Teachers encourage and support tools that help their students succeed. However, when adopting and implementing new education technologies, many school administrators fail to enlist teachers’ support. Simply mandating the use of product threatens teachers’ autonomy and making a brief announcement introducing the new technology without offering instruction on how it works cannot help much too.
Here are some tips on avoiding such scenarios to make sure that your district gets the best possible return on its edtech investment.
Involve teachers throughout the entire implementation process
Holding a district-wide or even a school-wide referendum on implementing a specific method or tool is almost always impractical. But the teachers (end users) should always be involved throughout every step of the entire process and should be represented on any committee that’s formed. Even if the process is still in the initial decision-making phase, each department or faculty meeting should include updates. The inclusion of teachers will help them feel involved and prepare them for the changes that are finally implemented. The reluctant teachers who don’t want to make any changes should also be involved as you’ll have heard from them long before launch day.
Enlist the support of your tech enthusiasts and trendsetters
Silicon Valley commonly recruits popular tech enthusiasts when new products and technologies are nearing their time for launch in the general market to help get the general public excited about it. It also convinces people to join them on the proverbial bandwagon by enlisting known trendsetters on social media and other media outlets. Such enthusiasts and trendsetters exist at your school too. Education organizations need to identify them and give them the time and information needed to build excitement and create a buzz as the implementation process advances. Let them provide reviews at meetings and by email. Since lots of people are fearful about being the first person to try something new, enthusiasts and trendsetters let their fellow faculty members see that they are not alone.
Allow outside trainers to provide instruction on your campus
A set of training sessions presented by company personnel is what usually makes a significant edtech implementation. Teachers will likely be reluctant about listening to even the company trainers that have many years of training experience under their belts if the only time they spend with them is for the sessions. To cut short, teachers are most comfortable working with people they know. Hence it is important to allow the teachers an opportunity to get to know the trainers before the sessions begin. Ask the company’s trainers to produce a short video to share with your teachers if they are unavailable to do this in person as an introduction. Your teachers will already be familiar with their backgrounds and personalities when the trainers arrive on campus for the session, making it much more likely that the teachers will be ready to retain the instruction they’ll be receiving.
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