Tie And Jeans

Smooth it all over

One of the things I do more than I’d like is coming in at the tail end of the design of a video or Keynote presentation, trying to sniff out a troublesome glitch. Aside from the base level frustration of “simple tech thing that should do X, but steadfastly refuses to do X,” I hate the crappy tech acupressure that I invariably rely on. Remove the element and then reinsert it. Examine every property window and change small subsets of them, not because they should fix it but . . hey, you never know.

I’m comfortable looking stupid. I’m comfortable being unable to fix things.

But the details of these fights are almost always trivial, made manic and huge by the strange derangement of working on the same 5 minutes of sound and images for hours on end. While I may have snickered at a presentation with a bad wipe, or a stuttered video, I can’t remember a moment where I turned my back on a full plate of passion and ideas because the gloss wasn’t perfect.

But that’s what we get. So afraid that although *we* understand that the surface details aren’t the crucial part, there might be someone a level or two or ten above who will dismiss imperfection out of hand.

So the presentation announcing (no commitments! No published dates! Nothing that could later be used against us!) our 1-1 laptop program is 3 minutes of old tech pictures and a 5 minute MIcrosoft promo video. For our Macbook based program.

There’s lots of finicky iMovie/Keynote problems I can’t fix. But, given 30 minutes, I could build you a list of projects that are changing the ways our teachers and students are connecting with each other, of new avenues for middle school kids to express their excitement and their competence.

If teachers aren’t excited by the prospect of 1-1, there’s no level of gloss that’s going to sway them over. Show the heart, show a classroom that looks *different*, show engagement on the faces of students they can recognize.

Or, you know, make sure everything swings around on a giant N-Gon. Someone upstream might be impressed.


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