Working with schools in pursuit of technology integration, we always encounter those who adopt early and fly with technology while others remain very reticent and disengaged from technology integration. Some people are flowers who will grow and spread their seeds while improving student learning while others are rocks, important for the garden, but not moving or proliferating. Mostly for lack of time, we don't water the rocks while the flowers get well fertilized.

How best to transmogrify our rocks into budding flowers?

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An interesting question. It leads to others. One is, why do the rocks have to become flowers? Is there someone else in the school who can be a flower in the class?

I can think of a few teachers I work with who are reticent to learn but willing to let their children use. A computer teacher or even our technology oriented resource room teacher can come into the room to start the children on tech projects...the teacher then just has to let the children go. Not ideal when the kids have questions but better than nothing.

Another question: Why are the rocks so reticent and disengaged? I teach inservice classes (district based) to staff. I had one teacher in my SmartBoard training class who is an older teacher (past retirement age but will never retire and probably shouldn't). When we first got e-mail a few years ago, she was the last on-board, loudly claiming she would never use it, didn't even know how to turn her computer on, etc. This year, she's in my class, learning slowly, terrified of "ruining the whole computer with one wrong key entry" but excited about the arrival of her new SmartBoard and listening when I talk about Web 2.0 apps out there that should be looked into. Was she in bloom by the end of class? Not even close. But perhaps a little less nervous, a little more comfortable. And when her board comes in, she'll be e-mailing me constantly. :) And I'll happily help her grow.
I see those at that transition stage as well but on the continuum there are still too many teachers at the rock end.
Your teacher story focussed on the smartboard as a very important tool to both energize kids AND some teachers. I see a lot of wide eyes in Smartboard demonstration sessions. Anything that works........

Perhaps this new wave of collaboration tools and the current sophisticated hardware will be enough to bring more blooms out in the field.
One good way is to pair these reluctant or scared teachers one-on-one with a kid. Tell them it's good for the kid, and you may get an initial buy-in. Kids have a way of opening people up. If you train the kids ahead of time, though role-playing, and talk about what a big opportunity and responsibility this is, things can get off and running in no time. It doesn't always work, but it often does...
Very good question! Expressed excellently. I like it.
I would like to put it this way.
All rocks MUST and SHOULD be transmogrified into budding flowers.
Because flowers can spread their seeds and improve the environment, rocks can not.
If teacher learns (techology), he can teach many students & teachers.
This is not individual problem. This is organisational (school) problem and country's (education system's) problem. Somehow it should be solved to achieve progress in education system.
Educating teachers in technolgy areas need teaching as well as motivational skills.
To start with, educating teacher should begin with helping him to use technology extensively for his personal needs ... email, voice chat, video chat and so on.
Rocks should not be treated as rocks and kept aside.
In the best interests of organisation (school) and nation, it is essential and urgent
to convert (transmogrify ?) rocks into budding flowers.
Please share your views.
Well put indeed. But I do wonder, what kind of battle are we engaging if we insist that our teachers must become flowers? Is this really a choice? Changing teachers, changing people for that matter, is something that requires a lot of time and nurturing and desire on the part of the teacher to change. So are we now thinking of focusing resources on that? Changing people? I agree something must change but must it be this way.
I believe teachers are best at teaching, assessing, analyzing, nurturing when needed, but demanding if necessary. They are so vital to so many important aspects of the pedagogy, I must ask the question are we using them effectively. Is technology integration part of that scheme? Now before you jump hear me out.

In the medical field do we ask a general practioner to perform heart surgery? In the stock market do we not have investment specialists in different fields advising clients on how to invest? Dentistry, Science, Engineering, the approach has been to specialize because of the complexity and scope of knowledge required to function in these fields.

Why do we view teaching differently? I am not talking about reading specialists, content experts, and other so called specialty areas in education they exist of course until grant monies run out. I mean why don't we look at the classroom teacher as a specialist and provide them with another specialist to deliver the technology integration pieces and together they produce the lesson? I know we dabble with doing that in school districts that can afford it, growing school districts with increasing enrollment, but even with them their is little sustainability.
I don't see the medical field as similar to the education field. We're not designed to do the same kinds of things and therefore we aren't able to do them the same way. Are you suggesting that we have one teacher for writing and another for reading and another for biology while another does dissection?

