Why Beyond Tools?

Recently I followed Bo Sanders from Homebrewed Christianity as he blogged his way through a book for Lent. His thinking was rather than eliminate a vice from his life, he’d add a virtue. What a great idea. Lent has passed but Bo’s idea has stayed with me.

The purpose of this blog is to think about the important human elements that lead to learning and growth. Since I work as a K-12 technology integration coach (my real title is specialist, but I detest that word), many of my musings will center around the field of education. But I hope to eventually stretch beyond that domain as I gain confidence and experience as a blogger.

The title of this blog aludes to my tool phopia. As a teacher, I tend toward minimalism. What is the bare minimum of resources necessary to achieve the objective. Why would every student need a large packet of specific materials when they could effectively learn using a generic organizer applied to a variety of materials?  When more advanced technology became available (Google Apps for Education, Moodle, Mobile Apps), I remained a minimalist. Why would every student need a large number of web accounts or apps when they could effectively learn using one powerful digital tool applied to a variety of materials?

Of course my minimalist philosophy can be taken to the extreme and must be tempered by a broader perspective. And that brings me back the to the title of the blog, Beyond Tools. What really captures my imagination are the aspects of learning and development that allow us to move from where we are at to where we want to be, or better yet, where we never imagined we could go. It is that which I intend to think upon and blather about.  So, like Bo, I’m going to begin by blogging through the book Evocative Coaching, by Bob and Megan Tschannen-Moran. I can’t begin to describe the ways this book has expanded my understanding of coaching adult learners, and I look forward to beginning a conversation about it with you.

Of course, a blog is really pointless unless others follow it, engage with it, disagree with it, and share it with others. I encourage you to follow this blog and tweet it or share it with others.