4-A-2: Wiki Posting: Five Ways to Think about Change

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List five ways to think about and address changes in technology in your classroom and school. With each way briefly describe how you plan to apply your thinking with your colleagues.

Before developing your five ways to address change suggestions consider the following:
  • Considering the list of fears you brainstormed in the previous assignment, what are the common objections and fears your peers or administration may have to changes in technology?
  • How can you assess if the the objections/fears are valid? How can you educate your peers in determining if these fears and objections are valid?
  • How can you inspire peers who share similar beliefs and interests to apply changes in technology to their classroom or students' learning?
  • How can you get peers out of the "Resistance" phase into the "Exploration" phase?

Post your "five ways to address change" in the table below. Review your peers' postings and post at least two comments in the Discussion Tab above.

5 Ways to Address Change

Submitted by:

  • Voluntary training sessions for staff that want and need it.
  • Voluntary informal sharing opportunities so more experienced/adventurous staff can share their knowledge with others.
  • Time provided for staff to investigate technology at their leisure.
  • At home access for staff to experiment with new technology when and where they are comfortable.
  • "Suggestions or Concerns" box for staff to share in a nonthreatening way. Suggestions and concerns can be listed and addressed in a weekly/biwekly newsletter.
    • I would share all of the above ideas with my colleagues in a staff meeting so we could discuss them and I could explain that all training is voluntary because we are all in a different place and have different needs. Those that need to learn by getting in there and doing it can; and those that need to confer with peers can; and those that need to be taught can do that too.
Karen H.
  1. Allow for Trial and Error – Technology can sometimes be very difficult to learn, even for those born into this new technology generation. As an individual and school, there needs to be an understanding that there will be some growing pains when implementing new technology. Trial and error may not always be a bad way to learn; it fosters a sense of perseverance and self-satisfaction when solving a problem. This type of learning environment also helps students feel safe in their learning environment and more likely to take positive chances.
  2. Meaningful technology use – Technology should be used to foster education and allow students to challenge themselves. Teachers are quick to incorporate technology just to say they are using it in their classrooms.
  3. Teamwork – Technology can be an instrumental way to develop teamwork not only in the classroom with students but among staff members as well. If there is a sense of support and teamwork among a staff, there will be more of an interest in learning new technology. Knowing that you have supportive staff that is willing to help you work through a technology jam allows staff members to take more risks on their own.
  4. Time Constraints – Educators are stretched thin during their days dealing with standardized testing pressures, graduation rates, etc. So how do staff members find the time to incorporate technology in the classroom? This is the big question that I hear at my school regularly. Teachers need to incorporate technology in their classrooms where it fits in the curriculum to enhance student learning. They can’t go looking for new places to use technology because then they will become overwhelmed and more likely to give up. Content area teachers can get together during professional development time to discuss what works for them and what doesn’t and to have brainstorming sessions of where to appropriately insert technology into their lessons.
  5. Training – Technology is only as good as the user, it does not do things to just frustrate you. If there is not proper training, there will not be proper understanding of the technology, which can lead to mistakes and frustrations.
Sarah S.
1. The teacher becomes a facilitator. I think that one way to increase the use of technology is to get teachers used to the idea of students discovering knowledge through different means. One way to do this is to create lessons where the teacher is a facilitator in a classroom. Ask probative questions, and then through discussions, labs, research, etc. students can come up with their own answers. The teachers can act as guides. This is one way to ease into technology because the teacher will learn how students work together or solve problems.
2. Technology Integration Specialist. Create a job where someone has to help you with technology and ways to integrate it into your lessons. If someone was there to show me new ideas, I’d be more apt to use them. I don’t have the time to constantly search for new ideas. If someone could help me out when I’m struggling the way an instructional specialist does, I think more teachers would be apt to using technology.
3. Hold a technology “Share Fair.” My school holds a share fair once a quarter where teachers share ideas that work in their classroom, and the PTO provides lunch. I think that if teachers see things that work, they will use them or at least be interested. Sharing what you do in your classroom does rub off on other teachers.
4. Observations. Allow teachers to observe other teachers in their building who are using technology successfully. Sometimes, when I hear about a lesson I’m interested in seeing how it works. Teachers steal ideas that work; maybe something will catch on.
5. Set technology goals. Each year I have to set instructional goals for the year. I think that I should set at least one new technology goal each year. This way, I hold myself accountable for encouraging new technology in my classroom.

