In the article 5 Tips to Help Teachers Who Struggle with Technology, Josh Work explores certain ways we can help those instructors around us that feel insecure with technology. I’m an instructor, and I love technology, and I know I talk about both these topics all the time, but maybe just not to the right people. I talk to people at work about EdTech, but when I think about it, it’s people who are pretty well-informed in the field. I tweet about EdTech nearly everyday, but again, it’s to a community that excels with tech in the class. [insert loud gasp] I think I may be part of the problem…I don’t communicate my love of EdTech with those teachers that are unaware of the major importance it needs to play in the modern classroom.
I’m a big believer in self-improvement, so I’ve decided to start communicating my love and passion for instructional design and educational technology with those around me that can use a leg up. But this sounds a lot easier then it actually is. Terms such as the flipped classroom, mobile learning, gamification and MOOCs can all be scary concepts for instructors that are out-of-the-loop. I can picture the conversation going something like this:
For those instructors that are opened to listening to new teaching methods, the conversation can be a little slow, but at least it’s positive. It can be a little more difficult when speaking to those instructors that feel technology threatens to weaken the teaching profession by placing too much power in uncertain tools. It’s important to note that I support the idea of questioning the importance of a new instructional tool. Many tools in EdTech that once claimed to be revolutionary, and would change the entire field turned out to be only a flash in the pan.
So I believe that we need to properly scaffold EdTech into our professional development. I’ve broken the process down into the following 3-step cycle:
- Make a Team: One instructor can’t do it all on there own, that’s an impossible task. Gather a group of like-minded, well-informed individuals and you’ll be on your way to starting a tech revolution at your school. If you can, try and include teachers, support staff and at least one administrator.
- Make a Plan: Organization is key if you want to succeed in improving the amount of EdTech in your school or organization. Some teachers may feel averse to your ideas at first, and some may even challenge your views, but overtime you’ll be able to show them the useful aspect that tech can bring. Plan for all the potential possibilities. And remember, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- Make it Happen: Planning and organizing are great, and you need to do both of them in order to succeed, but there comes a time when you just have to get off your butt and put your plan in action. Don’t worry about making mistakes, accept that they will happen. But with the right team and the proper motivation, you’ll be able to bring everyone on board!
We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world. – David Warlick