If You're an Early Adopter, This Might be Your Biggest Blind Spot

June 6, 2018

 

You might be thinking we all have blind spots, right?! So what's the big deal? I'm inclined to agree with you, but some blind spots are bigger and more important than others. These are the blind spots that may limit your ability to serve others and grow.

 

Now, here's the thing about early adopters. 

 

We have a predisposition for trying new things. (This can be a good thing.) And we often have a higher tolerance for risk and failure. (This can be a good thing too.) Many of us are also passionate about leading change, and because of this, we may find ourselves flummoxed when others are slower to adopt a specific technology. (This is not such a good thing...and it's a sign we have an important blind spot.)

 

Recently, I was having a conversation with a forward-thinking educator who I really respect. Our conversation covered a wide range of topics pertaining to leadership and even touched upon some cutting-edge tools. Eventually, we delved deeper into Virtual Reality (VR). We were both speculating how VR will play a more prominent role in many aspects of our lives in the very near future. Since I strongly believe school should be relevant to the learners we serve, I asked a question of my colleague that went something like this:

 

"To support shifts in learning and technology, shouldn't we consider empowering students to create more video projects using Virtual Reality technology?"

 

This is where a big blind spot of mine was revealed. 

 

My colleague said, "You're making an assumption that everyone sees a tremendous value in the power of students learning through basic video and basic video creation...I don't think we're there yet." His observation made so much sense.

 

My biggest blind spot was focusing further down the road when the questions I really should've been asking were about basic beliefs and the scaffolding required to support different learning.  In other words, if a person is not comfortable using basic video as a tool for deeper learning, reflecting, and sharing...why in the world would they even consider VR? 

 

I think this extends beyond technology and innovation.

 

Trying to get others to care about "Step C" without regard to their experiences or interest in "Step B" doesn't work very well. Seeking to understand a person's "Step A" is much more effective. When we understand the heart, mind, and hope of others we begin to see who they are. Their strengths are revealed. And where they want to go is more clear.

 

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Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal, author, and speaker. He believes schools can be spaces where creativity and innovation thrive, but only when we prioritize relationships and a relevant, connected pedagogy. 

 

Connect on email at:

AdjustingCourse@gmail.com

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