If we _always_ have to call in the specialist to do a video conference then we are relegating video conferences to the specialist. Our digital tools need to be one of the way we do things, not special events.
What I am saying is that you can have a Highly Qualified teacher in reading, one in writing and one in biology. And I would prefer that they spend their time teaching and learning content rather than plugging in the wires and pushing the buttons so they can do a video conference. The specialty comes in the tech side not the teaching side. The specialty for teachers is create the learning.
I'm hoping, in my position, that I'll be able to work with teachers of many subjects enabling them to become sufficiently familiar with the available technology to integrate it into what they already to well.
This is what scientists do. As new technology is available they spend time learning how it improves their capability, speed and accuracy. Technology can act in similar fashion in every classroom. Most teachers have never taken the time to do this work and worse, most teachers are not given the time enabling them to integrate technology sufficiently to change their practice.
Technology is a tool that helps children learn more effectively, imho. It makes learning interesting and takes the mundane, rote learning that I grew up with and transforms learning into a captivating experience that is multi-sensory. Can teachers be effective without technology? A caring, funny teacher who is passionate about learning can still motivate their students without technology but meld in technology and I believe that teacher will have more tools at their disposal and will motivate their students in new and interesting way. The rocks are hesitant to integrate computers into lessons for many reasons. Many teachers are just unskilled at all the great software that is out there and are not willing to take the time to learn the possibilities. I was a computer teacher and am now a 4th grade teacher. Many times I would have a teacher (rock) come into my lab and sit while they could have been learning next to me. This was not their prep but I am not their administrator so my hands were often tied. I would often tell the student to ask their teacher for help to involve them. Also, many of the teachers hadn't a clue what they wanted to accomplish the lab. I didn't ask them to plan the lesson around computers I only asked what they would be working on in (pick a content area). Many of them planned a few days ahead of time - I was asking them what was going on from week to week. I often got the response that they would get back to me and then I would have to track them down. Anyway, we are all capable of learning if we choose to. Computers and software applications are easier to use today then ever before so I believe rocks are rocks because they choose that role. Flowers are motivated to try new things which excite them and this enthusiasm is carried over into the classroom. We all have computers so I don't blame the districts for not training teachers - when I had to teach my first rock (no pun intended) unit I didn't throw up my hands and say I can't teach it until the district trains me. I got off my arse and taught myself. If we want our students to be motivated and self reliant then we need to be ourselves.
Place all the rocks on the curb, looking out into the street. In the middle of that busy street, put one rock down so that its eyes are looking back at the flower. In a moment, a noise, far off in the distance, having just turned the corner, will become increasingly more audible.

What is that? asks the collection of rocks along the curb.

Do you guys hear that noise?inquires the street rock.

In unison, the curb-side rocks exclaim, Whatever it is, it's getting louder and closer!

Street rock: I have seen things come and go and I can tell you that no matter what massive-sounding object is fast approaching, I will remain a sturdy fixture in this landsca-

Now, direct your teacher's attention away from the window and back to you. Discuss the flight of the rock. Concede that if all worked out in the rock's favor, the front left tire would have rolled dead-center, right over the rock. The rock would remain, unphased and able to finish its statement.

But force them to consider what did occur:

The rock was side-swiped. The outer edge of the tire, like a cue stick used in pool, put a wicked-amount of english on said stone and it rocketed its way to the other side of street where it finally came to rest underneath a to-be-condemmed home.

Now, roll out the Smartboard. Place it right in front of the chalk-board.

There are rocks. There are flowers. But we need to be gardeners.
Thanks for the laugh. Great perspective.
kenrodoff said:
"There are rocks. There are flowers. But we need to be gardeners."
But who would be gardeners?
Who eligible to be gardeners in the fast changing tech world.
Tech.people prefer jobs with high-returns.
Educational field will not be choice of commercial tech.people
with exception to tech.people who are in computer education, e.g. engineering colleges & universities.
So, professors of computer education can they volunteer be good GARDENERS to
turn rocks into flowers in all gardens, small or big, east or west, south or north ?



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