Monica C
  1. Network with other teachers for support and collaboration. Hearing about other teachers’ success stories can inspire reluctant teachers to integrate new technologies into their lessons. Networking can occur during professional days, planning time, and after school (if you get paid extra). Teachers can also collaborate on social networking sites like facebook.
  2. Student ‘Gurus’ can be a great help in the classroom when implementing new technology. Many students quickly learn new technology and problem solve on their own. There are different ways to develop students who are ‘pros’ on specific software. You can have these ‘pros’ teacher other students and continue the process throughout the classroom.
  3. Involving stakeholders can ease the amount of resistance you may encounter when trying to use new technology in your classroom. Stakeholders include parents, administrators, students, advocate groups, and the school board. When you educate these groups about the importance of and need for change, and include them in the process, you will be more likely to receive their support. You need the school board and administration to support you financially. The parents, students, and advocate groups could volunteer their time. They will learn and help the students learn.
  4. Observing other teachers successfully or unsuccessfully experimenting with technology will help reluctant teachers accept the need for more technology use in their classroom. Once you see someone else try something you will be less anxious about the “unknown”.
  5. ​Training is the key. Teachers need to have hands on experiences with these new technologies that the stakeholders expect them to use in their classrooms. Technology training usually involves some aspect of trial and error. Through trial and error experiences teachers will see that mistakes are inevitable, everything is not always going to work out perfectly, and nobody has ALL of the answers. Teachers that have very little experience with technology are not that far off from the experts. All they need is some practice and experience to ease their fears.
Marie P
5 ways to address change:

1. Conduct a heart to heart conversation with staff- if necessary, admit to prior "techno gadget of the week" approach to technology integration. Emphasize that using the new technology doesn't mean doing something entirely new, but it means adding another piece to instruction. This conversation will be not be a time for blame or shame, but rather to show that more students can be reached with technology because that is their preferred learning style.This first step will help set the tone for the remaining suggestions.
2. Start small- try one lesson integration each week in the content area of teacher's choice. The instructional leadership team will meet with the Computer teacher to find activities that align with the curriculum, so that the teachers have a lesson that could be used immediately. Create a share board in the teacher's lounge, organized by grade level or subject level. As teachers find interesting websites or computer activities, they are posted on the board for other teachers to try.
3. Provide differentiated training for staff- allow those who are more tech savvy to try the new technology on their own or with their team members. A more formal training will be available for those teachers wanting more support.
4. Give teachers some free time to find additional lessons that align with the state curriculum. This time could come from not be having the weekly staff meeting and/or meeting with the instructional leadership team once/month. Grade level teams would be given the same time so that they can plan together.
5. Provide a draft of a letter to go home for the student's Tuesday folders explaining the use of any new technology/software and ideas of how they can help support their children at home. Currently, our grade level newsletter provides websites for math games. This could be expanded to other subject areas and also include websites to help provide background information on current topics of study.
6. Let the students lead and share in the development of activities and games. Train mini-technologists to help other students with technollogy problems while the teacher conducts small group instruction.
Susan H
Five ways to think about changes in technology in my classroom and school.
1. Employ the use of automated whiteboards (SmartBoards). Most of the teachers in our school have SmartCarts and projectors. Installing these Smart Boards seems like a logical next step. Interactive SmartBoards can be used to teach math, language arts, science and socials studies as well as view videos and other content from the Internet.
2. Provide each classroom with up-to-date computers and appropriate access to the Internet. The computers in our classrooms are obsolete. They are extremely slow and students lose interest in them quickly. With the appropriate equipment, software applications, and Internet access, a computer learning and exploration station could be set up for student use. Students could also use the computer station for research and writing purposes.
3. Digital cameras and video recorders for each class. Students could use them to record daily activities, presentations, experiments, and field trips. Students could learn how to upload the pictures and videos to the computers and create slide shows, burn DVDs, etc..
4. Employ the use of Kindles (Amazon). It holds up to 1500 books. Font size can be adjusted to suit the reader. There is a text to speech feature so that students can listen to the story or read it. The Kindle also provides the user with access to newspapers, blogs, and a dictionary. Teachers could download the desired books for each student or group. Just as students are loaned textbooks for the year, Kindles would be loaned out as well. I fully believe that our Net Gen students would much prefer reading in this manner. The use of this type of technology will also reduce the weight of a student’s book bag, since the Kindle only weights approximately 10 oz. and has the potential to hold 1500 books. After exploring a Kindle and reviewing information on the Amazon website, I believe that this reading gadget has a place in today’s classroom as well as classroom’s of the future. The cost is not that much ($259.00) considering the cost of textbooks. Students would be responsible for the Kindle and returning it in good working order just as they are responsible for returning textbooks in good condition.
5. Incorporate the use of Wikis, Podcasts, Blogs, and other interactive websites. For example, students working in small groups could set up a Wiki for discussion purposes and to share research findings.
6. Bonus Idea: Make use of iPod Touch. Still looking into all the possibilities.
I believe that the best way to communicate my ideas with my colleagues and all stakeholders would be to offer mini-lessons/workshops focusing on just one or two forms of technology at a time. I would offer to demonstrate how to use the technology and then give time for them to explore, discover, and learn through trial and error. I would also enlist the help of colleagues who have already embraced the various forms of technology. Together we can demonstrate how the specific technology can be used in the classroom and at the various grade levels. By providing concrete examples skeptics will hopefully begin to see the value in using leading edge technology in the classroom. The information should also help parents to better understand their Net Gen children. Finally, enlisting the help of student “gurus” is an excellent way to help others learn, thus taking the pressure off of the teacher as the only resource in the classroom.

