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Sharing Skill Sets August 8, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
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fullan   After struggling with a grumpy database and trying to integrate its contents into a FrontPage generated web page, I finally had the epiphany I was seeking and created a work around to make the site work. There was a deadline fast approaching and we simply had to get it done one way or another.

The database designer came in today to look at what I had done and we tried to get out heads around the problem. The first order of business was to determine if there was some colossal ignorance on either of our parts. There was not. She was working under one set of constraints and I was working under another.

By the end of our meeting, we were laughing about it. We were like little robots with partial skill sets. I was only programmed to go forward or backward. She was programmed to turn left and right. Together we were stuck in a corner. However, with me moving backward and with her turning left, we eventually got out of the jam.

How many problems in the world are the results of too narrow a set of skills? Or is the problem simple communication and collaboration? Writers in education from Michael Fullan to Thomas Sergiovanni agree that collaboration is an essential skill for survival in the twenty-first century.

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