In the throes of change…



  1. intense or violent pain and struggle, especially accompanying birth, death, or great change.

Not sure which of those ideas is most on my mind as I write this morning, but here is what prompted my writing. I think I’m in the throes of change, absent the birth/death part.

Two worlds collided. One, I’m reading Transforming Libraries-A Toolkit for Innovators, Makers, and Seekers, by Ron Starker. So far, so good. I’m hoping to get some good ideas for three of our ongoing building projects. A new middle school, a new elementary school, and a new addition to our high school.

Image result for transforming libraries by ron starker

Hit this quote by Mr. Starker, “Those libraries offering only access to information will most likely perish, while libraries offering members the opportunity to build, create, problem solve, collaborate, network, innovate, and learn lifelong skills will become innovation hubs and critical change social institutions that carry us through times of turbulent change.”

I absolutely agree with this. Libraries are critical in our world, in schools, and for kids.

So I’m reading this book. And I get a message from a colleague about an article from Sydney, Australia, March, 2019, titled, ‘Major distraction’: school dumps iPads, returns to paper textbooks’.

Frustration was my first response. My assumption was that the sender of the message saw this as some kind of victory over change, over kids using technology in schools. Probably an unfair assumption. I make a lot of those. And I love that colleagues send me stuff to read.

And the frustration went away pretty quickly. Any change will happen in fits and starts. The quote about libraries above seems definitive in my opinion. Ultimately, for example, “…Google’s digitation project will greatly help libraries and will bring back thousands of out-of-print books, creating universal access that will ultimately benefit authors and readers alike.”

Reading the article made several things clear.

The ‘dumping’ of the ipads was to eliminate distraction from popups during reading. I suppose that’s kind of reasonable, but popups can be eliminated in other ways. However, the ‘dumping’ was also addressed. “The school will also phase out iPads and begin a bring-your-own device policy with a preference for laptops.”

Oh. Bring your own device, with a preference for laptops. That seems good.

Throes of change. Fits and starts. Intense or violent pain and struggle. Great change.

Bring it on.

Author: Jnelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 39 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 8 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years.

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