Going back to Simon Sinek's WHY theory , I believe that the FIRST step in motivating teachers to enhance and upgrade their knowledge in technology is by leading them to discover the WHY or PURPOSE of using new tools . The matrix above is, for me, the simplest and most practical way of teaching teachers how to understand and decide what tech tools will be helpful for them. I really like the reflection questions stated in the matrix :
- Does this tool benefit the learning of my students?
In a faculty of 50, there are a number of teachers integrating tech in creative ways - along with the 80% who are watchful supporters. One major concern teachers always have is the issue of pushing a new tool and not making any difference in anyone's learning outcome. It is important to ponder on this question before deciding to implement any tool in full swing.
- Does this tool benefit the function of my classroom ?
Planning tech integration requires that the new tool used will be able to save valuable class time . Sometimes we tend to use some tools just because it's new or popular - or maybe it worked so well in other classrooms. It is really necessary to think about one's own classroom needs as part of the reflection process.
- Does this tool streamline my responsibilities ?
Teachers need to understand that tech tools are supplements to teaching. They are supposed to help organize learning and make one's work efficient - not add stress to one's day.
- Are the benefits worth the time invested?
I have seen a lot of great tech tools that teachers setup for large amounts of time - yet, students don't get to use them a lot . I've also seen great websites created but rarely updated. It is important that each tool that will be used is followed through all throughout the school year. Or else, why even bother?
As our teachers get used to this kind of reflective decision making process , we will then be able to modify, redefine, transform the use of technology in the classroom. When this is achieved, the next step would be to embrace a far more advanced framework like the Arizona Technology Integration Matrix ! I'm looking forward to be a part of that wonderful change!