I am a 1st year Tech Coordinator. I taught elementary school for the past 10 years. I need to get teachers to use technology daily in their classrooms to enhance their instruction and the curriculum. I have done staff development and provided resources. I need more! What are some successful strategies to get teachers using technology? Thanks!

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The most effective strategy I use is to have students present work they have completed using technology. Teachers have responded with a lot more enthusiasm towards tech when they see how excited students are and the quality of work students present. One presentation of digital books created by students led to the creation of a school digital library where both students and teachers contribute.

I am a classroom teacher and the technology infusion teacher at my school. Presenting technology from both the student and teacher prospective has made the use of technology seem more friendly and usable to even the most resistant of my teachers.
Whatever you present, have an assignment for the teachers to use one of the items in the next month (or an appropriate time) and to report back to you on how it went. You could also have them write down their intentions on paper so they are committed to it. I'm not the tech coordinator in our school but I did lead the professional development team for years. We discovered that if we didn't give teachers an assignment to use the material we presented, they wouldn't. I'm sure most schools have faculty members that react the same way.
Our technology coach had done this with us but her timing was a bit off and there was a little uprising (we had science fair, grades and reports due at the same time) . With all the things on our plate as teachers we simply did not have the time to do the assignments she wanted us to. She would send us a reminder that the assignment was due and we would all look at each other and you could tell that we hadn't even started. She took a few steps back after we spoke up and asked us what we had coming up and put together a demonstration of how what she was teaching us could be used for that next unit.

I like the idea of presenting student work using technology...I am definitely a visual person and seeing the end result of something would be more motivating to me then just hearing about it.


I love how you address accountability in your post.  Having teachers report back is one of the best ways to ensure that things are actually getting done.  As others have mentioned, it is encouraging to see the final student product.  However, without the "umph" to try out the respective technology, teachers are typically left with a faded memory of a wow.  My own experience as a trainee reinforces this as well.  I may have been interested in one of the 50 things we were shown, but would be more inclined to try/learn it if I had to share the results!

Some brainstorming done on Learning in Maine called "50 Ways to Encourage the Use of Technology by Learners": http://learninginmaine.blogspot.com/2008/07/revisiting-50-ways-to-e...
The best way to encourage teachers to use technology is to hire new teachers.
I don't want to pile on and condemn all senior teachers but the digital immigrants are certainly slow to adopt technology. I am on our tech committee and at least half of the members don't use the available technology(why are they on the committee? No idea.). I have actually heard them say they don't have the time to log onto a computer and check e-mail. My question is always what the heck are you doing all day? With that said, getting teachers to use technology should be easier if they can see some results. Show successful class projects such as powerpoints, podcasts, blogs, etc. Parents also love the idea that their kids are using technology and parents can be a great motivator. Parents can also come to the classroom and help if the teacher fells overwhelmed by technology.
I think in some way, you answered your question. People who don't use technology (or don't use it effectively), never have time to use it. Once a person starts using technology effectively, they should soon find that they have more time to use technology (or do other things). Most of our teachers love the online grade books that they are forced to use, but there are some that complain about all the "extra work" that it forces them to do. Of course most of these are the same people who insist on still using their little red grade books *LOL* .
I agree with Indigo, it doesn't have to do with age at all. I've seen some young first year teachers who you would think would be all "facebooky" or "iPoddy" and they don't have a clue how to integrate technology in the classroom. I think the tools and training should go to the people who will use it and forget the rest. It would save thousands of tech trainers a bunch of headaches!! (kidding only a bit)

Hi, Nancy!

I see your point about age, but also see how it factors into this discussion.  Based on my experience and Mark's post, I don't think he was indicating that age was an isolated factor. Anyone without the proper background or comfort will be unlikely to "migrate" easily in spite of age.  However, many teachers who have years of experience, by default are older, and are often in static zones of comfort that make it difficult to try new things.  I worked with "senior teachers" who wanted to use technology, but their inexperience and minimal basic skills made them feel overwhelmed.

In regards to providing training/tools to the people who will use it...I believe that this would leave education in its current state and prevent major changes across the board.  As Paul suggested, once people are forced to do something they may enjoy it in spite of their personal feelings.  With that said, more required transitions into technology could increase the population of teachers interested in and using technology.  This, in turn, could result in more teachers willing to try actual classroom integration.  =^)  


sad but...true
I just guest blogged about the one thing teachers need to know about teaching with technology on Clif Mim's blog, if you're interested: http://www.myplick.com/view/a11S3OtLW_h/JustOneThing

Also, I have lots of content collected at http://allmywikis.wikispaces.com Some is workshop specific and could be used by any staff developer to turnkey a workshop. Email me if I can help you further! ( mfisher@e1b.org )

-Mike Fisher



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