If You Had to Choose Between “What’s Best” and “What’s Next,” Which Would You Choose?

Many companies today espouse “Best Practices” when they say what their company does.  That’s a great way to build confidence in their target market.

But difficulties arise when companies that may not espouse “Best Practices” want to know what others consider to be “Best Practices” so they can consider implementing them at their company.

Then they look like “imitators” rather than “innovators.”

For instance, a local high school may have a “Chrome from Home,” a “1 to 1” or a “BYOD” technology initiatives which they’re considering implementing at their school, since other schools they’ve spoken with have implemented such a program several years ago, and have had great success with it.  The evaluation phase will take the remainder of the school year, then the budget must be identified and approved, hardware may need to be purchased, infrastructure put in place, and parents must be engaged to communicate their responsibilities to make the initiative a successful one.

How long do you think this will take?  A year?  Maybe two?  Say you chose the “Chrome from Home” path.  If the school where you saw it in action had been doing it for three years when you first asked how it worked for them, your program will be just starting out five years after that school had launched it, which means it’s now seven years since they started planning for it.  They may be investigating their next phases while yours is just getting underway, since the definition of “Best” may have changed for them.

Aiming for “Best” if you’re not already practicing it may not be the most prudent form of action, especially in the field of educational technology.  Your technology folks not only have to be experts as diagnosis, instantaneous with correction, and knowledgeable practitioners of cyber-security, but need to be prognosticators when it comes to technology trends and “Next Practices” to keep your data secure, your networks functional, and your customers (parents and students) engaged.

Hockey Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky earned the nickname “The Great One” due to his unparalleled success on the ice.  When asked what made him so successful, he replied, “Good hockey players go to where the puck is; I go to where the puck is going to be.”