How to Create Buy-In for New Tech Part Deux
How to Create Buy-in Post Tech Purchase
Note- If you haven’t read part one of Creating Buy In for New Tech, you can do that here
Well, you did it! You purchased the latest and greatest tech tool and the excitement is surging through the internal circuitry of your brain. It’s like Christmas, Hanukkah, Yaldā Night and Festivus all rolled into one…but at school. (Shhh…but don’t tell anyone how you’re feeling or you might get in trouble with the PC police.) But now what?
Hopefully you read my last blog post on how to create tech buy-in before you purchased, but if you didn’t, don’t do anything until you read the rest of this post. You only get one shot at rolling this out and you want to create the buy-in and sustainability right from the beginning to get the greatest return on your, or rather, the taxpayers investment.
In 2000, Dr. Richard Villa (Editor) and Dr. Jacqueline Thousand wanted to understand what creates sustainable change within school systems, particularly as it related to inclusive education, or education of students with special needs. Through their educational research, they identified five common factors in school systems who created sustainable change and how teachers may feel when one of the factors is missing. Listed below are the five factors with my own advice for how it relates to rolling out new edtech.
In “The Wisdom of the Sands”, French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 – 1944) stated, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Why? The vision becomes the motivation to do all the hard work that will be required. Ask yourself, “What is the vision I want my teachers to have of technology to serve as the motivator to use the tech tool? If you don’t have a defined and written vision for instructional technology, you won’t be able to communicate it and your teachers won’t be motivated by it.
“I don’t even have any good skills” laments Napoleon Dynamite in the retro classic movie of the same name. He continues, “You know like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills. Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills!” Did you know that students only want teachers who have great tech skills? Kyte Learning has over 300 online tutorial and implementation based tech courses to help teachers expand their tech skills to drive student engagement and achievement.
Like it or not, if you want to get your teachers using Kyte Learning or any tech platform or resource, you must incentivise the learning process. Incentives could include public recognition, certificates, bonuses, “friendly” competitions, collaboration time to share tech tips, a premier parking space, trade days, etc. Sometimes the incentive is simply to give teachers the time to work on Kyte during their contractual hours and build it into the school calendar on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Laptops, headphones, smart boards, iPads, Document Cameras, 3D Printers, Apple TV, iPhone/iPad Projector, High Speed Label Printer, Electrostatic Generator, Microscope Camera. If you want teachers and students to use more tech, you need to give them more tech. It’s that simple. Just remember, teachers and students still need the skills to know how to use any tech resource that gets thrown their way.
Administrators, please don’t blame the vendor if teachers never log in and use a product you purchased for them. The vendor’s job is to provide the product. Your job is to create the action plan for why, how, where and when you want your teachers to use it. Your action plan should include the four factors already mentioned above, but should also include solid S.M.A.R.T. goals, an engaging and ongoing marketing and messaging effort, a firm kick-off date and monthly or quarterly monitoring of usage data. Finally, implementation takes time. Three to five years to be specific. Start small in the first year because you will hit bumps in the road. Grow it and adjust it during the second year. Expect to see full results and a return on your investment in years three through five.