Have you ever come across something and it just makes a lot of sense. In fact, it makes so much sense that you wonder if you’re “just late to the party” so to speak (which for me wouldn’t be the first time).

What I am talking about is teacher technology adoption especially in regards to web 2.0 and 21st century skills. In the last few months I’ve done quite a bit of research on what drives teacher technology adoption--an absolutely fascinating topic for me. Some of it has been for an article I wrote and the other for a series of grad school papers. In both cases, I’ve really tried to tie it what I’ve seen over the last 12 years. So here are the themes, I’ve seen in the research and just blogged about:

1. Teacher's beliefs of teaching (pedagogy) and student learning (epistemology) affect teacher technology adoption.
2. Teachers who engage in more teacher-led pedagogy adopt less technology.
3. Teachers who leverage constructivist-centric pedagogy have a tendency to use more technology.
4. Teacher's beliefs and values are not hardened systems; however, they are complex and prone to revision.
5. The richness of an environment (technology, support, quality, quantity) can change a teacher's beliefs and values in learners and pedagogy.
6. The manner in which technology is presented (teacher-centered or student-centered) impacts those teachers holding differing views.
7. Web 2.0 and 21st century skills are collaborative in nature; thus they are constructivist. This collaborative and constructivist nature of the web 2.0 technologies require teachers to adopt their beliefs which brings us back to theme #1.

Saying technology can enhance learning and the “oh, wow!” factor, although nice to hear, doesn’t always help with sustainable day-two implementation. That is what has me led to do this research and write.

Are these themes common knowledge? If so, are they so common that we don’t discuss them? I mention this because I don’t see or hear these thoughts in conversations about web 2.0 or 21st century skills yet they seem to make a great deal of sense.

Tags: 2.0, 21st, adoption, beliefs, century, collaboration, constructivism, pedagogy, tech, values, More…web

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Great, fascinating discussion.

I love the tool analogy, because part of what is interesting to me is that sometimes you teach the use of a really good tool because it allows you to accomplish something that otherwise would not get done. For example, I might not need to teach about a hammer, a screwdriver, or pliers--but I might teach about a sextant because the tool itself and what it can accomplish is worthy of study or attention. I think the ability to publish content to the web is so significant culturally (am I a broken record yet?) that it will rival the advent of the printing press in the cultural changes it ushers in. What an amazing period of time to be living in. And if the new tools of the web are changing teaching, learning, and communication, I think you can see them as "ends."

I wonder about the adoption part--that is to say, computers are great tools, but their general lack of productive adoption in schools seems to have more to do with marketing and politics than effectiveness. (I keep thinking of Larry Cuban and others' work on why schools don't adopt technologies.) There are places, like Indiana, where having ubiquitous, inexpensive computing has transformed the classroom experience for the better, with both teachers and students agreeing. But that's taken a monumental effort to overcome the marketing and political hurdles.

Another interesting aspect to this discussion is not whether Web 2.0 tools deliver, but is what they deliver attractive or seen as desirable? For example, they certainly deliver independent, self-managed learning and customized instruction, which may be desirable traits for employers, but may not be desirable traits in teachers' eyes since they are overworked, underpaid, and being measured on standardized test results. Just look at the fascinating comments on my interview with "Arthus" at www.infinitethinking.org.

I love your comment about teachers using the tools themselves. That's actually how Classroom 2.0 came about. It came from the desire to have somewhere that educators could go that allowed them to easily start to use some Web 2.0 technologies without asking them to become total geeks to do so. And that if they felt the potential for engaged learning on a site like this, they'd figure out a way to bring it to their students. :) Is it working, do you think?

Thanks for a continued good discussion!
This is great stuff. Thanks!

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