Random Thoughts

Gapingvoid's Three C's Remixed

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I’m going to remix some ideas from Gapingvoid. I do encourage you to read the entire post with an eye on education.


It seems to me that in any school, large or small, you can divide the people into three broad categories.

1. The “Changers”. These are the educators who use their work as a platform to “Change The World”. They go into a school and try to change it, in order to create something better, both for themselves and for the students at large. They can be the Principal or janitor. Theirs is not a social position, it’s a psychological condition.

2. The “Contributors”. These are educators who want to do their jobs, do it well, and get handsomely rewarded for it. They don’t necessarily see the need for “change” per se, they just want to see what works, and get it done. They want to find out who’s on the winning team, and get themselves a place on it.

3. The “Coasters”. They just want to turn up and get paid. Their lives and identities are outside their work- families, friends, hobbies etc- their job is just a means to an end; a way to pay for their “real lives” elsewhere.

He finishes with this….

My friend and I are sitting there, enjoying the evening, talking about the good old days, back when we both attended university in Austin. Suddenly in the back of mind, I’m thinking about the “Changers” inside Dell. These, I decide, are the people I need to speak to. All roads ANYWHERE worthwhile begin with these good folk. The rest can look after themselves. The rest won’t quite understand me, and there’s simply no point pretending that they will.

Who are the “Changers” at your school?

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Good, thoughtful post. Is there not a 4th C in busoness, politics and education?

    are those who seek to maintain the status quo, because change represents a worrying challenge to existing paradigms, power relationships and business models. Examples of controlling behaviour include blanket blocking of social network sites and a refusal to allow stuents to make derivative works using archived film footage.

  2. I came across this post while looking for something to inspire the incoming freshmen at my school tomorrow. I think it is also perfect at helping describe students as well. Hopefully I can use this to explain to them that everything they produce or are part of is an opportunity to improve the world around them.
    I think it is very easy to be a contributor and coaster, but very difficult to become a changer. The changers are the ones who see possibility beyond the status quo. Unfortunately, most get discouraged by bureaucracy, lack of time, and old paradigms to dare to push the envelope. Which brings us back to the common question to instructional technologists, how do we motivate our teachers to become changers?!

  3. Pingback: Are you a changer, contributer, or coaster? « Cycling Through Ed Tech

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