My middle school is so far off the cutting edge of technology we're not even on the knife. We just got computers into all the classrooms -- two per room -- last year. In mid year SmartBoards were installed in all the special ed and 6th grade classrooms, but our principal did not realize they need projectors and cables to make them work. We're promised those by September.

I work with a staff that thinks teaching students to do PowerPoint presentations is integrating technology into their lessons. I had to teach two of my colleagues how to use the school's Outlook email system last year.

Our school is refoming into a collection of small teacher-directed learning communities (its astounding how we can be so forward and so backward simultaneously). I've convinced my community of six teachers (five classes) that we need to push forward, at least into the late 20th century, and really start to use technology in our teaching and learning.

I've got a nice PLN on Twitter and they've taught me a lot, then I went to NECC and learned a lot more. There is so much I want to try (Audacity, Edmodo, Animoto, Skype and more) and get my colleagues to try, but I know I have to start off slowly so as not to scare them off from the start.

So, what should I introduce them to first? I've shown them Wordle and how easy it is. What should I show them next? Please help.

Thank you.

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Change is hard. I empathize with you and wish you luck.

I am going to reply to this again tomorrow when I'm more awake. :-)

I completely get what you wrote and have actually been asking myself the same questions today. Came up with a few ideas that I need to throw in a Google Doc tomorrow.

Looking forward to coming up with some solutions that will work for your school and others (mine included).
Thank you for the encouragement, Apana, and I look forward to your more-wide-awake suggestions, Donelle.
Hello Deven!
I write a blog about my experiences of using technology in the classroom. Maybe there is something there to inspire your colleagues.

Good luck! //Marie
I understand your pain. I'm the technology teacher and have minimal success encouraging a voluntary participation in Web 2.0 tools. I did have one high point last year that might help you. I taught my fifth grade tech students wikis for a Photoshop project--which they fell in love with. They then pushed it through to their teacher and she asked me how to do 'this wiki thing'.

I hope she tries again next year.

Thanks for the help. I think I will start teaching them Animoto & Wordle because they are so simple to do. I need to build up their confidence. I will start a wiki for my academy and I'm sure they can handle that.
I have been running into the same issues on my campus... Here is what I have done to build up some background knowledge of the teachers I work with: joined Facebook and let them come to me... : ) Now that I know that 2/3rds of them do use 2.0 technology (even if they don't know it) I am using this as a building block to push for more progressive instruction techniques that blend what they are already doing.

Part 1 of this process (already in place) has been setting up a staff blog (closed to staff only) and encouraging administration to use it as a way to communicate & stimulate dialogue on any issue that is before the school that needs to be shared, discussed, and addressed. I am constantly pushing our administrators to use this in place of e-mails (easier said then done). As administrators and teachers become more comfortable using this method of communication I will begin Part 2 of the process - getting teachers to manage their own blogs that allow students to comment on and create materials that reflect what they are currently studying.... Throughout this process I will continually introduce and reintroduce the 2.0 tools you have mentioned... one at a time -- over and over and over again. What they do with it will ultimately be up to them but my hope is that we will move away from encouraging "just" PowerPoint presentation and move toward tools that create ongoing dialogue year-after-year.
Thank you Peter, you have given me the structured scaffolding for introducing technology to the staff I was trying to develop. I think your plan is sound in that it is slow, flexible and considerate of differing learning styles and speeds, something that professional development rarely is.

I appreciate your sharing this with me.

Just know I hate slow and methodical - it is too painful for my taste!!! However, it is probably the best plan to follow...
Its not my style either. I'm a big picture person and slow & methodical is too detail-oriented for me. But, one does what one must to ensure learning, right?
In this case I would recommend taking the detail-oriented path...
What do you teach? Is there anyway for you to start with something and then model it for other teachers. Particularly since your school has instituted learning communities this might not be so impossible. If indeed this is possible, pick an objective that you want your students to master. Then consider how technology could be employed to enable students to meet this objective. This will give you your answer, I hope.
Twitter: @passandr



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