Improving the obsolete

At a presentation earlier today, Dr. Sharon Friesen (co-founder of the Gallileo Education Network) challenged us under the topic of “Learnings for Today’s World.” It was invigorating. Just the simple reminder that eyeglasses were once viewed with the same technological mysticism as we view Web 2.0 today. Or that people once traveled hundreds of miles to watch people engage in “silent reading.”

There was a great quote in the pre-reading:

Efforts to improve the obsolete are actually likely to make things worse (Gilbert, 2005; Fullan, Hill & Crevola, 2006).

While this statement was made in the context of transformation of the education system, it has far deeper relevance to many initiatives. And it requires confronting truths we may want to avoid to honestly assess if we are simply trying to improve the obsolete.

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