Implementing Change an Educator’s Story
When the high school I worked at started their 1:1 laptop program, I moved from my spacious classroom to a desk next to the server in the Tech Support Center. In my new role as Curriculum Development Specialist in Education Technology, I learned firsthand the tense relationship that can exist between teachers, administration, and IT. Like most schools at the time, we were building the plane as we were flying it. The school had great teachers, a devoted administration, and a small, yet capable IT department, but collectively each party was suspicious of the other. The administration wondered why the teachers didn’t immediately embrace technology, the teachers didn’t trust the dependability of the devices and the Wi-Fi, and the IT team was frustrated by the amount of redundant service requests they would get from the administration and teachers that would interrupt their day and slow down planned projects.
Instead of inspiring teachers to fully integrate technology into their curriculum, I would find myself working as a mediator, compassionately listening to each faction as they vented their frustrations while explaining the processes and concerns of the other group.
The scenario I described happens often with schools that adopt large initiatives without a clear roadmap detailing how the school will accomplish their vision and goals. Introducing the 21st century to a traditional learning environment is disruptive. By choosing how to implement that change, the school can either experience beauty in the process or frustrated resistance. Schools are filled with talented and dedicated people that want the best for their students but get frustrated with the process when they don’t understand the vision or fail to see the advantage of changing, or lack the skills and resources to change.
Success occurs when the school has a clear stated vision, has provided the appropriate incentives and resources to enable its staff to acquire the necessary skills required for the change. Schools that are about to adopt a large technology initiative may benefit from an Education Technology Assessment to help fill the missing steps. All Covered Education’s Education Technology Assessment evaluates the school’s IT infrastructure, IT operations and support, IT budget, and most importantly key stakeholders’ experience, skills, and opinions regarding technology in the classroom. At the end of the evaluation, the school receives a custom summary report of the data collected along with detailed suggested roadmap for the school to achieve its goals.
The Education Technology Assessment is a powerful tool for a school’s successful transition to 21st century learning.
This article was submitted by Judy Nguyen, Teaching & Learning Consultant for All Covered
Editor’s Note: If your school district is contemplating a technology initiative I would recommend contacting: Chera Pupi, Education IT Services Consultant for ALL COVERED in Bridgeville, PA Phone number: 724-494-0411