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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Trying to change teacher practice? Enlist ‘Bob’

"Skeptical staff members are important allies in convincing others to try new approaches." continues eSchool News.

Photo: eSchool News
 
Perhaps the most frequent question I get from school administrators is: How can I get my teachers to use technology?It’s often voiced by a school principal, ed-tech admin, or superintendent who wants faculty to change their instructional practices.

It’s often voiced by a school principal, ed-tech admin, or superintendent who wants faculty to change their instructional practices.

As most administrators know, top-down directives are not going to convince teachers to use technology.

Directives don’t change beliefs, and they often provoke resentment. Nor do “one off” talks by outside experts bring about substantive and lasting change.

So, many administrators decide to put faculty members in front of their colleagues to present on the use of technology in the hope that these presentations will get more teachers to use technology. A sound strategy.

But they choose the wrong person.

These faculty presentations are often delivered by tech-savvy, “early adaptor” teachers. At one faculty meeting I attended, a chipper, tech-loving-twenty- something got up in front of her teachers and presented an elaborate and complex demonstration of technology in her classroom. Looking at the audience, I could almost read the anxiety and apprehension in the eyes of the veteran faculty members:
“I could never do that!”
“I don’t understand half of what she’s saying.”
“I can’t believe the administration expects me to do this.”
The tech demonstration not only failed to persuade the faculty to use technology, it had the backlash effect of heightening faculty anxiety and reluctance.

Me, I’d enlist “Bob.” I met Bob some years ago.
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Source: eSchool News  


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