One New Thing at a Time

by Jean Tower

This is not a recent blog post by Adam Bellow, but it is still relevant, and I think readers will find some worthwhile advice.

I especially like the advice he gives about trying only one thing at a time.

Stitched Panorama

Try one new thing at a time. Often we pack too much into a lesson. If you find ten websites you want to share with the students, consider putting nine of them on a “Explore More” sheet that they can look at when they have time or as an extension of learning (my definition of “homework”). This way you can really take time to delve into a resource appropriately and not be watching the clock as you try to toss too much into the mix. The technology is not a list of ingredients thrown onto a lesson, but rather something that you should have kneaded and baked into the pedagogy.

In the technology “techie” end of things (the wires and boxes) it is an accepted SOP that we change only one variable at a time. When we are introducing new hardware or software or version, we need to isolate the change to the degree possible, so we can more accurately attribute the cause of the success or failure.

When we are troubleshooting, it is very important to change only one variable at a time. How else would one identify the solution?

On the other hand, I have seen excited, enthusiastic teachers try 5 new things in a lesson and then be stumped and a little discouraged when the lesson does not go as planned. Stick to the one thing at a time rule, and you will be better able to evaluate the consequences of that one change.



Note: If you enjoy Adam’s blog post, check out Edu Techer at


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