Do a Few Things Well

As a technology leader in my school (and in my school district), I find myself a little overwhelmed with all of the technology tools which are available to us. Just when I think I have a good understanding of the tools which are available, I read about something new.
I am starting to notice that many of the web 2.0 tools duplicate the functionality of other tools. For example, I was recently reading about Edmodo and I was quite impressed by what I learned. As I learned more about Edmodo, I realized that the Sharepoint Virtual Classrooms that we use in our school district could do virtually the same thing as Edmodo. Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not bashing Edmodo…I think it is brilliant…even more so now that they have added Google Docs.
Anyway, back to my main point. I shouldn’t feel bad about not using every tool which comes along. I think what I need to realize is that it is ok to use a few tools…and use them well. When something else comes along…take a look…is it better than what I use? Can I enhance what I already use?
This makes me think about a tradesman who has a box of tools…he will only replace a tool if it is broken or if one comes out that makes his job easier…and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg! Very few carpenters use hammers any more. Why? Because air nailers are faster, more accurate, and affordable.
I have always prided myself on being a “jack of all trades” …even when it comes to technology. But, at the rate that new things are being discovered, there is no way I will be able to know it all. The key has become knowing where to go to help people find their own solutions. Also, it is important to be a learner and know what is out there, even if you have no intention of using it. For example, I don’t use “Dropbox” but I understand how it works….and, more importantly, I know some people who use it religiously so I can direct any questions that I may get to that person.
What are your thoughts?

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About Derek Hatch (Hatcherelli)
Principal in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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