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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tech NO to Tech YES!

Teaching in a state where laptops are in the hands of all 7th and 8th grade students results in a variety of technology comfort with the teachers.  Since the integration of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative many models of technology education have been used to create teachers who are comfortable with regular technology integration in their classrooms. 

The model of technology education that I have found the most beneficial with teachers follows Keller's ARCS model.  Although I did not know about the ARCS model when implementing it, upon reflection it fits.  In the early 80's John Keller developed a four step model to increase motivation.
A - attention
R - relevance
C - confidence
S - satisfaction

The successful technology education model that I have found with teachers starts with a small group of teachers who want to improve their technoloogy integration.  I then sit around with them in an informal and comfortable setting and ask them what types of technology they would like to learn more about.  This is the attention stage.

Once we have decided on a few topics that they want to learn more about I start be doing a simple introduction to the topic.  During this initial introductions I try to relate how the technology can be used in both their classroom as well as their personal life.  Through this connection to both aspects of their lives I am showing the relevance stage.  This shows the teacher that the technology can not only enhance their classroom but also their own life.  By getting the teachers comfortable with technology outside of the classroom, I have found that they are more comfortable with integrating it into their own classroom.

Once they know a few basics about the technology skill we then brainstorm was that it can be used both in their classroom and their personal life.  Once we have brainstormed a few each teacher, or small group picks a project that they want to work on.  They then have several work sessions where I help them develop their ideas into a tool that they can use either in their classroom or in their personal life.  through this process they are working on the third step, confidence.  Once they know that they can successfully work the technology in our sessions they are ready to apply it either in their classroom or personal life.

The final stage, satisfaction through further meetings.  I try to check back in with the teacher in a few days or weeks to see how the integration of their new technology skills has gone.  At this point it is expected that they are trying the technology independently.  At this point I can answer further questions if necessary.

Through this model, inadvertently designed after Keller's ARCS motivational model I have fond that teachers get more comfortable with new technology skills.  They go from Tech NO, to Tech YES teachers!

Enjoy ~SJ