Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Technology Integration is Like Learning to Ski, Part 2 (aka - helping teachers integrate)

Over Spring Break, I attempted to learn to ski at an advanced age.  My experiences led to this post: Technology Integration is Like Learning to Ski, Part 1.  Go read it now.  I'll wait.  

In this post, I want to talk about how we (technology coaches) can make things easier for teachers.  

Before the trip, we are very excited and spend a lot of money to get ready - I understand that the buck has to stop somewhere.  Someone has to make the decisions.  However, we can make technology transitions easier for teachers by involving them in the decision making.  Before choosing a device, try piloting two devices.  Let the pilot teachers give feedback. Share their feedback with your school community when you announce the chosen device.  

We take lessons - please, please, please and I say again PLEASE! make sure teachers have plenty of time to 'play' with what they've learned at staff development.  When teachers have time to play, they figure out what questions to ask.  They become confident.  They get more excited about using the device in the classroom. They talk to other teachers and hatch new ideas.  

We go ahead and try it anyway - as a technology coach, this is where we can shine.  Follow up with teachers, find out when they'll be implementing their newly acquired knowledge.  Then show up.  in his classroom.  Tell him he's doing it right.  Help if things go wrong.  Don't help when things go wrong.  Let him figure some of it out on his own.  Be a good coach!

We get frustrated & We compare ourselves and get more frustrated - be there for the teacher.  Listen to her frustrations.  Solve problems that need to solved.  Ask questions.  Refute misconceptions.  Remind her how far she's come.  

We decide to stick with what we know - this is what we're trying to avoid.  This is what we'll be able to avoid with proper coaching.  

What do you think? How can we make technology integration easier for teachers?

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