I teach pre-service teachers technology integration and the feedback I get is that that learn best by seeing examples. You can explain to them all day long ways to do this but without a model, they are lost sheep. Find a few willing and brave teachers to try out various tools (maybe one in each grade level) and report back to the group. Also, try making a sample lesson that they can use to get the hang of the tool then they will see how it is used and be able to integrate it into their classrooms more.
If it's possible/practical, I'd recommend a peer observation programme, whereby teachers regularly share lesson plans, notes and theory, observe each others' classes and have discussion sessions. To expand such a programme department-wide, you could also introduce video recordings, made by the observing teacher, to bring to group teacher professional development sessions.
Just a thought.
Excellent Information! I'm passing this along to all of our teachers. Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!
A point worth mentioning is that in some cases, depending on where you're working, there are systemic problems: http://www.alternet.org/education/153680/why_is_public_education_be...
Teachers' unions and principals' groups are worried that teachers are having technology dumped on them without any professional development or training and without assessing whether or not it's effective. In other words, using technology for its own sake.
Professional development is a great way to introduce new technologies but I have found that it's more beneficial if you also give them time to use the technology during the PD to create something for their lessons or practice with guidance. The last masters class I took introduced numerous great resources and technology and then we were also able to put it to use during class so that if we had problems or questions they are answers promptly. We were also able to tailor everything to fit into our lessons. By the end of the course, I had plenty of great new lessons ready to go.
I think one key to integrating technology is to make sure that the curriculum or particular lesson allows for the use of technology. I know some teachers feel as if technology gets thrown at them but maybe a smart board does not work with the lesson they want to teach. Picking lessons that really can be improved with technology is half the battle.
While I do agree that technology is not always the best option, the same as sometimes using a pencil is more appropriate than a pen. But I think one of the problems some people have, is they try to infuse technology into the lessons that they are currently teaching, and in my opinion that is where they run into problems. We need to re-create the lessons around the tools. Lessons created around the use of technology will always be better than infusing technology into existing lessons. I think staff development showing teachers how lessons can be recreated to use technology would be good way to get teachers to use more technology. I also think better commitment by the schools/districts in giving teachers the proper amount of staff development is the main key.
Make sure that the professional development involves the teachers actually making something that will be ueful to them personally in their classroom. Once they use the technology to create something meaningful to them, and realize how easy it was, they will be more comfortable, and more likely to try it again on their own.
The best way to get teachers to use technology is during professional development, let them create things that they can actually use. It is easier to learn how to do something by actually doing it rather then being shown how to do it. If you can set aside time for teachers to come to you with what they want to incorporate into their classroom, and help them create a few things I think you will have more success.
I agree with you when you said, "The best way to get teachers to use technology is during professional development." It is very important for the teachers to use and get to know the technology before bringing it into the classroom. If you don’t, I feel that most teachers would be hesitant to use it.
I suggest to do collaboration per grade level to address specific grade level needs. Sometimes we present professional development but some grade level can't seem to fit it in their curriculum or even wrap their minds in using specific programs, software in their classroom. I think it will be more effective to work with each grade level and perhaps even survey what specific area they need to see technology working. I know it works in every area but sometimes, showing them will make it easy for them to make technology part of their instruction and enhance their curriculum.
Unfortunately, technology is something all teacher's need to be using in the classroom. Again, the idea of presenting work using technology is a great idea! Students don't seem to mind logging into the computers at school, researching, applying the information to a PowerPoint, and then adjusting the slideshow to fit their personality. Students also enjoy webquests and other activities as well. Teachers unwilling to use technology need to be shown how and need to understand technology is a critical portion of education today.