2023-11-29 21:09

Kobus van Wyk

Standardization or customization?

The e-pioneer learns a lesson from Grandma’s jam.

Why does Grandmother’s homemade jam taste so much better than the stuff bought in tins in supermarkets?  Her secret is that she makes a small quantity at a time – cooking, stirring, tasting, adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that until it is just perfect.

With mass production you simply can’t expect the same results – in spite of some economic benefits, mass production has the disadvantage that gains in quantity are offset by a loss in quality.

The e-pioneer takes a page from Grandma’s recipe book when helping schools to introduce technology.

During the installation stage you may be tempted to use a generic infrastructure model.  While such a model may speed up implementation, it comes at a cost: the facilities will not be tailored around the unique needs of your school.  Grandma had a basic recipe – but she put an individual touch on each batch of jam she cooked.  E-pioneers use implementation models and templates in the same way.

The same principle applies when you’re considering a fast track training programme to make all educators computer literate. The cheapest and easiest way to train teachers is through distance learning. Yet, how palatable is this mode of training to teachers?

The e-pioneer is neither against standardization of implementation, nor against distance learning, but knows the wisdom of paying individualized attention to the needs of schools and educators.

Remember the success of Grandma’s jam: attend to the details so that every batch is just right.

Click here for more food for thought for e-pioneers.

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