives Innovation

By Kevin Bushweller — February 08, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print
BRIC ARCHIVE

Necessity is the fuel that motivates most of us to innovate, try a different approach, or learn a new skill. And when we burn that fuel it can be incredibly rewarding.

I recently saw necessity in action with my 17-year-old son, a high school junior. He hopes to play lacrosse in college. As part of the recruting process, coaches ask for video highlights of players so they can review their skills, not unlike efforts in some districts to videotape teachers to evaluate their classroom performance.

But my son faced a challenge. The video-editing machine he had gained some experience using at school was broken, and it was going to take a while to get it repaired. We had just purchased an iMac, after owning primarrily PCs, and he was just getting a taste for how to use it. At the same time, he felt a sense of urgency to edit and produce his video so he could send it to coaches in January. That’s when, by necessity, he taught himself to be a bona fide iMovie producer.

First, he had to figure out how to take a bunch of DVDs with hours of lacrosse footage and load them into iMovie. Then he had to take the DVDs and edit each one down to the best highlights, organize the clips in a video narrative that flowed naturally, strip the unnecesary audio, and produce a video that was less than five minutes long.

But, then, when he played it back on the computer one night, he could hear the unnecessary audio but there was no video roll, exactly the opposite of what he wanted to happen. Needless to say, he was not a happy camper (yes, a few expletives were hurled in the direction of the iMac), and the frustration in his voice and panic in his face were palpable. But eventually he calmed down, Googled questions about this particular problem, and found that others had run across it but had managed to fix it. He fixed it, too, and the video is now making the rounds to various coaches.

I tell this story because it shows how necessity is the fuel that motivated him. But I also tell it because, in the course of doing the project, it was working through problems that taught him the most important lesson: Failure is temporary, the next step is often an epiphany, and success eventually comes to those who keep on clicking.

That’s exactly the attitude the Joplin, Mo., schools have taken during very desperate times. (“Joplin Takes Digital Approach to Rebuilding Education,” February 8, 2012.)

A version of this article appeared in the February 08, 2012 edition of Digital Directions as Necessity Drives Innovation

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Opinion When Students Feel Unlucky, Teachers Can Help Change That Attitude
Mindsets matter when it comes to thinking about opportunity. Here’s what new research finds.
Paul A. O'Keefe
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty
Student Well-Being A Mental Health Screening Saved Students’ Lives in This District
A district that deployed a universal mental health screening was able to intervene immediately with five students who had suicide plans.
4 min read
Vector illustration of a counselor or psychologist holding a clipboard in one hand and an umbrella above in the other over an anxious woman who is tucking her head into her knees with a tangled line hovering above her head.
iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being Parents Worried About Their Kids' Mental Health See the Fix in New Schooling Options
Parents who say they are considering a change to their children's education identify mental health as a driving factor, a new report shows.
5 min read
Student walking down the stairs at her school.
iStock / Getty Images Plus
Student Well-Being Explainer More Students Are Getting Diabetes. Here's What That Means for the Classroom
More than a half million people under 20 could have the chronic health disorder by 2060, and they'll need support from schools.
8 min read
Conceptual image in blues: female student with diabetes wears glucose monitoring patch
E+/Getty