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

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
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
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
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

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 The Surprising Connection Between Universal School Meals and Student Discipline
Giving all students free school meals can help nurture a positive school climate by eliminating the stigma around poverty.
6 min read
Third graders have lunch outdoors at Highland Elementary School in Columbus, Kan., on Oct. 17, 2022.
Third graders have lunch outdoors at Highland Elementary School in Columbus, Kan., on Oct. 17, 2022.
Charlie Riedel/AP
Student Well-Being SEL Could Move Into School Sports. What That Might Look Like
Massachusetts is considering a bill to establish guidelines on how school athletics incorporate SEL.
5 min read
A middle school football team practices Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Oklahoma City.
A middle school football team practices in Oklahoma City in 2022.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
Student Well-Being Opinion Tests Often Stress Students. These Tips Can Calm Their Nerves
It's normal for students to feel anxious about tests and presentations. Here's what the research says can help them.
Michael Norton
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty
Student Well-Being Q&A Putting the Freak-out Over Social Media and Kids' Mental Health in Historical Context
Is it another in a long line of technology-induced moral panics, or something different?
3 min read
Vector illustration of 30 items and devices converging into a single smart device. Your contemporary tablet is filled with a rich history, containing ways to record and view video, listen to music, calculate numbers, communicate with others, pay for things, and on and on.
DigitalVision Vectors