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    Greg Hart is the author of Magnettech Highlights. DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are my own and not necessarily those of my employer(s). See my Disclosure Policy for more info.
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Tech Shy Teachers

Posted by magnethart on May 18, 2010

Originally posted by me on March 1, 2010 on my magnettech website.  It may be viewed here.

Through my parousing of my recent Google Reader feeds, I came across this post from Tech & Learning about training teachers who are “Tech Shy”.

The link to the real article can be found here but I’ve copied what main part below.

“Teaching Tech-Shy Teachers”, March 1, 2010, Tech & Learning

The conversations at the recent EduCon 2.2 conference at Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy were dynamic and ongoing, thanks to the tech savvy of the attendees and participants. One of the most interesting conversations involved the challenge of motivating teachers unenthusiastic about technology to use it.

Reading (PA) Public Schools’ Danja Mahoney, Michael Springer, and Beth Knittle asked the question, “Why is professional development such a challenge?” Here are highlights of the answers:

  • Training sessions are held at the worst time of the day.
  • Top-down decision making results in programs that aren’t helpful to teachers.
  • Training is usually a onetime thing.
  • There’s no real modeling from the administration.
  • PD opportunities are not of interest to teachers.
  • There is a lack of good leadership. The presenters then asked the participants what they would change to improve this experience and motivate those reluctant teachers. Here are highlights of their answers:
  • Give teachers hands-on workshops and make sure they have a product they can take home (e.g., demo wiki).
  • Make the training experience sustainable. Create some way to follow up with these teachers after the training event. Encourage the participants to continue the conversation after the PD event.
  • Encourage school leaders to join this conversation.
  • Do a survey before the PD event to make sure you are presenting what the teachers want.
  • Get the buy-in from the teachers.

These comments strike home for me since technology training is mostly what I do and I ofter come across teachers who would qualify as “tech-shy”.  I particulary like to comment about surveying teachers to make sure the PD is really what they are looking for.  This is something that I try and do using Google Docs forms when possible.  I also like the idea of giving them something to take away like a lesson they created during the training or a wiki/collaborative website (better after Firstclass 10 is available for teachers in the district).

All in all, good things to consider here for my next training.

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