Dawn M
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4-A-2 Five Ways to Think About Change

    1. Communicate—Get everyone on the same page. Build alliances with like-minded teacher to leverage peers.
    2. Involve Stakeholders- Early in the process let everyone know who is involved what is going on. This includes, staff, student, parents, board of education, and anyone else effected by the technological changes in the school.
    3. Allocate time to play- Give teachers and students time to try things out, experiment, and play. Let them get comfortable with the new technology.
    4. Introduce Student Gurus – Assign students who are comfortable with the technology the job of teaching 2 classmates. Then those classmates can teach two more, etc. These students can also help the teachers as needed along the way.
    5. Provide examples- Give teachers time to observe what other teachers are doing with technology in their classrooms. Some people learn by watching other people demonstrate how do so something.
Carol B
1) Training- In order to use a program or technology teachers need to have time to be trained on it. With proper training, teachers can feel more comfortable with the technology and can gain an understanding of the possible applications the technology can provide. This will help make teachers more willing to integrate it into their lessons. We are currently doing this with a program called Promethean.
2) Observing- Observing is another useful tool that teachers can use to help themselves feel more comfortable with technology. Sometimes there is a fear that exists on how to integrate the technology. By observing what other teachers do in their classrooms, on can learn different application techniques. We do this often with new technology such as labquests or dissolved oxygen meters.
3) Teamwork- Have teachers in a discipline get together and help each other plan out where and how they can integrate technology into their lessons. Teachers can share what they are using now, and ideas they had for the future. By coming together, teachers who aren’t as creative or comfortable with technology can gain some helpful insight as to how to use technology from others in their field. This is a technique that we as a science department do during out lunch every day (each science discipline gets the same lunch shift so we can coordinate activities).
4) Technology specialist – Assigning a technology specialist to each school so that this person, who is adept with multiple facets of technology, could go in to the classroom and help a teacher set up and uses a specific technology. This would be even better if the technology specialist had classroom teaching experience as they would be aware of the issues faced by classroom teachers.
5) Trial and error time- Provide teachers with time to play around with the technology that they want to use in their lessons. Often time training involves exposure to the “how to” of a program, but never really gives a teacher the time they need to play around with the program. Providing some professional development time for teachers to use the technology would be beneficial to making everyone more supportive of the integration.

Kris U
1) Instruction- Having access to training can help ease the tention of teachers who are hesitant to take tech risks in the classroom. This training needs to occur at convenient times for the teachers and does not add to the stress of the work day.
2) Student Survey/Committee- This allows students to get involved in assisting teachers with programs that would improve their learning experience. These students can also help learn the technology and assist teachers in learning it.
3) Forum/Email Assistance- Being in touch with the most up-to-date options for technology allows teachers to see what is out there. This keeps instructors on their toes and aware of what is out there.
4) Group Sessions- Departments have their meetings... What about technology meetings for experts and beginners to share their knowledge/frustrations.
5) Start Simple- If teachers try to jump in and experience SMART boards as their first tech experience, they may be scared away from technology forever. Starting simple with Microsoft Office tools makes the adjustment a lot easier and may eventually lead into more advanced ideas.

