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November 18th, 2011
10 ways to change the minds of tech-reluctant staff
Start small, make training personally relevant, pair staff with knowledgeable co-workers—and keep it fun, readers recommend
5. Let students lead.
“The most effective use of technology is simply to teach the tools in the classroom, assure mastery, and let teens loose. They love it, but do not waste class time with practice. Assign home activities, which can be taken to libraries, friends, etc. Skill development is the key here, not assignments that cannot be properly supervised. Students will surpass teacher knowledge. That’s a given.” —Betty Clemens
6. Allow paid leave for educators to get up to speed.
“There have been many approaches to helping tech-reluctant staff embrace technology, from merely encouraging them to using scare tactics or coercion. I think the biggest challenge for those who are not already techies is simply a combination of their limited free time and the perception that to become tech-aware will take an enormous amount of time and energy. Sadly, however, the tech-reluctant are going to find themselves soon out of the loop of standard education and at risk of losing their jobs. The solution is for educational administrators to do the really hard thing of devoting paid leave time to training the tech-reluctant, while at the same time making sure that the leave is not just an overload. How administrators accomplish this will be their own challenge, but the fact is that we simply have not paid enough attention to the need for training.” —William Badke, associate librarian, Trinity Western University, Associated Canadian Theological Schools and Information Literacy, Langley, B.C., Canada
7. Be sure to offer continuous training and support.
“Districts need to provide consistent technology professional development for staff members that allows them the time to become comfortable and proficient with the use of the technology. The 1-4 hour sessions usually provided for staff members to learn new software/ hardware is not adequate for all staff to become comfortable with new technology. Districts need to provide continuing opportunities for staff to practice with the new technologies in a collaborative environment with staff members of different levels of comfort and proficiency, so that they can learn at their own pace and provide adequate classroom support for each other.” —Michele J Burke, math/computer science teacher, Woodland Park High School, Colo.