(This post the third in a series commenting on Kathy Sierra's presentation about creating passionate users.)
Have you ever attended one of those workshops where so many things are covered that you don't know where to start? Or, have you ever visited on of those sites that describe 100 Web 2.0 tools? Many professional developers seem to think that value comes from the quantity of tools, tips, slides, lesson ideas, etc. that they can cram into an hour, half-day, or whole day.
That seems contrary to Kathy's statement that we can help our "users" by giving them the one thing they can do to be amazing. I didn't take that statement to mean that we should tell teachers we work with exactly which tool they should use and in which particular lesson. In fact, struggling to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of certain tools in certain situations may be the most important "problem" we can lead teachers to consider. Instead, Kathy's statement reminded me that we need to think very carefully about the number and order of tools, tips, activities, etc. we do present. Will they make the teachers (really, their students) amazing, or will they distract them from what's most important/beneficial/amazing? Would you rather have a teacher that has thought carefully about when and how to creatively and thoughtfully use one tool like a wiki throughout the year in their subject(s), or a teacher who has mastered a dozen tools, but can't achieve rigor or relevance with them? Less is probably more if teachers develop a nuanced understanding of their tool(s) and how they best fit with their pedagogy and subject. They can always add another tool later in the year or the next year.