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It is not enough to think differently, you must do differently.
 

 
I make it a point to do something a bit different each time I take to the stage or operate in the centre of a workshop. Often the action is not obvious to my audience because they do not know what I have tried before.

However, doing different is important to me because I want to create a new learning opportunity for myself. What I learn might benefit my current audience and will certainly help my next one.

At my last seminar, I accessed all my online platforms (Google Slides, Forms, Sheets; TodaysMeet, Padlet, websites) with Safari. I did this as I had read about the battery savings of using the default browser over Chrome.

While my sessions are not so long as to worry about battery life, it helps to know “what if”. What if I was running low on juice if a session stretched long? What if I was unexpectedly invited to do an extra session?

I tested the resources beforehand on Safari and tried them when on stage. I noticed that my Macbook Air’s battery was still clearly in the black. If I had used Chrome, I would have had 30-45 minutes less battery time.

However, as might be expected, Google Chrome plays nicer with Google Apps. It may be a memory and power hog, but it is like luxury car when you need it to perform. Safari felt unsure with sudden stops, bursting forward, or taking sharp corners. Yes, I do not present in a conventional, linear way.

I learn as I do different things each time. I wish more of the people I work with or advise did the same.

I have worked with partners who organize events. They typically choose quantity in the hope that it will bring quality. I advise going for quality first.

For example, to get their money’s worth, they invited more people to the party instead of inviting only the people that matter. The problem with inviting everyone you can is getting party-poopers.

At another event, I suggested providing participants with a choice via conference strands. Most modern conference organizers do this already so that people are not forced to attend single, linear tracks.

In both examples, the event organizers soon realized the effect of inviting people who 1) do not really want to be there, 2) have different expectations, or 3) do not want to be treated like sheep.

This is like time-tabling, treating everyone the same, and rushing through curriculum in school. Doing this is ironic given how most of the events are designed to suggest how to break out of such treatment.

So I end this reflection with the statement I used to start it: It is not enough to think differently, you must do differently.

I reviewed the tweets that I had collected as “favourites” over the last few years and found this:

Damned if you do or damned if you don’t? Which are you guilty of?

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I like this quote by Arthur Ashe as shared by @rwootenitis.

Over the last two semesters, I have used the strategy of concluding my courses for inservice teachers with a call to action on technology integration.

I tell them to do what they can with what they have instead of whining and whinging about what they do not have or what holds them back.

I tell them about educators I have worked with elsewhere in the world who do not have what we have in Singapore, but do disproportionately more with the little they have.

If it is not enough to inspire you to change, I will resort to shaming you to do it!


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