Friday, August 31, 2007


Awhile back, George Crawford, teacher at the Jonesboro School, posted an article titled
Change: Certainty and Uncertainty in the School Year Ahead and the Future.

I think George has hit upon a key issue in the world in which we are living. Complexity - and the chaos that comes with it - can have a detrimental effect. More and more I see us reacting to events in a crisis mode. Whatever happened to deliberate planning and implementation? Whatever happened to patience, consistency, and thoughtfulness?

George's point was that in a chaotic world, we need to have some rootedness, some things that we can depend on. I am thankful that the most teachers still, at some level, understand this. What some see as resistance to bureaucratic demands, is merely a need to maintain sanity in the presence of a flood of data and directives.

We all have many roles and only so much time and energy. The question is: How do we strike the right balance for ourselves and our family and friends? How much time do we allocate to relating to our students on a personal level? What is important?

To this end, there is a need to simplify. What is essential? Too often, our tools become increasingly complex, sapping our limited energy from the more human elements of our existence. Too much information (data) is as incapacitating as not enough. Where do we draw the line?

I would suggest that the reason Google is growing so fast, is that it understands this. It understands that we don't have to know anything about automobile mechanics to drive a car. The simplicity is on the surface, the complexity within. And the motivation, to get from point A to point B, is clear. Likewise, it engineers its online applications to be easy to use and clear in purpose.

Check out Kern Kelley's Description of the Google toolbox at the Tech Curve.

Also this: The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less

What do you think?

1 comment:

George Crawford said...

Simplicty is important in the world. We need to realize that we can do so much for ourselves, our families, and our students. Balance in life is important. We also need to remember principles and what we think is fair. We need to build or beliefs upon something and try to make a difference in the world.