Thinking About Balance…Am I That Guy?

I had the opportunity to present at ISTE in San Diego last week with my good friend George Couros, an administrator in Canada who I have learned so much from over the past few years. As we developed our presentation for our session, George shared the video above with me from a recent Louis C.K. appearance on Conan. While I was laughing at the scenario Louis C.K. shared of individuals glued to the screens of their devices, I was also well aware that I can be one of these people sometimes who missed out on the real-time occurrence in an attempt to get a picture or send out a message.

With this in mind, I headed to the Portsmouth Air Show over the weekend and decided to leave my devices at home. I have fond memories of seeing the Navy’s Blue Angels flying squad as a young boy with my dad. At first, I was thinking of bringing my iPad with me to get some clips of the Blue Angels on video. But as I thought back to the above clip, I realized that there are plenty of clips of the Blue Angels online that are much better than I could shoot and that I should just stand back and take the whole thing in with my own eyes. (Check out the great Blue Angels Promo video below)

When it was over, I was pleased with my decision, having seen a lot more with my eyes on on the sky and not focused on the device. Not to mention the fact that I probably would have dropped my device when one of the jets flew about 50 feet directly over my head and I caused me to block my ears to save my ear drums.  (See below)

.@patrickmlarkin and @wwollaeger watching the Blue Angels at ... on Twitpic

Anyway, my main point in this post is that we need to continue to think about having a balanced approach to utilizing all of the great technology that is available to us. There are many times in our lives where the best choice for technology is to leave it out of the equation so that we can fully immerse ourselves in the moment. As always, I feel fortunate to work in a school district that allows students to utilize technological resources because I do not think we could have authentic discussions about balance if our first inclination was to deny access.  

So the next time you go to grab your phone, iPad, or camera, take a moment to think whether or not you will really miss something without it or whether you are missing the bigger picture with it…

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