Reluctant to Explore Digital

Hello, I am a district resource teacher who trains and supports teachers with instructional technology. I have decades of classroom experience and understand the challenges of time, class management, and and because of that I want to offer the resources that will save teachers time and support their instructional goals.

My question is: How do you present the tech tools that could provide almost immediate relief to a specific challenge when the teacher is unable to see a way to attempt one more strategy or tool. Our teachers are exhausted and many feel defeated. I don't want to force anything on them but I do want to give them a way to feel successful and even happy with their work.

I look forward to hearing about the experiences of this group!

9 replies

February 07, 2023

Thanks for this important question! Teachers do have so much on their plates and it is a challenge for many to include new learning. Perhaps a one step at a time approach might work. If they select just one tip or idea to try that helps with their workload they might be inspired to try more. I like Apple Education’s 30 Time-Saving Tips for Teachers. It provides choices that can help with workload.

February 18, 2023

I share the 30 time-saving tips with preservice teachers as well, Cheryl! Many of them are new to iPad and finding little ways to make their workflow more efficient is a great way to get buy-in, so they're more excited to dive in and consider ways that they can transform learning, too.

February 09, 2023

Hi friends!

That is a difficult challenge to overcome. Like Cheryl said take small incremental steps at introducing something new so as to not overwhelm. One thing to try is maybe create a short tutorial video using clips and email it out so teachers can view it when they have the time and if they are interested can reach out.

February 10, 2023

Hey there!

It sounds like I do the same kind of job you do!

I usually meet with the teacher first to find out what area is their biggest stressor. Then I create a template of some kind to help relieve that specific stress. Like you said, whatever you can do to help them out, the better! Sometimes I create templates surrounding the curriculum that I can just share with them to use in the classroom. Then they don't feel the time crunch with having to create things to use with their kids.

The other thing I like to do is offer to teach a quick lesson for them. When they see the level of engagement skyrocket, it makes them eager to try it themselves. So then I just do a gradual release of responsibility with them. I do, We do, You do. And provide support that way however possible.

Hope this helps!

February 11, 2023

Right on, Andrea! If they have time to observe a lesson or co-teach, it could be a game changer. This forum is turning into a great repository of resources as well. If the teacher could find a resource that supports their activity here (or if the technology coach could find something for them), it would actually save time and inspire them to modify the activity for future lessons.

I also support the idea of producing short video tips that might live in an intranet, YouTube, Twitter, etc. so that teacher can reference them asynchronously whenever they feel the need or have the desire to do so.

Good luck!

March 02, 2023

Yes, and.... I'll add one more after reading the great suggestions. I narrow it down even more and focus my support on a single tool - usually Pages or Keynote. (specific to the teacher) As I support their curriculum with solid examples for them I build off of a single tool so they feel less overwhelmed. I can scaffold the use of that tool so that by the end of the year they feel successful. The bonus this year was that they noticed their students were teaching others.

March 07, 2023

Be empathetic and hear their concerns. Encourage them to share any inherent biases they may have towards tech. Remind them that they are working with students who are digital natives (they know nothing of life before technology), and that we as teachers are digital nomads, on our journey of discovery to support digital natives. I always remind my more reluctant teachers that they do not need to adopt the practices and approaches I am sharing with them in their personal life, but they need to be at a comfort level to support the students. If they are more knowledgable they will feel a release in anxiety and have more confidence to support the students. I've always enjoyed showing teachers the benefit of a shared notes file on iPad. It is a safe and private space for just us to share ideas, ask questions, or for me to provide step by step instructions that they can refer back to. I also agree with going slow and giving quick wins that they can implement when they leave you and feel successful without hand holding. Quick wins are going to encourage more participation and enthusiasm.

March 08, 2023

Hi there -

I have been doing Learning Lunch Flash session with quick 5 minute tips with the iPad that could be helpful for teacher learning and/or student impact. Teachers can stay and chat beyond the 5 minutes if needed or set up a follow up coaching conversation. It had been a great entry point. You could do something similar outside of lunch (before/after school) depending on how the schedule works in your building.

March 12, 2023

I think that you start with the tools that they can see an immediate relief to specific challenges. I would start as simple as possible. For example, some teachers in my district were struggling with managing iPads with younger students. I delivered a quick, optional morning training on using Mosyle Manager and Apple Classroom and showed them ways to manage the iPads and make it easier to open resources, websites, etc. for their learners helping to save them valuable class time. Some teachers needed a demonstration in their rooms, so I was able to go into their classrooms to model how to use them. Once they were able to see the value of learning just a few little tools, I think then they realized the value of the resources that I was showing them and hopefully, this will enable them to be more optimistic about learning even more tools form me in the future. By no means I am an expert at coaching, but some teachers need their hands-held and modeled in their rooms.

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