Why scalability isn’t enough

Lots of folks responded rather strongly to my suggestion that talking about and focusing on scalability is immoral. As usual, I appear to have done a poor job articulating my feelings. đŸ™‚

The focus on scalability scares me because it only focuses on reaching lots of people, on reaching large numbers of people, on reaching the majority of people.

The amount of commitment necessary to reach all as opposed to many seems qualitatively different to me. I’m afraid that the focus on scaling, and talk about how great and worthy reaching the majority of people is, will allow instructional technologists to feel like they’re off the hook for reaching the few, the small numbers of people, the minority.

So yes, the work we are all doing on scaling is important. It’s foundational. But lately the people I’ve heard talk about scaling are talking about it like its the end goal. It’s not. It gets us to the majority of people. These same methods don’t get us to the minority. Things like eGranery get us to the minority.

We have to go beyond scalability in our thinking. Beyond reaching the majority. We have to think about reaching everyone. And its going to require very different thinking than the scalability thinking going on right now.