As stated in Barry Schwartz’s TED Talk, too many options can be paralyzing. We all feel empowered by choice. It gives us a sense of control of our lives, of our own happiness. But I agree with Barry Schwartz’s there is a negative side to choice. Whether it is too many choices, or an unexpected choice, we don’t feel empowered. We feel frozen and unsure.
Personally, I went through this last week. I was presented with an unexpected opportunity to return to the classroom. Understand; this was a choice that was totally unexpected. It challenged me to think about my future: where did I want to be in five years? Where did I want to be next year? Instead of feeling free and honored to be considered for the position, it froze me. I decided to stay with ESU 10 at the moment because I needed to finish what I had started. Where will I be in five years? I can’t say for sure, but that is for another blog.
But I’m starting to see this paralysis in education. Many schools are considering going to a 1:1 environment with iPads. I think that is awesome, but there is a hurdle that needs to be addressed: app choice.
7415 free apps in the area of productivity. How productive would I be sifting through all those choices? I know what you are thinking; use the search option. OK. I’ll use the keyword “Grammar” (Hey, I’m an English teacher).
Results: 720 apps, both free and paid.
As the landscape changes in the classroom with mobile technology, it is good to be aware of different hurdles that a school, a teacher, or student may face. In this case the option of choice regarding apps. A great benefit of mobile devices is the ability to personalize content and the learning experience a student has through the apps and tools provided for them. But which app to choose? There is not a “right or wrong” answer here, but Barry Schwartz’s does present a philosophy to consider.
We are in a transitional period, a reconstructing of our “fish bowls” you might say. It is not easy, but it is exciting to be in the mix of this change. What will education look like in 5 years? The choice is ours…