mission accomplished: now it's time to get to work

If the teaching and learning doesn't serve that mission, it doesn't belong here.  And if the technology isn't advancing, improving, enhancing the teaching and learning and the mission, it doesn't belong here either.

I am spending the day at New Hampton School, in New Hampton, New Hampshire and I have had that game changing moment we all dream of: I finally know why I do what I do.

So what the heck have I been doing up until now?  Good question.  I've been doing everything I can to get people to rethink their pedagogy.  I've been offering theoretical and practical advice about teaching and learning.  I've been vocally advocating for reflection and change.

And...I've been trying to put out technology fires.  I've been retrieving passwords and unjamming copiers.  I've been begging for PD funding.

But, first and foremost, I have been trying to run a massive ad campaign countering the "iPads are Evil" assumption that pervades my District, an opinion that is hard to refute when the technology was unloaded off the back of the delivery truck and placed directly into the hands of an excellent 19th Century model school.

This sounds strange but, as a District, we are too good at what we do.  Our test scores and college admission rates are off the charts.  So there is no reason to change.  No burning platform that technology can support or address.  Harvard's x would describe us as X.

Within that world, I've been trying to wear a thousand disparate hats and not get myself fired by the administration and/or killed in the process by an angry mob.  Yet until today, until my literal AHA moment, I have been acting on instinct.  My SONAR has pointed me in the right direction, but I've only been avoiding crashes -- not moving toward my destination.  I haven't been able to grasp the core value that I knew I had somewhere inside me but could not articulate.  I haven't been able to defend the iPad -- and my work in general -- with any clear mission.  Moreover, I haven't been able to

Now I have MY mission: Successful technology integration can only happen when and if it is in service of YOUR mission.

And to do that, you need to know what your mission is.  New Hampton School?  They know what they are doing.  More importantly, they know why they are doing it.

So now I know what I'm doing.  Well, at least I know WHY I'm doing what I'm doing.  Now I need to ask my colleagues why they do what they do.  Then, and only then, once I know their goals can I begin to effectively merge that work with the tools that will transform their classrooms.

Mission Accomplished: Time to Get to Work.