But, as I cruised down the Bruce Highway, the sense of déjà vu overwhelmed me. Hadn't I heard this all way back - when tablets were only imagined, and emails demanded immediate attention. I knew this dilemma personally; it was one I had struggled with in a previous life. Running round my head was: "computers have been in classrooms since 1985ish, huge numbers of teachers have used computers since they were teenagers, and even more use technology daily. How can this still be THE problem?"
A quick web search revealed that the ABC expert was not alone. There were many web-experts (websperts!!), supported by management bodies, urging action to accelerate the push of technology into classrooms, and to drive increased use of hardware and software. ECAWA, an educational computing organization, that has been "a thriving Professional Assocication since the 1970s, is full of people who, through its support, have opened new doors and challenges" to teachers in their use of technology. A review of their archives will reveal that the same worries, the same questions, and the same solutions have been raised almost continually for over 25 years.
When considering enrolling in a Master of Education in Educational Computing, with change management as the focus, I had a light bulb moment. I recognized that staying on the technology implementation wheel would mimic the life of a mouse in a cage - lots of great action and movement, but not much else. The only way to achieve my desired results was to escape from the cage. So, I went looking for practical methods to solve classroom based integration problems. Putting systems analysis methods into action, observations of teachers and their motivations resulted in simple principles that guided my plan: teacher's are practical and clever people; teachers hate wasting time, and teachers hate, even more fiercely, being forced to waste time by 'those that must be obeyed'! These realisations morphed into the following beliefs about technology integration.
Regardless of the age of the students, the subject matter, and the technology being integrated, teachers must be convinced that:
1. the technology can do 'it' (whatever that is) better than they are already do, and
2. improved results will be achieved in less time than they have already scheduled, and
3. steep learning curves are short lived, and the professional benefits are long term.
If you can get that message across clearly and succinctly, the teachers will do the rest.
If teachers are not 'running with' technology you just haven't explained the benefits clearly enough!