I had a great discussion today that reminded me why I feel it is so important to do what I do with Developing Education, New Teacher Chat #ntchat and other supports I am involved in online. My conversation was focused on the best way to deliver support to teachers with the various technologies we have been providing teachers. While there is an inclination to digitize support and send the teachers to a website, video tutorial, or even Google, this misses the mark with teachers who are already overloaded and don’t have the ‘extra time’ to go out to these sources to learn about technology.
Think about it for a moment, if teachers were apt to go online and had plenty of time to spend on their own personal development on their own time, I think the uptake with technology in many cases would be exponentially further than it is. The truth is, great teachers worry about the art of teaching and the preparation for it in their own time. Their dedication is part of what makes them great to start with. We burn these teachers out by pushing them to do more in an environment they don’t understand, even when we provide support by way of training videos or websites. They simply don’t have a passion for technology learning, or they would be doing it themselves.
Instead of offloading training and support for technology to be done ‘at your leisure’ (how many of us have leisure, or use leisure time for that?) look to someone on your staff who does have the passion for using technology in learning. Give that person some extra prep time, collaborative time, or better yet, make that person a full-time educational technologist. If you are able to provide your staff with someone who effectively uses a passion for educational technology in the classroom, and has or is developing a knowledge of the curriculum links associated, I bet you will find that the money spent on that position will go far further than the man hours putting together presentations on technology or training guides. Every teacher I’ve known who has taken up a technology I have offered has seen the value of that technology to their own classroom and situation before they started. It is hard to instil that value without a passionate, articulate teacher who is willing to walk with them into the classroom and help them make it happen. Think about your team, your staff, do you have someone you think could fill that role? You may be further along the path to great technology instruction than you thought!
I have had the fortune of being in this role in two schools, and let me tell you as someone who is passionate about this, it is FUN to watch teachers flip the switch. It’s why I get so fired up about technology in the classroom! If you want to ask me more about this, or have me work with someone you want to test in this role, see my contact link above and connect. I would love to support you!