Edtech heroes are also essential in that they first and foremost seek to achieve their imaginations and as fast as possible. In reality, such achievements are often achieved beyond what many people can initially believe what is possible and can be achieved. Maybe these heroes are the ultimate mix of dreamers and doers. To advance as a community, we all need to be imaginers and also the ones among others who get the imaginings into reality. What is so wonderful about the Frances Valentines of the world is this context is that they won't settle for a partial achievement or actualisation of their vision. They want the kitchen sink as well. In being so focused on their vision, it means that they are less likely to be side-tracked by other motivations or promotions that only serve to delay progress or create confusion or misunderstandings about the desired outcomes.
The Frances Valentines of the world are very much needed in that they don't think and do "outside of the box", for these visionaries, there is no box. The success of The MindlabNZ has been completely achieved without any political R & D or any central government support. The only government link that The MindlabNZ has is via the tertiary institution Unitec who provides the qualification/accreditation context for the organisation's Post Graduate qualifications. In talking with Frances about her success without any government support, she was very diplomatic but did make it clear that such support creates significant time delays, a legislative and political influence and lens of no benefit to the imagined outcomes and in reality "too many chefs", most of whom have very little or none cooking experience, let alone grand imaginations.
Frances delivered not a one-size-fits-all "insert institution's name here" keynote, she delivered one with any digital age but one from the head and from the heart. In doing so, this edtech hero who as recently as last week was acknowledged as one of the world's edtech movers and shakers, make it very clear that the digital age is about people and the community moving forward. Her keynote covered her beginnings in education and technology to present day and as a result, emphasised that heroes are on a journey that is in reality never-ending and therefore, one can not be focused merely on the destination, a fixed outcome for such a thing doesn't actually exist. The edtech heroes of today want no-one left behind but are not prepared to wait for those intransigents or deniers. They are prepared to move heaven and earth to support those who are willing but scared but are brave enough to accept that some need to be left behind for the success of the greater good and the achieving of the vision and aspirations.
Frances Valentine whether she likes it or not, is a New Zealand and now global edtech hero. She is something who has seen a problem, imagined a solution and actualised her vision. To do so and on a grand scale, takes smarts, grit and a belief in others and herself. In doing so, she not only inspires us, she inspires our imaginations and the belief that we too can and need to be edtech heroes.