Cake by the Ocean and Other Bad Ideas

My kids listen to weird music. They are 9 and 6 so mostly it’s their Mom’s fault (it’s one of the few bad influences she has on them, alone in a wide array of positive influences). So I asked my kids about one of their favorites.
Me: What’s the name of it?
Kid: Cake by The Ocean. I love Cake by The Ocean, everybody does.
Me: Really? I think it’s silly. I like Pie by the River. I know a guy who prefers Pastries by the Lake. What about them? Have you considered them?
Kid: Oh Daddy. [Shakes head. Rolls eyes]

But in all seriousness, what about those who prefer 2016-05-15_0642something else? In education, for example, we’ve started surveying lots of people, asking lots of questions, and getting lots of feedback. Many times that input is not only collected but acted on. The majority have a direction they want to go and our school or our district acts. They love something…everybody does…and we go in that direction.

I think it’s great that we have the desire, and the #edtech tools to make this happen in a useful and easy way. And then I think that may not be good enough.

On surveys we can get a landslide of support for something. When educators weigh in at 75% or more, it’s a pretty resounding endorsement of whatever the survey is asking about. And yet, there are still 25% of us who want, need, or are passionate about something else. What about them? Have you considered them?

What if when we surveyed we ruled by the majority, and also honored the minority opinion? What if we said that we were going to go in the direction of the many, and we are going to seek out solutions for the few? What if we said we have the desire and the #edtech tools to make the wanted goodness happen for those who prefer what’s popular, and for those who prefer something else?

Surely we have the ability to focus on the “and” while also recognizing that what is popular is not always perfect. The majority does not always know what I need in my classroom for my students. How can I still get the personalized PD that I need?

As for me, I think I’ll sit and ponder a bit on how to make this personalized experience happen for everyone. I think I’ll come up with some methods as I listen to the water trickle by and have a Doughnut by the Stream.