Reluctant, the Receptive, and the Revved
- In implementing your technology
program, teachers must be at the core.
You'll find that teachers have a wide
range of skills. Early adopters have been
using technology for years, while others
are hoping to retire without ever using
technology in their classroom. This wide
range of teacher attitudes and skills
makes developing professional development
- You'll need to address the needs of
three types of teachers: reluctant,
receptive, and revved up.
- Win reluctant
- If you would win a man to
your cause, first convince him
that you are his true friend.
Next, probe to discover what
he wants to accomplish. -
- Teacher Needs
- Reluctant Teachers
- In the past, you might have overlooked the
reluctant teachers. However now that technology has
become an integral part of our schools, technology
skills are critical. As yourself. Are these reluctant
teachers really anti-technology or just caught up in
the culture? Are they worth the hassle? Yes! The
"logs" are jamming the river. In other words, the
reluctant teachers may be blocking the path of your
- Try linking technology to a teacher's teaching
style. In other words, a lecturer might be drawn to
technology by adding visuals to presentations. For
example, give than some website with rich visuals such
as the Anatomy
site. A teacher who likes to have group discussions
might enjoy using epals. They might be interested in
the epals website.
Online quizzes might draw in a teacher who likes
testing. They might enjoy FunBrain.
The key is linking the technology activities to the
curriculum. Give them something you know they can use.
Match the activities to required outcomes. Then,
provide models that work. Use Science
Net Links as a starting point. This website
activities on topics such as the environment. The
lessons link to useful web resources such as the
Service's Everglades website.
- Keep it simple.
- The man who removes a mountain begins
by carrying away small stones.
- The key is the first shot.
- You miss 100 percent of the shots you
never take. - Wayne Gretzky
- Create a supportive environment.
- Progress always involves risk.
You can't steal second base and keep your
foot on first. - Fredrick B.
- Find what motivates.
- It is not the horse that draws the
cart, but the oats. - Russian
- Reluctant teachers need
- Find the good &emdash; and praise it.
- Alex Haley
- Start with something simple like checking the
photos, learning weather
folklore, reading an online article, sending an
electronic postcard, starting a gradebook, or using a
CD-ROM encyclopedia. Eliminate risk by providing
packaged, tested ideas. For example, start with a
simple website such as Canadian
Geography. Give teachers time to explore and work
as a team. Be sure that on-site technical support is
available to provide support. Make technology standard
practice. In other words, technology should become a
part of teaching evaluation and lesson evaluation. If
email is the only way to submit grades or get meeting
notices, then teachers will be forced to learn. Find
out what motivates your teachers and provide rewards.
People who attend the workshop might receive a book
and piece of software, a digital camera, lots of
examples and models, along with release time for
planning. One school has posted
lots of projects based on the software package
Inspiration. Teachers can explore examples such
as one on a trip
to the zoo to get ideas for their classroom.
Motivating reluctant teachers isn't easy. Ask
yourself: What are the characteristics of your most
reluctant teachers? Then, create a continuum leading
you to the opposite behavior. How can you move your
teachers along the continuum?
- Receptive Teachers
- In most schools, a majority of teachers are
receptive to technology, they just haven't embraced
technology. They know the tools. Ask yourself. How do
you lead them down the right path? This first step is
to create a learning culture in your school. Ask
yourself: Are teachers viewed as learners? How is
learning encouraged? What opportunities do teachers
have for their own learning? Is learning
- Focus on the challenge.
- Never tell people how to do
things. Tell them what to do, and
they will surprise you with their
ingenuity. - George Patton
- Rally your teachers together.
- Leadership is the ability to encourage
the best efforts of others in working
toward a desirable goal. - Spencer W.
- Professional development plans are at the core of
successful technology programs. You need to identify
the needs of each teacher. Make resources available
and encourage teachers to try new skills. Create new
ways for teachers to journal their experiences and
share their progress. This approach requires learning
pathways. Teachers need professional development
choices and varied opportunities. They need to explore
the possibilities before jumping into a project. The
by the Water is an excellent example of addressing
the individual needs of teachers.
- Learning Field Trips. Teachers need
opportunities to go on real or virtual classroom
visits within the building, in the district,
- in the area, or at conferences. You might even be
able to go on virtual visits by exploring teacher
websites such as these Teacher
1 and Teacher
- Learning Lines. Teachers need real-time
support. Consider putting in place phone help lines,
creating listservs, and email support groups. Many
teachers use existing online support services such as
- Learning Coaches. Many times teachers can
share their expertise with others. For example, each
teacher in the building might volunteer to learn a
different piece of equipment such as the scanner or
software package such as Excel. They can then become a
coach as others need help. You might also form teams
with compatible skills for example a content area
person with a person who has an interest in developing
web pages. Students might even team with teachers as
in the rock
- Learning Titans. Students love technology.
Student groups and clubs are excellent experiences for
both students and teachers. Sometimes schools call
student workers TITANS (Technology in Teaching and
Networked Students). Students can be problem solvers
- Learning Opportunities. Provide learning
opportunities for receptive teachers such as distance
learning options, web-based
tutorials, as well as traditional staff
development opportunities. You can find many online
- Learning Bursts. Some of the best
opportunities for teacher learning comes at the
teachable moment when a teacher has a specific need to
know something. It might be a special day of the month
or week. Many teachers become interested in online
project with the Iditarod
in the spring. Others find a specific need when they
find out that their grandchild's picture has been sent
to them as an attachment. Make use of these teachable
- Learning Swap Meets. Help teachers move
theory into practice with periodic swap meets where
teachers are asked to turn ideas into innovations.
These can take the form of techie retreats, learning
playgrounds, or just opportunities for teaming and
sharing. Check out this Arkansas
project as an example of online sharing.
- Encourage new ideas.
- The best way to have a good idea is to
have a lot of ideas. - Dr. Linus
- Empower teachers through
- As we look ahead into the next
century, leaders will be those who empower
others. - Bill Gates
- Revved Up Teachers
- It's wonderful to have a group of revved up
teachers who are already doing cool things with
technology. Ask yourself: How do we keep them on
track? How do we use them as models? The iCATS
project uses classroom teachers as Curriculum and
Technology Specialists. They work with classroom
teachers to develop technology-rich
projects. Share the expertise of your "revved
teachers" by sharing their web pages and step-by-step
presentations with others. Use Teacher
Tap for ideas. Use revved teachers to get other
teachers motivated to use technology. This may involve
teaching these leaders to be mentors, focusing on the
curriculum, and providing mentors with incentives.
It's also important to rest your leaders and let new
- Teacher Needs
Created by Annette