Encouraging Teachers to Adopt Technology with Little or No Resistance
We’ve all seen the progression of technology take off in recent years. School-age children today have technology that was only in our imagination years ago. The education system right now seems to have the overwhelming and daunting task of keeping up with the latest technology trends for the classroom. In addition to making a technology decision is the implementation and adoption of technology, which some may argue is even more daunting.
Technology is a major component in today’s education system. It is also one of the biggest decisions, both financially and education-wise, a school district can make. Much thought and consideration goes into making the best decision for the students and faculty in the district. As a former teacher, I believe there are ways to make the transition a smooth one, which would decrease the resistance from teachers and in turn allow teachers to positively adopt the new technology.
- Involve teachers in the decision process
Districts that are making important classroom technology decision should be aware that many teachers are more willing to adopt the technology if they had a role in the decision. Many successful implementations that I have been a part of have started with a team of teachers and administrators that assessed various options and came to the decision as a team. Throughout the process, the teachers had the opportunity to try the technology, talk to their colleagues about it, and ask questions about its capabilities. Surveys requesting teachers’ input also show the teachers that their opinion matters in a decision that will ultimately affect their day-to-day teaching.
Promethean Education Consultants are often involved in the pre-sales process because we are all former teachers with at least 5-years of teaching experience in the classroom. We are able to speak to the teachers in their language about the classroom benefits of the Promethean hardware and software. Allowing teachers to be a part of this process gives them a voice in this important decision.
- Provide ample professional development opportunities
Professional development for new technology is a necessity when asking teachers to adopt something new into their daily lives. Teachers value professional development that is going to help them in their day-to-day teaching routine. It is understandable that time for professional development can be limited, considering all of the other things going on within the school environment. However, we need to consider the value of ample professional development time and how that will positively impact the success of the implementation both initially and long term.
There is not a one-size-fits-all PD plan. Promethean Education Consultants work with district administrators in designing professional development plans that fit the needs of the district.
- Provide time to learn the technology
Ongoing professional development is equally as important after the teachers receive initial training. It is important to follow-up on what teachers love and what they may be struggling with. This can be done among the teaching staff. As we all know, everyone (teachers included) learns at their own pace. Some teachers will take off with the technology, and others will be more hesitant and timid. Provide the teachers with time to work alone or together on learning the technology after the professional development. Provide the teachers with common time when they can come together to share their successes and failures. There is never enough time in the day for a dedicated teacher. Providing time to show them you’re also dedicated to their growth can speak volumes.
- Be realistic, understanding, and supportive
The transition to a new, state-of-the-art technology can be overwhelming for a seasoned teacher who has been using older technology for most of their teaching career. I believe it’s important to be realistic with the timeline of the implementation and understand that for many it is going to take baby steps to fully embrace the unknown.
To learn about personalized training ideas and opportunities, visit Promethean’s Professional Development page.
Author: Katie Marx is an Education Consultant for Promethean and resides in Pittsburgh, PA. Katie taught secondary mathematics, business, computers, information technology, and family and consumer sciences for 10 years. Katie loves to share her love of Promethean with other teachers so they can see the benefits in their classrooms!