Food for Thought Friday: 5 Ways to Deal with Innovation Overload

by Kristie Burk

This week I had the pleasure of spending the day at the Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center to see the kids and the teachers using their iPads to enhance learning. The students were fabulous and I met a lot of wonderful, enthusiastic teachers.  One of them said to me, “I really like getting your blog, but it’s overwhelming.  I just can’t keep up with it all!”

I feel your pain.  Really, I do.  Last week, I attended a four-day educational technology conference from 8-7 every day.  I learned about hardware, software, apps, tools, programs…tons and tons every day. By the middle of the second day, I started to experience innovation overload. There is so much great stuff out there, but there is A LOT.  It makes my head spin.

I came up with the following list of ways to deal with innovation overload. I hope that it helps you!

  1. Filter – When you get this blog, feel free to discard the messages that don’t apply to you.  If you read about an app or a tool that you don’t think will be useful, move on to something else.  Or if you know a digital tool that does something similar, there is really no need to learn something different. I promise my feelings won’t be hurt.
  2. Save the nuggets – One of the MC teachers says that she has created a folder in Outlook where she stores the blog posts that are interesting to her.  This way, she can read about them later when she has more time.  At my conference, I took notes on everything I heard in Evernote to review when I have more time.
  3. Give yourself a Genius Hour – Ms. Fiske is letting her students experiment with the Genius Hour.  Google employees are allowed 20% of their time to work on their own projects. How about giving yourself a little bit of time each week to play with some new technology or to improve what you’re already using?
  4. Make friends with the tech gurus in your school. I heard over and over again this week from the Marsh Creek teachers about how invaluable Lois Grasso and Peggy Alvarez have been. Make friends with someone in your school who is willing to show you some technology. You know who they are! (Bringing some cookies probably doesn’t hurt.)
  5. Give yourself a break. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, just give yourself a break.  Technology IS overwhelming!  It is moving so quickly and it’s a challenge to keep up.  The only thing that matters is that we’re all trying.

Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

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