Technology Infusion - How I See It

Chris Franze, who also goes by @franze98 on Twitter, has graciously agreed to write the third post in our Diffusion of Innovations series. The first post was written by a teacher and the second by a principal; it is only fitting that the third comes from a technology director. Chris is one of the pioneers of the #EduIt discussion on Twitter and I often look to him for help and advice, particularly in trying to blend the IT expertise with the educational.

In promoting change in my district I have two competing thoughts. One is that teachers want to grow with their students, the other obviously being that teachers just want their students to grow.
With my job as the technology coordinator for the district and the only person who’s sole job is to work with and on the technology, I have taken heart to helping my teachers make use of new technology in the classroom. For some this can be as simple as sharing a link to a new and exciting website. For others it may involve directly showing them something new and probably helping them work with that item a couple of times. Does that take me away from other parts of my job? Yes, but I feel it is worth my time and effort. Usually, I’m going to relate that type of teacher as those that want to grow with their students. You know the type, the ones that get still get that twinkle in their eye when they come across something new that gets them excited about presenting to their students. For this type of teacher its usually as simple as sharing that web 2.0 link via e-mail and they will do their best to take it from there.
On the other side of the mountain I see the type that know they do a good job educating their students and feel very comfortable in their methodology. These are the type that I’m just happy that they check their e-mail let alone click on one of those web 2.0 links that I send out. Sending them an e-mail to get them to try something new out usually isn’t enough push. For those an extra nudge is needed. Sometimes that nudge could be face to face or it could be demonstrating to a group of staff how something works. I believe power is always in numbers and those numbers can grow exponentially very easily.
In the end though we all know that everyone learns in different ways and not everyone is open to change. My superintendent said it best and to paraphrase him, students handle change better than adults. I often hear through twitter how the people that really need to come to the table to see how technology can assist them are more often than not “away from the computer”. Is there a magic answer for that? No, but we must not give up in our efforts promote technology even to those who we least expect to use it.

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