Here’s a broad and largely unsupported generalisation for 2013 moving forward:

  • All education businesses (whether for profit or not) are now education technology businesses. Whether we (or they) like it or not.

Here’s another one:

  • Because most teachers and trainers spend most of their time doing the busy work of teaching and training they don’t maximise their ability to make a difference or improve.

Here’s what I think it looks like most of the time.

How most teachers work.029Most of what we do is largely uninformed by much in the way of any kind of forward facing strategy (x) about the learning and learners. We rely on a few trusted systems based on past experiences (y). And spend most of our time doing the technical work of teaching and training (z).

I’m not suggesting that it’s possible or even desirable to equalise time between these different aspects of teaching, but I do think that we need to periodically shift our focus from the technical, everyday work of teaching with it’s focus on managing the present reality of our learners, to both a strategic and systems-level view.

Really great teachers have great strategies in place for themselves and their learners. And just like any master craftsperson, great teachers and trainers use great systems that are continually reviewed and tweaked.

These strategic and pragmatic aspects of teaching are more critical than ever as we adjust to a teaching and training landscape where everything, including our teaching tools, becomes more integrated with technology. We need to envision new possibilities for ourselves and our learners, as well as the systems we need to teach, train, and facilitate.

Making time for personal and professional development as part of our own ongoing learning is not optional then. It’s necessary for survival.

Here’s my personal and organisational education technology business development plan (or #edtechbizdev for short).

#edtechbizdev 2013
#edtechbizdev 2013


My plan is to make 2013 the year that we:

  • Push most of our work and working processes online (*Cloud).
  • Make a concerted effort to document our evolving systems, processes, and results so that we can work on them (*Evidence).
  • Make a difference in the lives of our learners, staff, contractors, colleagues, and whanau everywhere (*Difference).
  • Look for opportunities to make ourselves and others happy as a result of the work that we do (*Happiness).

Do achieve this we’re not going to stop doing the tactical work that we already do, i.e. the teaching, training, facilitating of embedded literacy and numeracy.

But we are going expand what we do in the other spheres: the strategic and pragmatic. I’m just not sure what it’s going to look like yet. I’ll keep you posted though.

Thoughts and comments? Please let me know (especially if you’ve never commented before).



Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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