How Much Is Too Much?

As an education technology specialist for a regional education service center in Connecticut, I spend a large portion of my time helping teachers who are valiantly attempting to learn new and innovative ways to engage their students in positive learning experiences. In one of the districts I am currently working with, not only are the teachers working on new classroom strategies, they are also being introduced to a new school information system, a new classroom and learning management system, a new teacher evaluation system, as well as upgrades to the student assessment and data management system. This is not all that unusual, as districts continue searching for the best combination of tools to provide a quality education for all students.

While I realize each of these systems has value, at what point do they cease helping teachers and administrators, and instead, become a hindrance to the ultimate mission of equipping their students to become well educated, thoughtful, productive, caring members of society?  How many of these systems produce redundant data? How many of these systems are a response to the latest trend in education? How many of these systems are a response to state and federal mandates that seemingly do little to add to the value of education? How much is too much?