Day 14 Comment Challenge

Ok, I admit I’m too tired to attempt the activity for day 13 so I’m moving on to Day 14. Today’s job is “turn your blog over to your readers and ask them to write a post through the comment section.” That sounds easy enough!

Here is my question: How do I get all the non techie teachers and administrators at my school to start learning about web 2.0 tools, trying them out and seeing their value?

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15 Responses

  1. It’s never easy. I always approached each teacher individually and asked if they wanted to try a new EASY resource with their curriculum. I also was able to get a small amount of funding from the board 50-100 dollars for each teacher who would integrate one project during the school year. I found that when I was successful with one (and the principal made a big deal of it), than other reluctant teachers began to approach me! I also tried to approach teachers who had a lot of “power” or “respect” among the other reluctant teachers. So if I could get the “leader of the pack” to try it, others would follow. Good Luck 🙂

  2. I’m not in a school but certainly have struggled to get others to adopt tech tools. What has been the most successful for me is similar to Liz, create a small success and really promote it. Help people see what is in it for them. Acknowledge the learning curve and time investment, but emphasize how much it is worth it.

    I love your bird photos.

  3. Oops forget to activate cocomments

  4. It’s a struggle, for sure. I find individual conversations (often by the photocopier, not in the staff room so much) are the best way to find out what a teacher might be ready to try. Often there are background skills (file management on the network, for example) that the teacher doesn’t yet have, and previous experiences of “things going wrong when I tried…”

    We don’t have elementary tech teachers per se in our district, so the going is slow. And our school has one 30-computer lab for 450 k-6 kids. I worry that the divide will grow on a collegial level if we don’t become more intentional about tech 2.0 integration. And then there are all those missed opportunities with students….

  5. If you figure this out….I think you will make a lot of us tech teacher types very happy. You could bottle and sell it!
    This is an ongoing source of frustration for me, not even the web2.0, just your basic answer-an-email type of computer productivity.
    One thing I am working on is simply to stop enabling people by doing things for them. Last year I would have people use the digital camera and then give it to me and tell me how many prints and what size they wanted– like I was the photo shop. No more.
    Our school has spent a lot of money on tech recently, and my assistant and I are bending over backwards to help people learn how to use it. I just don’t understand the extreme resistance we are meeting.
    Sorry to use your space to vent a little, but you touched a nerve. Anyway, one thing that I am planning to work on over the summer is to create a document (or it might be two documents) outlining exactly what my goals are for the school, where I would like to see us going and what I think my job responsibilities should be in order to move forward. If this is something that others with similar jobs (such as you) would be interested in collaborating on, I think it would be excellent. At the very least, I will be seeking feedback and will certainly let you know how it goes over and what kind of response and results it brings (or doesn’t as the case may be).

    Great question.

  6. @Liz and @ChristineI think the small group group approach might help. I tried doing drop in sessions after school this year but when no one showed up for the last two I quit doing them. I have two teachers, 4th and 5th grades, at one school that are interested in trying new things. I’m going to try and really work with them next year and see if things will things will spread that way. I’m also going to try setting up a Tech Club for teachers like those two and others that want to learn about and explore new tools. I’m hoping to meet once a month.

    @Jan I to worry about the divide. I’m glad all our kids have a scheduled time in the lab with me. There are 4 computers in each classroom but one class told me the other day they aren’t allowed to use them!

    @Andrea No problem for the vent. I think most of us in our positions are feeling the same way. Let me know when you get started on your documents. I would like to take a look at them and collaborate as well. We’re actually having a meeting next week to discuss what tech skills the teachers need to have, I’m sure their focus will be on how to use Microsoft products, email and SchoolTools-our website and grading/report card site. I will push for some other skills as well.

  7. Our district required all of the administrators to attend a technology leadership adademy with Patsy Lanclos. http://homepage.mac.com/planclos/leader/Leadership_Academy/Welcome.html . Expectations have to begin at the top with the school board and superintendent in order to get all administrators and teachers on board with using Web 2.0 tools.

  8. After reading all the excellent comments, I am reminded that each school is different and all people are individuals. I suppose the take away story is that you can have all the tools you think you need, but you can only find the rocks when you plow the ground yourself;D

    With that caveat, I have a few tips to share. Resources like time, effort and concern are precious commodities in schools, yet these are the tools required for people to integrate any new resources.

    If teachers(people) feel you are truly concerned about them, it seems to me that the direct approach can sometimes pay off. Just ask! Then listen. Take notes. Thank them for their input TO HELP YOU;D Keep individual teacher names out of the mix when discussing results.

    If teachers say they don’t have time, have some leading questions to draw more specific answers. In our society, time is often equal to money, so I agree with Liz Kolb, that a stipend for tech professional development is helpful. Effective schools will apply Title II monies to encourage professional development.

    I would like to suggest that you might consider a small reinvestment of time, effort and concern in short TechTalks (infomercials) in faculty meetings might draw teachers back into the program. I know it must seem frustrating to have teachers not participate, but they are often overwhelmed from January on to the end of school with a myriad of traditional concerns. Invite them again at the beginning of the new school year.

    Bring teachers some program or web application that can make their life or teaching easier. For instance, WeatherPixie is an excellent widget to help students see what to wear at a glance and what current weather conditions are in a way that is appealing to children (and adults). K-3 teachers must encourage appropriate daily communication skills, and that includes the weather and proper grooming.

    I think you are on the right track. You are thoughtful and resourceful. In my opinion, you already know some of the answers, because you have discussed them when you put up the new bird feeder and watched the Blue Jay work to get the peanut…the prize. Your paragraph about how he worked, thought and tried until he retrieved a peanut applies to your desire to encourage more use of technology in the classroom.

    Thanks for the conversation. It seems to me, it is always helpful to have opportunities to restate your ideas and focus on solutions to various problems as they happen.

  9. I think there are times we need to accept that really good teachers CAN teach without technology as well. People who know me would be shocked to hear me say that, but it’s true. A really good teacher can teach with “a slate and a piece of chalk,” right?

    The problem is getting teachers to understand how different the world operates today and how it will tomorrow. IMHO, that’s where the resistance is. Teachers who are resistant to technology don’t get “it” that our students are going to have to function in a world that is different from, not only the world when it was when we were growing up, but different than it is RIGHT NOW.

    It’s totally out of the comfort zone for many and there will be teachers who need to be approached from that or other angles.

  10. @cclong I think that is part of our district’s problem with web2.0 tools. There is an expectation to use computers for attendance, email and report cards and we all have 4 computers in our elementary classrooms. But in my opinion our administration is not very knowledgeable when it comes to web2.0, and until they see the tools and understand as @Lee points out that the students lives are going to be different from what we have now they aren’t going to embrace those tools. If I had research to show how these tools would increase our NYS test scores they’d be eager to learn about them!

    @Sheryl Thank you for all the advice and giving me some things to think about over the summer. Being fresh out of the classroom I do understand the time problem. I may investigate the idea of a stipend for teachers that are willing to participate in my Tech Club next year and try some new things.

    Thanks to all of you for stopping by and sharing your comments.

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