"A Duck on a bike! That's the silliest thing I've ever seen," says the cow.
The dog barks, "That is a mighty neat trick."
The horse replies, "It's not as fast as me."
The chicken clucks, "Watch where you're going Duck."
Then a group of kids barrel past Duck, drop their bikes and head into the house. The next page shows all the animals eyes wide open staring at these discarded bikes and, when the page is turned, the reader sees each of the animals riding a bike. The horse had the faster Schwinn bike while the two pigs shared a tandem bike. The mouse enjoyed riding on Duck's handlebars. The animals simply enjoyed their adventure and rode around and around the barnyard. The book ends with Duck contemplating his next adventure....a tractor.
After reading this book for the umpteenth time (almost bleary-eyed, but still doing the animals voices), it dawns on me: change. This book tells the story of what change is like in an organization and, most recently, with incorporating technology into the classroom.
Here's Duck trying something out for the first time (technology), something he was not perfect with it at all, but he wanted to share it with others. His "colleagues" showered him with many opinions: he's silly, it's awesome, leave me alone, and you're not like me. Isn't this what happens when something new comes along? There's always people who are early adopters and those that couldn't care less; Others that wait for it to blow by and ones that sing its praises.
But then, something magical happens when everyone tries it out. They like it. They actually like it. They think duck is a genius. They have fun and more importantly, have fun together. How can we do this? How can I act like Duck?
School starts in a couple weeks for me. I'm going to definitely share this story with my 4th and 5th graders and ask them to dig deeper than just a bike ride. When you are trying something new, not everyone will instantly be enthralled or excited and that's okay. It's a bit leading my example and that goes with character, change, and technology.
Wish me luck!