Tweet-tastic! A while back, when I first thought of this post (and before school started! LOL) I asked my PLN on Twitter their thoughts, advice, & tips to encourage the reluctant tech user and I'm going to include their tips throughout this post:
Digital Petting Zoo where each table has a different tech gadget, tablet or laptop with APP, software or super cool website loaded, and a volunteer to casually introduce them & show how they could transform their classroom and practice with this new friend. Then hand it over & let them touch, play, explore, and try the tech. With familiarity comes fearlessness. I'm a visual and kinesthetic learner. I like to see what's going to happen & then do it. That's why I create the Comic Life Comic Tutorials I'm sorta known for! With lots of screenshots & easy to follow bubble directions. Read Creating a Comic Life post for more!
Lots of us are visual/hands on learners for sure! When I see something in action, I'm more likely to DO it!
Tech Tuesdays, Espresso Tech 10 (a fast-paced, coffee friendly 10 min tip session) or a Tech-Fueled Drive By: where you teach one tip in 2-3 min, show how it works, and then for the rest of the time let them try it and play with it themselves. Teachable Moments are made of Win! When a teacher really needs to know, seize the opportunity to jump in with ‘let me show you how to…’ followed immediately by ‘you will so be good at this!’ Keep it short and sweet! Teachers, staff, and admin will respond better when you show them one tip at a time instead of everything you might know about technology. Follow up either situation with a short email with links to more information, examples, a comic, and maybe a link to a Poll Daddy asking for what the next time's Tech Tip session will be! "What do you want to learn next?" Baby steppin to tech nirvana? Yeah, small steps work best!
We start small. Take lessons and up HOTS/Bloom's by integrating web 2.0 tools. They see more engagement and better outcomes...Then they want to explore more ways to integrate tech. They see they don't have to teach the tools to implement them in class.
Go to THEM! Make a house call! Bring your laptop to their room during their planning period and have a quick one on one session. How do you get them? Go LOW TECH: Put tech appointment slips in the staff bathroom and in all the mailboxes. Keep the appointment and follow up!
Six Tips to Help Teachers Move From TechnoPHOBE to TechnoFAB! -- Great minds and all that! ;-)
Kris Paterson work w them 1on1, small grps, give them actual technology, support/handhold them, with specific, achievable tasks
"Hey, this is new to me, too...let's learn together!" "WOW...Cool! Show me how you did that!?" "Show me how you would teach this to a 5th grader" (or any grade that is 3 lower than the grade you're teaching - the kiddos seem to go puff up a little with confidence teaching younger kids) If it weren't for my TV studio tech kids I never would have learned how to use iMovie (I'm still NOT great at it!) and I'm NEVER too proud to say "Gee, I don't know how to do that, can you please teach me?!" It's a good thing.
Confession Time: As they say on Revenge, "Confession is good for the soul" admitting to not being great is good for the kids and reluctant learners. And here's the truth - I used to be great at iMovie, then I taught my kids and they took over and for years they were the experts... I would help with storyboarding, direction, costuming (YAY!) and I let them edit the footage. Then, of course iMovie changed - the new versions didn't look like the old one and I lost my touch. I had to get the kids, a fellow teacher (Thanks dear @emsingleton), and one of my awesome tech coaches in my district (Thanks dear @KrissieMarie!) to get my skillz back. I'm still not there 100% but ...well, I'm baby steppin back! Be honest, ask for help, get help when you need it, and keep trying.
Patience, support & encouragement!
I'm not gonna give this a number, but do realize that no matter how much you offer, are patient, and even throw in bagels & Keurig coffee... there will be some educators who just don't WANT to learn and will never try to learn and that's OK, too! Always keep the door open but sometimes you gotta cut your losses & go after the newbies! BRIBES WORK! I give out 4G flashdrives to all of my new teachers - loaded with a folder of helpful stuffs!
More great advice from my PLN!
Offer unlimited help, let them ask many questions, offer encouragement and console them when they think they can't do it
What I've done is find something similar to an activity or tool they already use and gradually move them into the tech version
“Creating a Culture of Learning: How Librarians Keep Up with Digital Media and Technology.” Wednesday, November 14 7pm Eastern US time. This forum will be hosted by OITP Fellow Renee Hobbs Bobbi Newman, aka Librarian by Day, Caroline Haebig, Jamie Hollier, Anu Vedantham and me!
What do you do to encourage reluctant tech user?
Your comments, suggestions, resources, & ideas are ALWAYS appreciated & desired!