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 initiative they were considering implementing at their school, and were forced into doing so due to the pandemic’s onset.  Schools that had already implemented a program like this, and have had it in place for several years and have had great success with it, were prepared to pivot to online instruction when schools were closed in the Spring of 2020.

Unfortunately, schools that were in the evaluation phase of such a program were hoping to take the remainder of the school year, create the budget, have it approved, purchase hardware, put infrastructure in place, and then schedule training and testing were caught totally off guard, and it took them quite some time to get up to speed.

What was the parent reaction?  “Why don’t you have contingency plans in place?” “How long do I have to keep my kids at home?”  “Why didn’t you plan for this when things were ‘normal’?”

That’s because when things are “normal,” people don’t think they need to do anything different.

Significant changes to teaching methodologies take YEARS to implement effectively!  Unfortunately, if a school where you saw such an approach already in full swing, it’s not a stretch to think that it will be in place five years after that referenced school had launched it, and that means it’ll be in place seven or eight years since that school 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 anticipating 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.”