Real Change Happens One Person at a Time

Presentation post-mortem along with wiki and audio (Via StigmergicWeb.) Rob Wall: “I tend to be somewhat skeptical about the effectiveness of workshops for changing people’s behaviour. Workshops and presentations are great for raising awareness and generating interest, but real change happens one person at a time.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself, though I’ve tried on many occasions.

When I first started teaching, I remember recalling Wayne Gretzky’s autobiography in which he said that hockey (in which there are 12 guys on the ice and easily 24 more off the ice) comes down to two on one situations – that is where the game is won – and Gretzky spent his effort trying to create two on one situations. Even in my days as a student teacher I remember realizing that education (in which there are 30 or 40 people in the room) comes down to one on one situations – the individual attention a teacher gives, even when a student raises their hand and asks their particular question* – and so I’ve always put my energy into creating one on one situations. This is one way technology can be effective. If students are working with computers (which is a sort of one on one situation), the teacher is free to walk around and help individuals one on one, and thus effecting real change.

*Note: As a former English teacher I find the gender neutral singular “their” that works so well for us in spoken English to be perfectly appropriate in written English, at least in my blog.