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!
I have taught many adults how to use technology. The one thing that has also helped me is to remember that ... it's still teaching. To show an adult how to use something takes just as long as showing a student. If you have ever taught a computer technology class in school, you know that there are many kids who don't know much about technology.
Look at the curriculum for the computer technology class in your schools. How many days (or weeks) do they give to a topic?
Once the adult is aware that I am willing to spend time teaching them, that I am willing to go slowly and explain things, that I am willing to come back tomorrow and the next day and the next day ... then they will start to learn.
When I work with someone (whether child or adult), I show him/her one thing at a time. Don't try to show every feature at one time. Think of a juggler. You learn how to juggle by first tossing one ball. Then you learn how to toss 2 balls. And you only add another ball when you feel comfortable.
Show the teachers how to do the most basic thing. Then sit with them while they do it. As they are using the technology, questions will arise. Answer their questions. It's time consuming but it works really well. I also show them how they can use the help system to answer their own questions.
The best way I found to break the ice and get started is to ask the teacher "What is your worse lesson, what do you hate to teach, what topic do your students struggle the most with?" Then I work with them on creating a lesson using technology that will help this horrible experience become better. The process takes several months.
When people look at me and say "I could never do all the things you do." I respond "Neither could I if I tried to do it all at once. I did one thing each year, and slowly it added up to what it is today."
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
A trick I learned for converting technophobes to techies is ... start with a game. Think for a minute. How do kids learn technology. They play games. I find out what game the teacher likes and install it on my computer. Then I invited that teacher to my room after school to play. The teachers have so much fun playing the game that they don't realize that they are learning how to use a SmartBoard. After a while I comment on what a wiz they are at using the SmartBoard, then I show them a PowerPoint game that can be used in their class as a review. I help them get started by doing all the typing. I show them how to operate the game. They take it back to their class and use. When they want the next game, I have them do the typing while I explain. After they have learned how to do game templates, I show them lecture templates. Then I show them how to create their own from scratch.
One small step at a time. And we only move ahead when they are comfortable doing what they are currently doing. Everyone moves at a different pace.
Joanna, I think you have some really good points--I do think the tech skills are sometimes thrown at adults--without the follow up that would be needed for any students. Lots for trainers to think about.
I have your answer.
Modern network systems allow you to implement user bandwidth throttling. Per user, you can prevent someone enjoying the full possibilities of network speed. Start everybody off at a baseline, say 50%. Then, create a reward system where the more technology a teacher employs in their classroom, the faster internet connection they get.
I'm telling you, it's a great idea. :)
Ok, no, I'm not being serious. But I love to spout out ideas like that at the lunch table. See, I agree with so much of what people are saying here, I just feel that the magic of lunchroom conversations is a little under-represented in this thread. I like to grab a seat near someone who is currently doing something great and new in the classroom, and talk about it. More times then not it piques the curiosity of people sitting near.
I like to concentrate on the top 15% of the faculty, those innovators in turn become advocates for meaningful, integrated learning opportunities.
BTW, my network administrator has never taken those ideas seriously.
I have found that integrating Nintendo Wii and DS technology into my Grade 1 classroom has seen a marked improvement in student engagement (especially the boys) and in their literacy, numeracy and critical thinking skills. This in turn has led many staff member both new and old to visit my classroom for professional development and collegiate visits on how to integrate these technologies into the classroom. They are safe, easy tools that the kids already use at home, therefore they run their own learning during small and whole class sessions using various games. For further information please visit my website at www.wiilearner.com
I have not seen anything mentioned about LOTI (Levels of Tech Int.) listed in the replies, and this I think helps give a starting point for teachers to even see where they are and what they need to do to move forward.
I teach at a school where the students and teachers are given a tablet (like a laptop). Technology is constantly being use at my school. Over the last three years I have found some great strategies that have help further the technology use. For any example, I create power point presentations that have video clips and pictures to help enhance my lessons. The students love the presentations and almost always stay on task. I also make the power points available for the student to up load on their computers or print them. I find that creating powerpoints is fast and easy! Once they are done you have them for life. Teachers can use them as worksheets by creating fill ins on them as well. If the students don't have computers in class then the teacher can print them and use a format that provides space for note taking. I hope this helps.
