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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

10 ways to change the minds of tech-reluctant staff

10. Make sure the technology works—and is easily available.

“Do everything necessary to make sure it works when they want to use it! It’s very frustrating to plan a lesson that includes technology, and then it fails to work when you need it.” —Jennifer Bova, director, OWL Teacher Center, Lindenhurst, N.Y.

“I think the biggest impediment to using technology for teachers is lack of access to effective tech tools. I am an ‘early adopter’ and also a ‘power user,’ but most of the tech tools I use in my classroom were purchased by me at my own expense, using money contributed by the law practice that I ran before I retired to become a teacher. Second, I think the software tools available to teachers are generally of pretty poor quality. For example, my school uses a popular grade book and attendance program that is garbage. It doesn’t allow teachers to access student data in hundreds of ways that could support more effective instruction. By way of comparison, in the late 1980s I was using litigation and law practice management support software on stand-alone DOS based computers that was easier and more intuitive than the software I have on my school computer today. Schools are spending small fortunes on technology tools that are broken, poorly designed, or simply not functional for things that teachers need to get done.” —Christopher Dahle, sixth grade math and science teacher, Ortega Middle School, Alamosa, Colo.

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  1. cchater855

    November 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Glad to see Phil Shapiro heads the list – he’s always pushing the limits. Found our staff really jumped on those diet sites and learned to navigate swiftly. How they are probably founder members of ‘love yourself as you are’. But he’s right, teachers have priorities and that says a lot about how they function. Good news is, next generation of students will bypass that energy and connect directly (on and offline) with people who will inspire them to push their own learning (I didn’t mean shopping). Rather than continue an expensive psychotherapy back in the ’70′s I opened one eye during a visualisation session and caught my therapist checking his business investments. That saved me a lot of money and I’ve felt better ever since. The students feel the same things – they’re just young, not stupid.

  2. rhp123

    November 25, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I recently observed a few of my fellow educators attend a leadership conference. As a result there has been a trend in dialogue away from technology. This concerns me because the effort to try and get teachers involved in using technology is just getting off the ground. When people responsible for educating educators lose their vision of real world trends we should start to worry. There is no question that providing real world experiences is essential, but the potential to use technology to take students beyond the normal is the point. The business world gets it! It effects their bottom line. As usual the swing of the pendulum sees the reactionary forces in education struggle up to stifle progress.


    December 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    These are really great ideas for helping reluctant staff, especially talented teachers to dare to enter the digital age in their classrooms.
    I have pondered all of the ways we can encourage tech integration, especially for talented teachers. For we know that tech integration basically only magnifies the teachers’ effectiveness. If he/she is a master teacher, the classroom will be greatly enhanced by the integration of technology. If the teacher is marginal, technology integration will likely fragment the focus, and intrude on the purposes of the lesson (if it is even clear in the first place). In an effort to support teachers to integrate technology, we have produced an educational video, Connected Schools: How technology is changing K-12 instruction and connecting learners in the digital world. We highlight strategies that any teacher can integrate into classroom life. Those who are curious can get more details here …