I promise, this story will make sense eventually:

There are two old Apple cinema displays (monitors) in the learning resources offices. They are very peculiar in that they only have a single mini-DisplayPort cord to plug into a computer. They were made at a time when all of the computers Apple made used this port. Now MacBook, MacBook pros, and iPads have different ports and won’t connect to this display without a significant number of adapters.
Especially the iPad. In order to get these two devices to be compatible, you need the following:

  • A mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter
  • A DisplayPort coupler
  • A DisplayPort to hdmi cable
  • A lightning to Hdmi adapter

This setup is both rediculous and overkill. Both of these devices have ways of working that they prefer, and it takes a huge amount of work to get them to understand each other. The adapters are performing a kind of translation that is essential if you want to continue to use them for their intended purpose.

I believe we are all old devices. We have ways of working that we prefer. And, we often require a lot of translation and adapting in order to work together effectively. This adapting requires a lot of effort and investment, but I believe it is worth it.

When we adapt to mee the needs of a school, we are both able to do things that neither of us could do on our own. When we adapt to meet the needs of  other members of our team or across teaching and learning, we can speak the same language. We contribute to each others’ usefulness and value.

How many (and what type) of “adapters” do we need to invest in to better meet one another’s needs?

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