You might try coteaching with them using the technology in the way that you want them to. I recommend taking real baby steps. Have them join Classroom 2.0. Have their students make suggestions as to how THEY would like to be taught with or through tech. Best of luck.
Get them started with a delicious account- http://delicious.com Here the teachers can set up online bookmarks, so their students can access all the sites the teacher wants from anywhere, as long as they go to the delicious site the teacher made. Mine is http://delicious.com/tigersites (tigersites is what I named it, so your site would be /your name You are welcome to look at mine.
I too help teachers integrate technology at the elementary level. I take baby steps. For instance, I have two teachers using the delicious. so far. I go around one-on-one to show teachers things that might be of interest to them for their own upcoming curriculum- just-in-time-training.
I also have hooked numerous teachers on using a blog or wiki. These are awesome ways to communicate with parents- a classroom portal, if you will. First, I emailed all the faculty to see who already used a blog or a wiki. Second, I did took some time during an all-faculty meeting to show examples of lots of our teacher's blogs or wikis, including the blog and wiki I use for 4th and 5th graders. Last, I followed up with an email of a link to get each of them started on a blog or wiki (in case they wanted to start one themselves), and in the email I offered my support each morning and afternoon for one week. I got three teachers right away, and several who were going to start their own without me.
Wiki we like: http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers
(free educator accts.)
(you can email wiki help with usernames and passwords, and they will set up all your users for you, without having to
have email accts. for the kids)
I would look at the low tech and high tech applications of how the teacher can use it. For example, a low tech use of it would be show a powerpoint, movie, etc.. using a smartboard or pull down screen. This helped teachers in my district to first get aquianted with the tech. High tech would be every student has a laptop and they are doing forum posts to moodle, webquests, a tiered assignment, research for a larger project, etc... In either example the tech needs to have a purpose. Tech for the sake of tech doesn't settle well with many teachers so the more meaningful it is to them the more of a chance they will use it. To piggyback on the low and high tech stuff consider modeling a lesson for them on how to integrate it and when they are ready to do it "by the themselves" show up that period for moral support. Now its obvious that you won't know all of their course content for the modeling part but you will know the tech, have the teacher participate in the integration as well. However you decide you want to do it, ultimately consider doing professional development that shows the technology being used in meaningful way. Have the teacher practice using the tech before they do anything with their students (planning) because I have seen too many teachers try to wing it and fail miserably making it more difficult to try again.
When ever I show something to teachers I go in with the idea that they can integrate this tomorrow because its easy to use and I will make references to programs they already know how to use when demonstrating anything. (I did a tech survey to see what programs teachers know how to use so I could make meaningful references as well)... Good luck!
I have found that if you send them links for simple websites they may be able to use in class, this helps. Also, I held Mini Tech. Workshops every Monday right after school. I would spend about 15-20 minutes on one new way to use their SmartBoards in class. I would focus on topics like all the different pen types, inserting audio/video, linking, adding attachments, etc. That way they had the rest of the week to try out that new info. They were usually excited to learn the new tidbit the next week.
I teach technology integration courses at my school, and the most successful strategies for me were encouraging the teachers to learn the tools they were interested in or could see how to use in their classrooms. I teach a mini-lesson to the entire group on a application or tool, and then they break out into smaller professional learning teams to spend the remainder of the class focusing on a self-selected topic. Because they choose their topic, they are already more interested in learning about it, and they also choose the members of their groups which allows them to build resources for grade levels or curriculum areas. Everything that is created is shared through our network server. The feedback has been positive and energetic! I rotate as a facilitator, answering questions and offering suggestions if the seem like they are having a hard time getting started. The other tactic I've tried is I had teachers list all of the weekly things they did in their classroom (Daily Oral Language, Calendar, Problem of the day, Weekly newsletter, etc...) and then I showed them how to use technology to do each of those things using free, available applications, tools, and programs. When they started to see how they could save time by using technology, they became extremely motivated to use it.