After reflecting on all the great information that was shared during multiples sessions at #Edcampchicago, I gained a clearer understanding of what teachers wanted from their tech coaches. Teachers shared they were more comfortable with trying new tech in the classroom when there was a relationship and trust between the teacher and tech coach. They don’t want to be told what they needed to add, and they certainly don’t want anymore tech forced on them. After hearing these teachers, I realized it was time to put away my tights and cape, and leave the suit and glasses on. Up, Up, and Away needed to be replaced with mild mannered Clark Kent.
When I began reaching out to our teachers as a tech coach, it was with the intention of saving their students from another lecture, or to make sure their lessons were more powerful due to the use of tech. Sometimes these methods worked, but only because some teachers were willing to take a risk and were already comfortable with the use of technology.
Over the years I have developed some great working relationships with many of the teachers at Marian Catholic, but there were many more that I was failing to reach. I would try sending them articles or resources from Twitter or Google+ Communities, but there would always be very little success. We refer to these as are our late adopters.
The teachers who are more open to new ideas, and willing to take the risk of trying new technologies in their classrooms, are not only the ones with whom I have the best working relationships, but they also trust me enough to try new things in their classes because they believe in the fact that these tools can actually enhance their lessons. We refer to these people as our early adopters.
As more of our early adopters expanded on their use of new technology tools in their own classrooms, and our Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) became a comfortable learning environment, I began to see more progress for our late adopters than I had ever seen before. They were gaining insight from my short presentations (5-10 minutes), other teachers sharing their use of tech in the classroom, and most importantly – time to play with the new technology.
The best part of this entire process, is that our teachers are beginning to use more tech, and I’m not flying around the building trying to save students from lectures, or trying to make projects more powerful. I’m sitting at my desk, making appointments with teachers, or just making myself visible and approachable in the hallways. Being more like Clark Kent is not only more effective, it’s more comfortable than wearing tights and a cape to work everyday.
Learn more about Technology Integration here – Technology Integration Research Review