Supporting Tech Reluctant Teachers

Last week a  Mr Deith a primary teacher I follow posted about his thoughts on 1:1 iPads

I responded with one of my key thoughts about educational technology.

Dr Catherine Hart an educational researcher and teacher shared her view that Bring Your Own Device systems are preferable to a school supplied 1:1 system. This lead to a conversation about some of the challenges of 1:1 and BYOD systems.

I got to thinking about the support for using technology, especially from teachers who are themselves reluctant users of technology. How can we help teachers prepare to give the support our students need? Especially if there are a dozen different systems and devices that a class are using. (Android and iOS tablets, Mac and Windows laptops, some with MS office others without)

I have had some ideas, while I am not an expert and have not used all of these ideas with tech reluctant teachers I think they are things I will try with teachers who I am supporting and mentoring in future.

1. It is just a tool – Remind them computer technology (tablet, mobile, laptop or desktop) are just tools for assisting learning, like a pen and paper or a book.

2. Demonstrate – Showing a teacher what is possible with technology and how it is done can be a good way to help them think about doing it themselves. This might be making a short video, recording a podcast or even just producing a powerpoint that is an effective reflection of learning.

3. Admit you don’t know everything – I have had some teachers who have thought there was just too much to learn. When I admitted that I was still learning new things about technology and showed them some of the ways I learnt new things it made them more relaxed about not knowing all the answers. This works with some students too.

4. Pair them with tech strong students – Some students are highly capable with technology, having the tech reluctant teachers work with them can help the teacher become a life long learner and the student become a teacher.

5. Give them time – this is often a challenge for schools but giving teachers time to play with a tool or method of creation will enable them to become more confident in their ability to learn other tools.

These are five that came to mind for me. Are there any techniques that you think will help?

David Folland

1 Comment

Filed under School, Technology

One response to “Supporting Tech Reluctant Teachers

  1. Sue

    Well, I’m impressed. I have often struggled with some new technologies and my determination to retain humanity (for want of a better word). I like Don’s iPad, I quite like my laptop, and I enjoy my desktop computer. They all help me do things that are fun and I learn from them, but I also love being able to do things by hand, and I will always prefer a handwritten missive to a computer generated one. My hope is that whilst we embrace and celebrate all that new technologies can do for us, that we also marvel at how the old ones can still enrich our lives. Another problem for me is figuring out the
    keepers’. I’m skipping some levels of technology, because I can’t possibly hope to keep up and I am still getting a lot of fun out of the old ones. I may catch up again in a year or two – I just hope that the stuff I choose isn’t superseded too quickly!

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