Megan M.
1. Demonstrate – Teachers need to see what students can produce as an alternate project to demonstrate understanding of subject matter, so having examples of student work to display the possibilities of the application is fantastic. Then having teachers take it apart to see how the application enhanced the project would show teachers what aspects would possibly need further exploration or training.
2. Collaboration – Teachers work better and get more excited about the use of a technology if they are able to collaborate to learn and decide how the technology could best be applied in their class. Creating cross-curricular projects with others who have similar capabilities through the use of a collaborative program, such as a wiki, would facilitate higher cognition for the students involved.
3. Access – Having access to a guru when you encounter problems would significantly increase the use of technology in the classroom. As the Kapp states, gamers expect immediate response and feedback during a gaming experience. We, as teachers, need that information when a student or we run into difficulty when utilizing new technology.
4. Time – No teacher has enough time to explore technology in addition to all the other tasks for which they are responsible. Staff development days with free time to explore would free teachers up to try new technology that they have been exposed to and wish to get into more in depth prior to using in their class. This would lessen the fear factor of using technology through experience.
5. Excitement – Going back to professors who are most effective, if you are excited about using the technology and show that enthusiasm during a demonstration of a new technology, teachers will catch the fever.
Erika L

5 Ways to Think About Change

1.) Financial issues on a school level - In my building, money is one of the biggest issues facing technology moving forward in my building. Projectors, SmartBoard and laptop carts have to be shared and we do not have very many. If one piece of puzzle breaks, the rest is useless until someone comes up with money to fix it. One of the ways I propose changing this is to create a committee of teachers who currently use and count on the technology in their classrooms. This committee can work in teams of 2 – 3 teachers to write grants in order to replace, repair or add to the technology we have and take the burden of the schools limited budget.

2.) Training on a school level - The committee I proposed in my first way can also work in those same teams to offer inservices to staff who are interested in learning how to use and create lessons for specific types of technology or programs. The committee can also sit down with the principal and discuss an emphasis put on looking for technology use and proper instructional use during observations and stop ins. This will encourage teachers to attend these inservices in order to have the tools needed for said observations.

3.) Maintenance of technology - In my current building there is a great divide over who is capable of maintenance an who is responsible for maintenance. The “media specialists” (aka – librarians) are the responsible party when it comes to technology in our building, however, on a scale of 1 to 10 on the tech savvy scale, she’s a 2. In order to think about making a technology change in my building, a changing of the guard as far as passwords and permission needs to take place. I have talked to the librarian and offered to take some of the technology maintenance off her hands, but she refuses to hand over the reigns. In order to make a change, I am going to need to sit down with the administration and discuss possibilities in giving someone who has the ability to do more than clear a paper jam the permission to begin “helping” the media specialist handle some of the tougher issues.

4.) Planning on a classroom level – In order for true change to take place and the above pieces are in place it enters the hands of the teachers. In the reading and in my personal experience the most often thing I hear is “I do not have the time to teach technology” and “I do not have the time to create lessons and plan for using it”. The first answer is garbage and the article agrees with me. We are not “teaching technology” we are using technology to assist us in teaching. So in theory if the teacher is using it correctly, it should not add to the amount of content being taught. The second is more legit. It takes time and effort to create lessons and plans that use technology to assist them in teacher. Someone has to put the content into the program of find grade appropriate sites that are worthwhile using. I would propose that each grade level in my building split the researching sites and creating activities by content area. One of the three of us could be responsible to compiling math sites, activities and lessons. The second can do reading and the third teaching can do health/social studies. The teachers will not write the lessons, but just compile the resources needed by each teacher to use when creating their own lessons.

5.) Proper Programs – After reading the assigned readings I was discussing what I had read with my wife (a 2nd grade teacher). We talked about what frustrates us most about trying to use technology in the classroom and my wife mentioned that lack of programs to use in creating lessons and for the activities. The BOE block/prohibits us from installing any programs on school owned computers. Since the computers are giving to us with the basic set of programs (Win XP, Office, Acrobat) we are very limited in what we can do. Unfortunately short of trying to get a meeting or a phone call to the head of technology for our county and attempt to get additional programs added to the basic set installed or permission to install programs on a classroom/school wide level. (suggestions on what to do greatly appreciated)
Douglas Zeier