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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Hi,
I have been reading all of the tips & strategies in this thread. Thank you all for sharing. I was wondering what free sites KC has reccomended, and if anyone has early elementary sites they can reccomend for use with a smartboard. (K-3).
Thank you!
As a media specialist, I have also tried hard to get teachers to try new things, technology, strategies, etc. It seems that with new things, it's always the same coer group of people who get right on board, and it takes time to bring some along. One thing is that it has to be simple (not easy necessarily) for those who are more reluctant. The technology needs to be accessible and time must be spent on training. Modeling in the classroom and team teaching are very effective. Good luck. Lorraine
What types of technology do you currently have? What grade levels?
I also have been trying to get our teachers to incorporate technology into their classrooms. My first approach was to meet with all teachers during their prep times and show 3 or 4 different programs available to use in their classes. The response was - that is really neat, and the students would like it, but I don't have time (my biggest pet peeve, but I won't go to the dark side today). Since then, I have started hand selecting certain teachers (age has nothing to do with it. Some of our most forward thinking teachers are our most experienced) - my children's teachers, ones I know aren't afraid to try new things, or ones that teach subjects I know I have fascinating technology resources for. This approach is working much better! It narrows the field so I can check with these teachers and 1. make sure they are using the material we worked with often 2. make sure they aren't having trouble 3. see if they are planning units for future weeks that we can work on and 4. Give them more quality attention and time. We are sort of in the beginning phases, but I have one teacher who will be doing web scavanger hunts and possibly powerpoints with her students on a unit that she doesn't particularly like teaching. When they are finished, she is going to share how things went with the rest of her team.

Someone commented about working with only the ones who want to be worked with and leaving the others alone. They were right on the money. I don't need to spend time trying to drag someone along if they aren't interested. I do need to spend time getting those who are interested trained and using the material effectively and hopefully, the enthusiasm will spread - if not to the teachers at least to the students who I am hoping in turn will put more pressure on the teachers. My signature for all of my e-mails read as follows:

Students want to be INSPIRED, INVOLVED, and INTERACTIVE
How does your classroom measure up?

Beth Bohnert
District Technology Assistant
Available at any time to help you create a classroom that exceeds your student's expectations.

At least it is a reminder every time they see my name that I am willing to help.

I just found this site, and I look forward to checking it often. Your question is one that I have been trying to find the answer to for some time. I think I'm closer to the right track now. It is frustrating to watch my students go to classes that are being taught the same way they were in the 1940's while I know these students don't think and learn like students did in the 40's. For our students' sake, I want us to be in the fast lane, and so many are still timid to even merge onto the track. Look for the speedsters at your school, and challenge them to go faster, you can always catch a few others on the next lap. Maybe the others will decide "the PITS" isn't where they want to spend the rest of the career:)
TIME!!! I hear that all of the time-- I find it very frustrating that some won't adopt something new and continue to use outdated approaches to learning. I was shocked to go into a classroom one day and see students writing their spelling words 5 times and writing them in a sentence. I remember doing assignments like that when I was in elementary school (and that was 20+ years ago). I didn't enjoy doing assignments like that now and I can imagine students don't like doing it now.

I do take the approach you do, however I feel like it's the students who are losing out because a teacher doesn't have the time, especially when they have the appropriate support in the building.
I have several favorites, but to get new teachers excited about technology try (which allows the kids to take their spelling test online and grades it for you!!!), readwritethink.org (great for reading and language arts), www.becybersmart.org (which teaches kids about digital citizenship), another favorite is the inspired classroom wiki page (which gives suggestions for setting up your classroom in a way that creates easier access to computers for the kids).

As for tools, all of the Google Applications are fabulous for collaboration and saving time (2 teacher favorites). I especially like the Google forms you can create to collect and organize information from teachers, students, and parents.

Good luck!
kgcreagh@gmail.com
I have a teacher who uses Spelling City for her tests and she loves it. The first time we used it this year we debriefed with the kids to see what they thought of the site. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback (self-paced, able to type over handwriting, hearing is better....). I also have to mention this is one of my teachers who was very reluctant and unsure about technology-- now she is one to embrace it and try new things.
Being a technology coordinator at my school, i have had my share of frustration trying to get teachers to adopt technology in the classroom. One of the main obstacles i see for teachers is time. Even for teachers who are interested in utilizing tech, they do not have the time to learn new ways of doing things.

One method of PD that i have had some success with is publishing a monthly tech news letter. In it, i write a brief feature of what some teacher has done in our school with tech, as well as links to useful resources, etc. Many teachers respond well to this because they are free to explore tech options at their own leisure - rather than forcing them all to go to a tech workshop that they don't have time for.

Just a suggestion.
Sorry, my reply was in the wrong place. :(
Great discussion Michelina! I agree with everything that has been said and like to add a more devious set of approaches to them. I always find something that the teachers really want and make sure they have to do something online to get it. For instance when I was the mathematics department chair, I set up an online PD for the math teachers. They had to perform some basic text editing to add their thoughts to the discussions, add a picture that represented their analogy (they didn't have to find the picture if they didn't want to work that hard, all they had to do was embed the correct link), etc. to get their PD credit. The credit was for two hours and if you were tech savvy took you about 45 minutes. Another time I got the principal to begin incorporating the weekly newsletter into a blog setting rather than printing 75 copies and putting them into the mailboxes (where half ended up in the trash). To make sure everyone at least accessed the link, everyone had to sign in and leave a quick comment/question. The resistant ones wouldn't have done it for me, but they did for the big cheese! They aren't great motivating tools, but I do everything I can to get those in leadership to model the behaviors I need them to model. It's hard to argue with a team approach.
I will say the PD with my department was an astounding success. Two teachers had their students do the same activity we did with their algebra content (they needed some help figuring out the details, but I was more than happy to help).

So if the frontal attack alone isn't being as successful as you would like, gather as many allies as you can and hit them from multiple fronts!
To get teachers to use technology daily in their classrooms to enhance their instruction and the curriculum you must offer them something that makes their life in the classroom easier, something that takes the daily preparation and marking drudgery out of their classrooms and something that gives them more time to spend with their students individually.
As a high school math teacher, there is only one internet math website that has has been specifically designed to make my life in the classroom easier. It recognizes that each day a multitude math teachers everywhere are basically re-preparing and re-inventing the same lessons year after year. All you need here is a computer, a printer and a projector and the rest has been done for you! The name of the website is www.TheMathWebSite.com.

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