Monday, May 16, 2011

I Hate To, But

As we have spent the year introducing new things to our staff, in the hopes of them seeing their advantages and using them. We have delegated all of our professional development to some form of technology integration. I realize this may take time and we have won over a few and that is encouraging. Now comes the but part, I honestly don't understand why more haven't come on board with our efforts.

So I guess we have drawn the line in the sand so to speak. Last Wednesday we had a late start day and announced to the staff that next year, we would be a google apps school so they have no choice except to learn how to use them. We also told them that we would be using edmodo as a way to communicate with kids. I hate force feeding people but I hate even worse that some feel direct instruction (lecturing) is the most effective way to teach kids and they actually learn best using that strategy. Why don't we just show a powerpoint and read it to them, when all of us know when we go to a workshop and the presenter does that we turn them off in a matter of seconds, as well we should.

Our hopes are obviously that our naysayers will see all the advantages and tools available to them and will look for ways to improve instruction. If not I guess they need to know that we are not backing off, so open wide we are about to cram more in.


  1. Greg,

    Thank you for this post. I am on the other side of the spectrum but somewhat frustrated, nonetheless. I'm just a teacher immersed in technology (social/learning/information networks) hoping my successes and experiences with classroom technology integration will spread sideways and upward. I don't preach. I have incredibly supportive administration who are encouraging and appreciative of what I do. But this I know, no matter how much you "cram in," it'll do no good if people don't start getting their feet wet. After three years now, I've come to the conclusion that technology can't really be 'taught' to other teachers, it has to be 'done' by them.

    We migrated to Google Apps for Ed this year and for the most part, it is widely used as just another email tool. Of course, I love it, and my students really appreciate its collaborative power and discussion features within docs. It makes it much easier, too, to tailor specific detailed feedback to students on their work. It may take more than just rolling out your own domain and, I wish I had the answer.

    No one can understand its power until completely immersed in an online environment. I'd be interesting to see others' responses. The part I can't figure out is the tipping point ~ how can we get others started without cramming it down their throats? Once involved, the power of technology will speak for itself. But, again, what is the tipping point in getting teachers involved.

  2. Greg, I read this post and know exactly of what you speak. I have the incredible good fortune to work with a team of online teachers who choose to embrace new pedagogical approaches as well as technology. They are the early adopters. In past years, they have been marginalized, criticized and challenged by some of their classroom peers. They are unwaivering and determined as a cohort of educators. But how to get "the naysayers" to surrender entrenchment in old ways? Not easy. Human nature is to defend when feeling threatened. In my opinion, forcing never works. I believe you have to focus on those who are willing, and use their successes with kids to build influence. Create something so exciting that teachers and students will beg to get into and follow. It takes time, but it will endure. Cindy

  3. The balance between pressure and support. I was told by a colleague that if you give too much support, and no pressure, people do not feel it is valuable. If you put on too much pressure, with no support, people break. You have put the pressure on so make sure you follow it up with support and you will be fine. No one does great things without sometimes taking the reins.