The kindness of strangers


I was supposed to do a webinar.

Scheduled on Tuesday evening, the webinar was for school board members in Iowa and was the second of four scheduled online events for the Iowa Association of School Boards.

I was supposed to do a webinar.

But not just me alone. I also invited others to join me and a few folks took me up on the offer. The idea was to get multiple perspectives on our topic of the evening. On Tuesday, the subject was how technology tools are changing everything and creating a new information landscape for all of us.

I was supposed to do a webinar.

But there were storms in Ames, Iowa, and, minutes before we were supposed to begin, my Internet access from our local cable company went kaput. Uh oh…

I was supposed to do a webinar.

Thanks to the kindness of volunteers, including people I’ve never met in person, the show went on. Alison Link (in Minnesota) and Bryan Lakatos (in Ohio) and Lou Ann Gvist (in Iowa) forged on without me. The school board members and superintendents who logged in had a fantastic, wide-ranging discussion.

I was supposed to do a webinar.

I DID do a webinar. Just without me in it. It wasn’t seamless. We had glitches. I was a complete nonfactor. And yet it was a needed and helpful conversation and both participants and facilitators benefited from it.

Many organizations get so caught up in the need for perfection that they forget the power of simply talking. No broadcasting, no selling, just talking. Tuesday night was an affirmation of the power of human connection, our desires for technological perfection be damned.

Thank you so much, Alison and Bryan and Lou Ann! You were amazingly adaptive and incredibly helpful. I owe you!

2 Responses to “The kindness of strangers”

  1. Happy to oblige, Scott! I love the idea of using webinars to bring decision makers and diverse practitioners into closer dialog, and felt privileged to participate. I hope things have since blown over in Ames!

  2. The best work of an educator is displayed when they are completely absent from the final product.

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