Hello all!
My campus is in the beginning stages of integrating 21st century skills into our classrooms.  We have some reluctant teachers and some teachers who are hitting walls when it comes to trying out some new things. I am a teacher who is also the campus instructional technology coach for our campus.  I am looking for ways that I can promote and get ideas out to our staff about easy ways to integrate these skills into their lessons. Also would be interested in any ideas on getting them excited about these skills.

Thanks for your help!  

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It's often hard to get teachers motivated to use what's new, especially when what they've been doing for years "isn't broken". I know that at the Middle School where I used to teach, it was very difficult to get the teachers who'd been there a long time to do anything new with technology and we had a network administrator who was extremely closed to doing anything new. One of the ways we were able to encourage use, however, was by having our building-level facilitator hold workshops that were no longer than 30 minutes in length on what technology was available and how they could use it in their classroom. Another way was by having our technology teachers build into their lessons the requirement that students make use of the technology in another content area. I know this probably works better at the MS and HS levels.

Teachers need to understand that while there are tried and true ways of teaching, some of those ways are tired and not as relevant to students, and connecting students with success doesn't mean changing what they learn but how they learn it.

Are there some ways in which you're modeling use of new technology? Do you have a forum for introducing it to faculty? Could you ask for a 'required' inservice to exhibit some of the ways that your faculty could address the 21st century skills? I would say that if your faculty are unwilling to try out new things, then they're keeping their students locked into the 20th century.

Keep trying and let me know what you come up with.
Thanks for the feedback Dave. I teach at a middle school campus. Luckily we do have some staff very interested in changing how they teach and doing what they can to work new skills into their teaching, and the administration is very much behind this idea and open to the change.

We are doing a lot of modeling, we have a forum, but it is not used very much by our staff, we have a campus Facebook page, twitter, teacher web pages, our principal has sent out messages modeling some 2.0 tools, we kicked off the year with flip video challenges. I like the idea of 30 min teaching sessions, however I fear that the teachers not interested in changing will also not be interested in spending extra time attending sessions.
I know this will sound like a shameless plug, but the type of question you are asking is exactly the reason why a team I lead developed the Learning to Teach Online project http://online.cofa.unsw.edu.au/learning-to-teach-online/about-the-p...

We face the same issue at our institution, and I work as part of an online academic unit that has been developing online pedagogies, courses and training for staff for a number of years (in both developing and teaching online courses). We got to the point where there wasn't enough of us for everyone who was becoming interested in online, or who was told they had to participate.

So we developed this project where we travel around to many different institutions, talking to people who teach online in different disciplines, using different types of technology. Our main aim was to try to make the reasons WHY adopting an online approach is important, and also examined the context, planning, teaching and issues teachers faced in various case studies. All with the aim of showing different ways to approach online teaching.

We have only just launched the first few video and supporting PDF resources, but many more are on the way for 2011, and by mid-2011 we should have between 30-40 different episodes about a while range of different pedagogical topics and case studies.

Like I said this sounds like a plug, but note this is completely free, as we learnt a lot about teaching online from listening to the wisdom of others, and that is also what this project is about - sharing wisdom.

If you want to check the resource out (the first few episodes anyway) and see if it may help, please visit this link http://online.cofa.unsw.edu.au/learning-to-teach-online/ltto-episodes

A couple of institutions have told us they will be embedding the resources in their own training programs, which is exactly what we hoped it would be used for, so if you think it may be of use please feel free to do the same. I'd love to hear some feedback, and we also have a forum where you can offer suggestions criticisms etc... http://online.cofa.unsw.edu.au/forums/forum.php
I'm an Instructional Specialist at a middle school in Texas. We have many technology tools we use in all classrooms. The easiest to learn and use are ActivExpressions. These are voters where the students type in an answer or answer with a multiple choice. We also use ActivInspire and promethean slates. Check out "23 Things" and Web 2.0 as well. They have some fabulous free techy ideas.
Introduction of new technologies is the hardest part. I work in higher education and have been promoting using technology to better engage your students. What I found is that time is the biggest issue with our faculty. To address this, I started a lunch and learn series that happens every Wednesday throughout the quarter. At first I was getting a few each week, but now I get 40-50 participants for each session. Additionaly, many instructors watch the recordings from the session whenever they have time. This has created some excitement with faculty to use technology in the classroom. After those, I usually try to do campus visits with 1 hour (just a little longer) sessions to dive a little deeper. The other way that excitement has grown is by having "guest" speakers talk with faculty from other schools and businesses. I use skype to have them interact with our faculty and share ideas. This works on two levels: they see a form of technology in action and builds their network of support.

Good luck with your project!

Thanks for all the replies! I especially like the idea of the lunch and learn. We have some PLC time built into our weekly schedules for just these types of things. It would be a great opportunity to model some tools and generate ideas about how to use them in our classrooms. Thanks again!
Hi Stacy
If possible have any training or orientation inside school hours. At our school our IT Coordinator runs 2 drop in lunch sessions weekly with anything ranging from Moodle to Voiucethread. Other teachers have also ran these non mandatory sessions. Sometimes no one shows up, other times there are quite a few. The key is showing teachers that these tools (and that's what they are- tools) can make life easier for them. SO, what this means is tons of support for teachers in the class- have a 'book a technician' sheet where teachers can get an extra set of hands if something goes wrong. Teachers are too busy teaching to worry about IT technical stuff. 15 kids with their hands up due to some technical issue is not going to win over those late adopters. So in class support if vital to successful and hopefully stress free implementation. I also have 2 student technicians who I can call on to help me troubleshoot if somethign goes wrong. 90% of the time they can solve the problem. These are grade 1 kids by the way. I think we have to ask ourselves WHY are we implementing this technology or tool? Is is because its new? Does it really help us teach any better? Does is help us teach something in a new way that we could not do without it??

Good luck, be patient!
Hi Stacy,

I wouldn't focus your energy on the reluctant teachers, I would focus it on the ones who are eager to try new things and lead the charge. Research has shown that no matter how good the idea, how helpful the training, and how compelling the case, there will always be some who refuse to change. These individuals are the ones who used rotary phones until they simply couldn't buy them anymore. There's a good summary of "Diffusion of Innovation" in Wikipedia.

The best method that I have found to motivate those who are willing to innovate is to share and "promote" the organic ideas that are created. The staff at my school is focusing on blogging this year. I take a few minutes at the beginning of our Tuesday Tech Training sessions to have 1-3 individuals show off their blog and what they are doing in their classrooms. Examples are powerful motivators!
I agree with what you have said here about focusing energies on those willing to try something new. We had several cases where many teachers refused to even consider online learning, and thought it was a second rate, money saving and lazy way of teaching.

We worked with a few staff members who were willing to give something new a try, and over time, the results these people were getting started to swing others around on the subject. Often people just didn't understand online and immediately went on the defensive, but seeing trusted colleagues teach and teach well using new technologies really made a difference over the last couple of years.

Our arch enemies of yesterday are now coming and asking to try to teach online. Find some champions and let the results trickle out into the larger consciousness.
Stacy, I have something that you might be interested in. My partners and I have developed a new community for teachers and students called StudyBuddyCampus. It is free and it represents our vision of the future for the use of technology in the classroom. Our goal is to revolutionize the delivery of education by combining an interactive game like experience with the latest educational content. We have several teachers and students testing our Beta site at http://www.studybuddycampus.com, and we are constantly releasing new features. I thought you might be interesting in taking a look, and if you have the time, we would love to receive feedback from people with your kind of experience.

Best Regards.

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