Going from tech-scared to tech-savvy

Over the years, I've noticed that at every school there are a handful of teachers who are afraid to try new technology in their classrooms. The reasons can vary, but the reactions from peers often don’t. Sometimes the practice is tolerated; sometimes it is met with quiet criticism. What many people don’t realize is that there are solutions at hand, even for the most recalcitrant teachers.

In the new issue of Scholastic Administrator magazine we reveal the secrets of five technology experts about how they turn teachers from tech scared to tech savvy.

Here are four bits of advice from the story.

  • Start small. Show reluctant learners one way to use a new tool, says Steven Anderson of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in North Carolina. Let them get comfortable before introducing more and you will avoid overwhelming them.
  • Differentiate learning. If it works for your students, it will work for your teachers, says principal Sean Gaillard of Winston-Salem.
  • Allow for collaboration. Often other teachers using tools successfully can spur peers to drop their resistance, says Andrew Marcinek, technology director in Massachusetts’ Groton-Dunstable Regional School District.
  • Show how technology can improve their workload. Demonstrating how to decrease the time spent correcting homework by administering tests online is a real incentive to change, says Gaillard.