Well, the wrong way to do it would be to thrust these technologies at teachers and say "These are ways that you can Utilize Technology In The Classroom". That often offends people in my experience. A far better method would be to create a dialogue and establish the pedagogical agendas of the teachers themselves, and then suggest technologies and services that can better equip them to meet their goals in the classroom.
If a teacher was interested in finding and collecting cool stuff with the class about a particular subject, you could recommend Evernote or Delicious.
Keeping the class discussion going outside the classroom: Twitter, Facebook, Ning
Organizing a class project that requires delegation for specific tasks: Remember the Milk
Creating and collaborating on a common project: wikis
Thanks Chris. I know we have an inservice coming up in which we are discussing some of these things, I just want our teachers to know that there is another world out there that we can be using. Plus, kids are all over these things and this is just one more way of adapting our curriculm to the students, finding things they are interested in and relating materials to that.
I congratulate you for wanting teachers to experiment and work with technology. Several of the principals I work with are almost anti-technology - they are afraid to take the chance that technology might actually work, they prefer to stick with what they feel are tried and true methods of teaching.
As an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher I am tasked with instructing teachers on using technology with their students. Getting them to actually use it takes a lot more than the teaching part - modeling, encouraging, holding hands,etc. From the teacher's end. one of the comments I hear most often is lack of time. Many would love to use the technology but do not feel they have adequate time to prepare. Most teachers I work with are already jammed to the gills with responsibilties and adding one more item to the mix is often the proverbial straw. As an administrator, you have the ability to help teachers on the time issue. Allow teachers more planning time to learn and then incorporate new technologies.
Chris is correct, don't just throw it at them and expect them to use technology. They will need training in the form of modeling and then hand holding. There is no single technology that works for everyone in every instance. Training should include uses for each technology and when that technology is best utilized and what it will help accomplish. Professional development goes beyond the initial training, it includes follow ups, observations and encouragement.
1. Model the use of technology. Lead-but also lead by example.
2. Train teacher leaders in time saving colloberation tools such a google docs. Once the teachers are comfortable with the technology themselves, they are more apt to use it in their classroom. They also may be more receptive to your ideas.
3. Use data. Show specific data that shows the positive effect that a particular technolgy can have on student learning. Specific data from your school is especially powerful.
As an instructional coach for my building, I created a network for a "educational technology" cohort of 20 teachers at my school. We purchased MB Pro laptops for those teachers, and have been working and sharing on this site since only July. The remaining 60 staff members will come online this summer and only then with a certain level of tech comfort on our faculty will we seriously consider any more toward a 1:1. (We currently have ten mobile MacBook labs.)
Show them a movie called Pay Attention by Jordan School District that you can find on You Tube. And definitely the best approach is for a few key teachers to use the technology with success and then mentor their colleagues.
That movie gave me goose bumps. What powerful headlines sharing the importance of integrating technology whenever we teach. I wish there was more availablity of resources in the K-8 arena for all schools.
HI Brett -- I'm interested that you're asking teachers what teachers want. I'm sure you have a boatload of responsibilities that make your day busy and full, but I know that if I were in your school what would impress me the most is if you offered to take over my class to give me the time Mel below stressed is so important. You could offer to give me ive me time to go into the class of another teacher in the school and co-teach a lesson so that neither of us had to face the technology monster alone. It would also say to me that you think this process is so important you're willing to go go back into classes and stand where I do every day to support me as I learn what I need to to feel confident enough to tack the challenges on my own.
Finally -- I suspect from your choice of favourite movies that you might be an astronomy buff. Did you know that 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy? What a cool theme for a school interested in working on ways to get classes involved in interesting Web 2.0 projects using cool tools, school wide exhibits, blogs etc. There's also a wonderful new NASA site for educators and students you can get to from this page in my blog.This weekend's blog will have other neat links and ideas for this theme.
I've had the daunting task of guiding 100 faculty through a 1:1 computing program over the last 8 eights years. We have done all kinds of different models for professional development, some successful, others not so much but I'll offer up a few principles that I've learned:
-Small chunks of information given frequently are easier to digest and run with given a teacher's busy schedule
-Model the use of technology (echoed by others here), show many subject-specific examples of how technology has been successfully used
-Find keen innovators in all disciplines and given them resources and support to try new things
-Provide many venues for teachers (especially the innovators) to share what they've done
-Provide ample "why?" evidence for technology use (lots of books, youtube videos and influencial blog posts available on this such as the "Did you know video?")
-Ensure your hiring processes reflect your desire to have faculty who buy-in and use technology in the classroom
-Favour "working" hands-on professional development over straight informational... I've heard many times over the years: "Mike, I love what you showed but I just don't have time to try it myself" or "I love with I heard but when I tried it myself I couldn't get it to work"
-Have patience... Sometimes you have to get the message out many times in many ways before ideas take hold
The good news is that it's getting alot easier to get buy-in than it used to be. Now there's not as much discussion about whether technology is beneficial... it's more along the lines of how to do it right.
Mike, thank you for the feed back and it sounds as if you have made progress and it is getting easier. I know that it will be a battle but hopefully it will turn out the way we want it too. Very helpful tips to thank about here, thanks again.
Brett, I've got the opposit problem: no one I know wants to "pay attention." So, in my opinion, you've taken the first step by asking HOW to engage teachers. May I also propose that you look inward, turn the mirror on your administrative organization? Who are the Web-versed teachers inside your instiution? Do you promote them, or pile on more duties involving technology? Do your teachers have a developed Web-based pedagogy? Do you have a departmental or institutioal pedagogy for Web-based teaching? I've come to realize through research into Web 2.0 teaching that, until we have a pedagogical structure, we really don't have a platform for teaching. Everything that goes on in a classroom in which there is no fundamental Web 2.0 pedagogy is experimental, and thus not fully as effective as it could be. There are some great books out there on Web pedagogy. My favorite is Multiliteracies for a Digital Age by Stuart Selber. Cynthia Selfe also writes lucidly on Web pedagogy.