Before Susan B. Anthony became a famous abolitionist and suffragette, she was director of a girls’ school in upstate New York. Indeed, she combined her passions to agitate for including more women in education professions, and for better pay. Now, for all of her accomplishments, she is best known by many people as the face on the most reviled piece of U.S. currency in the 20th century because no one in the design phase considered deeply what would happen if they minted a dollar coin that looked and felt just like a quarter. The motivation for putting a notable woman on the dollar was laudable, but without thinking it through all phases of implementation, the goal of making it a coin for everyday use was never close to being achieved.

The Susan B. Anthony does not stand alone in the realm of decent ideas that fail for lack of a plan. In schools, we see this all too often in technology. As we all know, technology, as an idea in and of itself, is meaningless. Purchased without a hard goal, hardware usage in everyday life goes from heavy to moderate to occasional to rare to dust collector to trash (or, for the more responsible, recycling)…

 

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