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!
If using tech becomes a chore, teachers will rebel. It will be less frustrating and better in terms of staff rapport to find one or more willing teachers who will act as pioneers and then serve as examples of the benefits of using tech. At a staff development have those teachers present their curriculum and demonstrate the students' work. Think pull instead of push. This has always been a more effective sol'n for me. Good luck
Thanks for sharing just "one thing". A very necessary message and I think it really is essential -- that we learn to be part of the adventure with our students. After doing the "one thing" then we can start thinking about doing the "right thing".
I"m always frustrated as a teacher trainer -- by the fact that teachers teach how they were taught. After thousands of hours of observation / participation in classrooms (as students), the old notions of what a classroom, what learning is, are engrained. So hard to change this and shift the brain processes. But maybe by just doing "one thing", that can happen - perhaps we/I set my goals too high.
Not only do teachers teach how they were taught, many of them belittle any changes in teaching strategies with the "This too shall pass" mantra. You have to convince teachers that A) Technology in education isn't a passing fad that is going to go away like say, Madeline Hunter and B) That if they aren't use technology in their classroom they are doing their students a disservice.
I got into quite a discussion with a teacher who was convinced that using an overhead projector was no different than using Powerpoint in her math class. I ultimately just gave up on it and considered myself lucky that my students would come to my class and be so easily wowed.
Teachers are the most stubborn lot of people I've ever met. We live in our own classroom without any oversight 95% (or in the case of my district more like 99%) of the time and don't like being told we might be doing something wrong. I told myself the day I got my job that as soon as I blew off a new idea as "not as good as the old stuff" I'd retire.
As such, I stand by my original comment of hiring new teachers.
I have been thinking a lot lately about NCLB and the most recent mantra by reformers that our decisions in education must be data-driven. Under current guidelines this means test scores. Why is that so when there are so many other valid forms of data to base decisions on? My only conclusion is that this whole mess we are in is a result of a perceived lack of response from many of our teachers to both new trends effecting both industry and education as well as education research (this goes back decades) by those in power to enforce these kinds of mandates who are not educators themselves (politicians). The standardized test movement is orchestrated by individuals who have grown frustrated with public school's unwillingness to break with tradition. Our schools and classrooms have become tradition driven and few educators ever question the value of those traditions. There is overwhelming research that illustrates the power of strategies like project-based learning but most teachers still do things the same old way. It is as if we are not in this business to facilitate learning but rather to perpetuate an elaborate game, the game of school.
A lot of this has to do with how the system rewards teachers. Teachers, through school political constructs, have been rewarded for maintaining the status quo. The standardized tests in reading and math also, because those who created them were products of a status quo education, reflect what we think a status quo education should measure.
We need to rebuild a system for education where teachers are motivated and rewarded for innovation. We need to be allowed to fail because that is where we will learn. We also need to do some serious naval gazing to determine whether our decisions are not simply data-driven but research supported.
Using the information and resources provided here, I think you should be well on your way of coming up with something to help you. The only thing that I would add, is that remember you are in education, and unfortunately change happens very slowly. In most cases, if this is your first year, the fact that you were able to get some staff development in, can be considered a big accomplishment! Start with those that want to be helped first and maybe slowly the others will come around (usually if they see the success of others).
I work with colleagues who are not used to using technology and who quite frankly don't see the point. A strategy that I use with them is that we concentrate on using one thing in the classroom and we do it in small steps--otherwise they get overwhelmed. I also have a couple of tech savvy students who are willing to go trouble shoot for them. Last year we concentrated on developing a site on Quia, this year they are giving their mid terms on line. (A huge leap) This year we are working on using wikis.
Welcome to the community and the challenges that many of other site technology leaders are embracing. But you will find you solution here! You will find this community to be a great place to share and gather ideas.
I wanted to respond to your post by providing a link to my podcast "Confessions of a Technology Leader" It is a podcast that may address some of the challenges you will be presented in your new job. But most importantly, offer some solutions.
My mission has been to provide site technology leaders with resources to lead the way. You will find out that it is not easy, but possible.
You can find the podcast on the below links. You can also download sample chapters of the book Confessions of a Technology Leader: Understanding the Job of a Site Technology Leader.
Totally agree, Matt. The reason many teachers can't see the benefits of the tools is that they are doing the same old stuff--the new tools aren't going to make it any better. I hate to listen to kids reading reports or book reports on podcasts, for example....this is no different than reading it in front of the class especially when the podcast location is blocked to all but the classmates.