Picture this: You’ve built a great PLN (Professional Learning Network) using social media. You have lots of ideas about how you can use technology in your classroom. You’ve tried some new activities and want to share them with other teachers in your school… but they aren’t interested. What can you do to create a school culture that embraces technology?
This may seem obvious, but using technology is the single most important way to foster a culture of technology in your school. Lead by example! When other teachers see you successfully using the interactive whiteboard, the iPad, or online tools, they start to understand both the power and the pedagogical benefits of the technology. Then when they have questions or issues, they know there is someone who has gone through this before.
Talk to Each Other
This is related to the “Use Technology” bit. If you’re a big tech user, talk to your fellow teachers about what you use in the classroom and why. And not just about successes—be vocal about your failures and how you plan to work around those issues. Talk to teachers who don’t use technology in their classrooms. Why don’t they use the technology that’s available to them? Is it a solvable issue that could be fixed with more training or more support? Or is it an endemic issue, such as not enough bandwidth or devices to go around? Then take these conversations to the administration. They are the ones who invested in the technology for the school. They want you to use it!
Set Dedicated Technology PD Time
I’m not talking about a brief mention of a technology tool in a PD session about other school or teaching issues. I’m talking about a dedicated edtech day over the summer or afternoon on an institute day that is 100% devoted to integrating technology in class. This session needs to be specific to your school’s technology and how that technology can be an integral part of your curriculum goals. A broad overview without usable applications doesn’t help anyone. Then follow up! Create technology PLCs—professional learning communities. A PLC can provide teachers with an ongoing support group, a go-to group for technology questions, and a higher level of accountability.