I have a sister post to this going out on my own blog at Miz Mercer.
Lots of mostly unpleasant conversations about folks resisting the lure of technology in the classroom. This round of the conversation started on with a blogger and blog I greatly admire, Scott McLeod’s Dangerously Irrelevant. Scott questioned why teachers seemed to be able to refuse to adopt technology, when workers in other professions had to deal with “automation”. It found its way around to Larry Ferlazzo in » Teachers Who Won’t Embrace Technology on In Practice. Larry is good at focusing on the pertinent (the bottom line is making sure students are taught and technology is a tool, not an end). He linked to a great post at The Tempered Radical: Barkin’ Dawgs and Miserably Poor Policy. . . that shows there is plenty of blame to go around, that leaders cannot expect teachers to embrace these new ways if they do not support the effort with more time and resources, and that teachers have to be willing to update skills.
Next up, via Dy/Dan, comes Dina Strasser with » The Skeptic’s Seven Questions About Technology The Line, which lists the points that even a teacher with tech knowledge will likely want answered before embracing these new technologies
Here are some closing observations. Riffing from Bill Ferriter and some earlier posts from Larry about the importance of personal relationships, I once worked in a really toxic school site. The management was demeaning and cruel. One of the teachers was really being picked on and very defensive. She was a technophobe, and hated change. The Administrator’s approach was to beat her down. I built trust with this teacher, and so she was willing to go to a blog training I held. I don’t know if she will ever be 2.0 (which may be more a comment on my training than her resistance), but she was willing to take the chance because of the personal relationship we had.
I commented on Scott’s post that I am amazed at the number of co-workers I have in my technology trainings because all the technology tools in the school have been concentrated in my lab. I could NEVER tell them that they need to use technology more when there are only 3 overhead projectors in a school with 17 teachers, and they have no lap tops. My first priority is to settle into my job, then work on getting more tools to these teachers.
I think that Dina is right to say we need to stress how technology ties into core (or other subject matter) standards, and to not have the tail wagging the dog so to speak. I’ve been in PI (Program Improvement under NCLB) schools, so I MUST be standards focused.
Here are some things I do to build relationships with my peers. I am constantly working to communicate about what I’m doing, and to incorporate their requests for instruction (especially when it involves key concepts or standards they are working on). I can’t always provide a tech solution, but they know that if it’s possible I will do it. I still do some projects that are more tech, than standards based, but they appreciate my efforts to work with them and their curriculum. Frankly, I’m in a blessed position, so I would not want to get on my high horse about what other teachers should be doing.
I have a sister post going out to address a particular concern I do have with some folks questioning the efficacy of some 2.0 applications/projects because I feel that some folks are not recognizing all of the standards, and are dismissing some technologies that hit some that are critical for language learners, but that will be elsewhere as I’ve gone on long enough.