Schools around the world are going through a growth spurt of sorts, which is both painful and unavoidable. I’m talking, of training course, about technology integration. Maybe your class is using a COW (Computer on Wheels) cart once a week or maybe every college student in your school is suddenly holding an iPad and administrators are throwing around the dreaded expression “going paperless.” Whatever the amount of technology integration, we all seem to be in some state of transition toward new technology at any given time. The painful truth, though, is normally that no matter how many professional development periods we receive or just how many tools we are given, many adults struggle to adapt to fresh technology. We approach the new school season fully aware that our learners will hack the mass media and turn it to their very own deviant uses before we as teachers also learn to turn the device on. The answer to this problem is simple. It’s time to take a page from our students’ playbook. We need to jump quickly over the hurdles of trepidation, fear, and distrust, in order to come out ahead in the technology race.
Beat the Fear of New Technology
Not unlike the 5 Stages of Loss and Grief, all people (not just adults) go through a series of predictable reactions when confronted with new technology. Understanding that these phases are the same for everyone and that it’s not merely you against the world, you can start to move through the stages more quickly. You can figure out how to follow the lead of your college students and turn dread into enthusiasm and ultimately, acceptance.
Stage 1- Denial
As teachers, we work hard to hone our craft. Year to calendar year we make small changes to the curriculum, our lesson plans, and our classroom management systems to be able to maximize our efficacy. Therefore, it can feel like a real shock when administrators declare an abrupt and sweeping modification, such as a paperless classes, and 1:1 technology integration (where each pupil works on a device, whether it is a computer, tablet, or even their phone). Many teachers will experience an automatic response to the news. The general reaction is “This is never going to work!”
It turns out this is a normal reaction toward fresh technology. Even children, who appear flexible and enthusiastic about every new wave of technological development, go through an initial uncertainty. The key to effective technology adoption is to accept that you will feel frustrated and scared. It is normal. Basically acknowledging your fear can help you undertake this phase quicker. The last thing you want is usually to let the fear take over and for paralysis to set in. It’s Alright to say “I’m freaked out and I don’t like this.” But don’t stop there. Move past the fear and try the technology.
Stage 2- Bargaining
“They can put this in my classroom, but they can’t produce me use it!” Maybe you’ll tell yourself that you’ll learn the bare minimum. You’ll use the technology during a principal’s observation of your class, or you’ll utilize it in the initial week of school and then put it apart and go back to your regular, verified, routines. Bargaining isn’t in fact a bad thing in this situation. It can easy the pathway toward actually using the brand new device. Even technology aficionados will say “I’ll try using this but if it doesn’t work for me, I’m not likely to pursue it.” As a teacher, tell yourself that you will give the technology a try. If you don’t like it, you can use it as minimally as possible, but you will at least end up being giving yourself permission to try it out without a large feeling of risk.
Stage 3- Experimentation
This is the key stage to successful technology adoption. It’s the figurative turning point for your mindset as a technology user. Once you allow yourself authorization to experiment with the technology and actually begin clicking through it (whether it’s a new device such as an iPad or a new internet site like Edmodo.com) it is through experimentation that we really overcome our fears.
While experimenting with the new technology you might hit a roadblock. Your frustration may spike, your dread may flare up again, but don’t let that quit you. Trust that you’ll not damage these devices just by hitting around on it. You can always reboot, restart, or reload. Choose a help button, consumer guide, or actually YouTube tutorial movies which will help you conquer these roadblocks. As you experiment, keep an open mind and look for anything interesting or beneficial to you.
Stage 4- Excitement
More often than not, experimentation with a fresh tool will business lead teachers to become excited about the application because of their classroom. Teachers are by their very nature creative and innovative people. We always appearance at materials with an eyes for differentiation and adaptation for our learners. It is likely that you will start to think of ways this brand-new tool will fit into your lessons while you are tinkering with it. Conversations with various other teachers are key to ironing out the details and paving the way toward actual program in your course. Analysis the technology online and examine teacher blogs and testimonials to get to know the product even better and see how others are applying it effectively in their classes.
Stage 5- Acceptance
The faster you can move yourself through the previous stages, the sooner you will feel confident using the brand new technology. Acceptance means you are ready to compose this technology into your lesson programs, increase its usefulness, and truly get the most out of this initiative for the benefit of your students.
Everyone movements through the stages of technology adoption at their own rate. However paying attention that you’ll feel a short push-back, you can move past your fears toward a productive degree of exploration and acceptance more quickly. As teachers, we don’t always have control over new educational reforms or plan initiatives in our school, but the one thing we can control is how we react to these changes. By moving past the fear we are able to spend our energy in more productive ways. Good luck with whatever your college has planned for the coming year. You can handle it. Also if you’re “going paperless”!
Everyone goes through 5 phases when faced with new technology.
By speeding through the first few levels and allowing yourself to be discouraged and fearful, users can easily become accepting of fresh technology.