Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Technologies EDUC8845 Module 5

I have recently been showing elementary teachers at my school how to use VoiceThread to engage learners in classroom content. The elementary principal wrote a contract with the county board of education to pay me for this work in classrooms (using Title funds).  Teachers have no choice, but must allow me to demonstrate lessons using the technology, attend instructional hour long workshops where I show them how to use the technology, and then observe them teaching their own lessons using this technology.
The resistance to all of this from teachers surprises even me. All the students have previously made VoiceThreads with me and all have weekly computer classes with me. I knew going in to this the kids would not be the hurdle. I did not expect the teachers to be so outspoken and to harbor such unconcealed resistance to something that will help them teach. Afterall, everyone of them is an active FaceBook user, why is this so different? I paid for an elementary VoiceThread, bought microphones, offered to hook everything up for them, and adjusted the workshop speed which I had planned from a conference presentation orientation (where the audience is more technologically literate).
Comparing what I am doing to Keller’s ARCS model, I attempt to grab attention when I demonstrate a lesson in the teacher’s classroom while relating technology use to classroom content. I attempt to build confidence during workshops by having teachers actually plan a lesson to use the technology while right there in the workshop (so they make their own take-aways), and try to produce satisfaction with the artifacts the classes made by advertising them to all teachers, administration, and parents on our school wiki.
Someone please tell me what am I missing?

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Kimberly Arlia said...


I think you are doing the right thing in having the teachers actively create something they can take away. Perhaps the resistance is that they were not asked first as you stated: "Teachers have no choice..." - these teachers may feel that you are overstepping your bounds. Although I am right there with you in that these teachers should be glad to have the extra help and the technology - but sometimes you have to use a lot of honey to attract those bees! I get similar reactions from the librarians when they think I am stepping on their toes. So - to get what I want I ask for their assistance first - play up my desire to help them - and I listen to their unspoken fears. You can hear it in their tone of voice and see it in their facial expressions. Find just one teacher who will work with you and you will be able to sway the group one by one!

featheredflowers said...

Maybe confidence builds while you share but diminishes upon returning to the isolation of their classroom. Perhaps, co-teaching in their environment, within the walls of where they spend their day, in front of the students would be worth a try. This might possibly seem more encouraging than dictating. Everyone likes to feel valued, heard, and important. Kids too.
Good luck!

Mike said...

Hi Lisa...

It sounds like you are playing to a tough crowd. I agree with what Kim and Laurie both mentioned as possible reasons for what might be happening.

What is the climate/culture like in your district as a whole when it comes to technology? Would you say that you are in the majority or in the minority when it comes to educational technology?

I think that you also made a really interesting point about the fact that it is often not the students that are slowing down the process when it comes to technology. They are usually ready to go when it comes to a new application; it is usually the teachers that bring the process to a hault.

Mike :)

Richard said...


I too find it amazing about how professionals resist change. Even with the best intentions and the best planning we will be met with adversity. The only good thing about this is we know this. And if we prepare for this, we can minimize the frustration we are met with.

sraymond said...

Lisa, Some people just don't want to embrace new technology. I've run in to the same problems with coaching teachers to integrate Interactive whiteboards. It seems the older their student population and the longer the teachers have been teaching, the more resistent they are. And I've been going to their classrooms!
The best results I've gotten in getting teachers to adopt the new technology that are resistance is to get the peer that they relate to to get them to try it.