Earlier in this week, my cohort engaged in lively discussion with Dr. Eugene Kowch (2012) about how to engage colleagues with educational technologies.  As this is a large part of my role, training educators with new technology, I found this conversation quite beneficial and have gained some meaningful insight as how to better approach staff development in the future.  Here are the new strategies I am going to apply:

  1. Prior to the development session, I am going to brainstorm with the technology committee reasons as to why and how the new piece of technology will add value to the classroom.  For example, Elluminate would be great for Science because now teachers will be able to link guest speakers easier and more frequently with their learners.
  2. When planning a PD session, I am going to suggest providing more than one option for teachers to pick.  This way, the person has some say on a designated PD afternoon.
  3. During the session, I am going better meet the needs of my learners; that is, I am not going to assume that my colleagues already have some knowledge on how to use the technology.  Instead, I am going to ask and then tailor my presentation to better meet the needs of the group.

Because this is a new area of responsibility for me, I have always stuck to a script that I had practiced numerous times before the PD session.  I provided a detailed agenda with an explanation of the tool, but I never recognized for my colleagues the value.  While Everett Rogers (1995) identifies in his Diffusion of Innovation theory that those who are more likely to be innovative will adopt a new innovation much quicker than those who are not, I feel that if I apply the strategies above, more of my colleagues will being to engage in new technologies. Once the value is evident, I can then help provide the knowledge, skills, and pedagogy to move practice forward. 

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