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How to help resistant teachers adopt technology

In this video clip, Alice and I discuss how we can help resistant teachers change their mind about technology.

This video was part of an hour long Google hangout.  You can watch the whole hangout here

Transcript: How To Help Resistant Teachers Adopt Technology

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Alice: When you’re working with teachers and they’re tech resistant, what are some strategies that you use to help them acclimate?

Mike: So here’s my thing, it’s all about value. So we’re coming up to the New Years and most people have to make a New Year’s Resolution. They’re going to say that this year is the year that I get up at 4 o’clock like you, and I work and I get stuff done before the kids get up, or I’m going to save money, this is the year that I’m going to save, and then two or three days later and the sales are on and they use their credit card.

It’s frozen and they have their thing of ice and they get their hair dryer out and they getting their credit card ready.  What’s happened is that they’ve changed their mind about it; they really do believe that this year’s going to be the year that it changes, the mental attitude to it, they believe it and they set themselves up.

So they’ve changed their mind, but what they haven’t changed is their values. So when we’re under pressure what happens is we always revert to our values. If you’re ever going to engage someone who’s tech resistant, what you have to do is that you have to change their value and their mindset around that.

help resitant teachers adopt technology

We can’t, go to them with a whole lot of information and try and show them different things, because what you can do is that you can win the argument but you’ll lose the war. So what I do is always find out what do they value? It could be saving time, it could be confusion around versions in Microsoft Word, any of those things and if you can solve their problem and show you the value of it, then you start to get some gains. I don’t know, what are your ideas?

How to help tech resistant teachers adopt technology - a discussion with @alicekeeler Click To Tweet

Alice: It’s tough the best thing is to show them a win, show them the thing that really saves them time or just makes them really exciting. I’ll share a story with you, a friend of mine, he actually works for Google and he goes to this school where this teacher was ready to retire and she’s like, “I can’t do this technology.  I’m about ready to pack up, anyways it’s time for me to go.”  He rolled out Google classroom, and she said, “This allows me to engage with kids, in a way I haven’t been able to before”. She not only didn’t want to retire she’s literally out doing Google classroom workshops teaching other teachers.  Sometimes it just takes figuring out what is that one thing, like Flubaroo, or collaborating on Google Slides, one thing that is really like, “Wait I can do that?!” It feels approachable, but I think it’s like you said, one thing, not twenty.

What’s the one thing that’s going to transform your class, and it’s the thing that you’re willing to invest time in. There’s no right choice, it’s what you want to spend your time working on and perfecting. So I like to promote, let’s learn Google Slides, because Google Slides yeah I can give them information, but what makes them magical?

Is that it’s collaborative and I can get information, I can use it as a tool to collect information from kids. So first thing you do is get the collaboration in Google slides activity, and after that collaborative Google slides activity, and after that collaborative Google slides activity, and just to mix it up after that collaboration Google slides activity.

You don’t need to do 20 things you need to do something that you incorporate into the culture of your classroom, and that you invest some time into trying and risking. When you feel like you’ve got that down solid, try something else.

Mike: Yeah exactly. I like to do research as well, and everyone does research so if you can share that there’s so many tools that you didn’t know is a value and then they go, “Oh what else is out there I wonder what else I can find out?” That generally opens them up to thoughts as well.


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