Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What Makes You Plan?

WHY do you plan?

We surely do hear a lot about planning, don't we?  But, is all this planning talk just something we do to occupy our time?  Or, is planning really a worthwhile experience?

What positive benefits come from planning?

So, I'm wanting to hear from you.  Send your comments and thoughts.

Just why do you plan?

What makes you plan?  Is it an internal drive to improve?  Is it a desire to make things better than they once were?  Or, do you have a specific goal in mind, and planning is the tool that will get you there?  What is it that really drives you to engage in planning?

So, imagine this.  A person walks into your office and you pull out your tech plan.  You give it to the person and say, "Here's my technology plan.  It will show you what I want to accomplish."

The person responds with a one word question that reverberates in your mind:


What do you say?

Leave your comments here.  I really, really want to know what you think!


Mathew said...

You spend time planning to make time in the execution. We all have limited time and other resources and so planning helps us maximize the use of those resources.

Dr. Larry Anderson said...

Excellent point, Mathew!

We've all heard the adage, If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Well, although it requires more efforts to plan thoroughly on the front end, the payoff surely is sweet, isn't it?

Thanks for a very insightful comment!

Kris Vassos said...

Planning helps me to clarify what I'm doing, examine why I am doing what I do, gives me a method for knowing how I'm going to accomplish my goals, and helps me determine if I've accomplished what I set out to do.

I've learned from experience that when I don't plan I'm not focused and spend too much time on things that don't help me to meet my goals.

Harry said...

Well put, Mathew. Planning is also a way to hear yourself think out loud. I am constantly revising my plans, never satisfied, a refiner's fire burning inside. Sometimes I revise on the fly. Sometimes even in mid-sentence. But always from preparation. Most of my lectures are years old, but some are minutes new. Planning (even to tear down so as to rebuild) is a way to see the overview so you'll have confidence in your instruction.

kurtusu said...

An excellent one word question deserves an excellent quote from Alice in Wonderlad by Lewis Carroll:
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: …so long as I get somewhere.
The Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.

Colleen said...

Plans are the road map that show you the way from your dreams and aspirations to reality. They help guide you, keep you on track, and ensure that you reach your destination in a timely and organized fashion.

The thing is, we all take to the road differently. Some of us need GPSs to go along with the roadmap, some of us are adventurous and will take to the open highway without the map. But when we get lost along the way it is the plan that leads us towards our destination.

Dr. Pat Horn said...

I thought the road map analogy was a good construct for what you do when you plan for anything. We all know what happens in a classroom when you don’t plan or have a general idea of what you will do that day. It can be a very long class period. The better the lesson is planned, the smoother the execution of the lesson goes. Having said that, you have to be flexible enough in your lesson plans to jump on that teachable moment or fantastic learning opportunity that comes up during the student interaction with the material. So, a road map is a direction of where you are heading, but you have to be able to take little detours and allow students to take different routes to get there.

However, there are different facets to planning. I think I have always reflected on my lessons afterwards to make plans for ways to improve the lessons for the next time or the next lesson as a way to make the learning process more meaningful to students. The reflective process is invaluable in planning for students and teachers. (The old adage of if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get the same result.) So a way to make sure you improve is to reflect on easy to do it better.

Now, specifically about technology planning: I have always thought that this planning should be about the results/leaning you want from students, not about how many of what kind of machines you want. I used to go round and round with this with our IT folks. A technology plan is not primarily about counting machines, but most importantly about what learners need to know and be able to do using technology as a tool for their learning. And, like the road map analogy, it should be a flexible route allowing for differentiated routes to get to the goals.

I guess you can tell, I really believe in planning and reflecting on the process. Good questions. Thanks, Larry.