Sunday, August 14, 2011

4 Steps to Teaching Others About Technology (And Getting Them to Use It)

I am fresh off of teaching a week-long class to teachers on how to integrate technology into their classrooms. This experience was a great one for me because it reminded me of how overwhelming technology that I take for granted can be to others starting out. And yet, these teachers got hooked. So how?

They all did a couple of things that took them from skeptics to believers (and comfortable!)
  1. They figured out their purpose.  Technology should never be used just for technology's sake because then it has no educational value.  These teachers narrowed in on which areas they thought could be enhanced by technology and then worked specifically with those.
  2. Pick a few.  I showed them more than 50 tools just to let them see what was out there but then we narrowed it down for each one of them.  There were things they immidiately gravitated toward; Google Docs, and others that took time; having a classroom blog.  Some they just thought were cool and got archived for later use - maybe, and I am ok with that.
  3. Work on it right away.  We have all been to classes where the instructor showed us a lot of cool things but we never had time to play with it, and guess what, most of the time we never go back to those tools.  We introduced tools then gave them time to mess around, set up their accounts, mess up and get help.  These teachers actually left the class with products they felt comfortable using and all had set up their own classroom blogs already.
  4. Give it time and purpose.  I shared why I use different tools, how it was meaningful to my students or parents, and also how mch time I spend on these tools.  When teachers can experience for themselves why a tool may be easily integrated and valuable, chances are they are going to actually use it after the class.  And that was the whole point.
So which tools were the most favored?  Prezi, Animoto, Google Docs, Blogger, and LiveBinders won this week.  Twitter, Edmodo, and StoryBird came in close second.  All the teachers left more confident and couldn't wait to go back and share what they had learned with others in their building.  So although I may have only taught 12 teachers this week, the impact that they could have on their buildings is bigger and that is the beauty of getting teachers comfortable with technology; it spreads like rings in the water.

1 comments:

The Walker Family said...

So excites to read this. I feel like I hit all of this when I gave the same workshop last Thursday! I'm new to the presenting thing but they have been going well. All of our teachers have blogs already. So we showed them some tools, gave them ideas for use in a classroom, and let them play. They created slides ares and embedded them into their blogs, embedded vokis in their blog, and made pre is to introduce them to their class and put on their blog "about me" page.

 

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