Friday, April 19, 2013

I have failed or "seen the light!" I can't do it...

FOR you. It has taken me nearly 20 years, but I NOW GET it!

In my current role as an educational technology facilitator, I spend a lot of time developing trainings for teachers that will help them integrate technology into their instructional program. After "discovering" the technology tool(s) and seeing ways that can be used to engage learners, I develop the content, organize it and then create a training, nicely packaged. Teachers come. They learn. I try to make it easy for them! I am there to guide and support them, keeping them from frustrations (at least some of them).
We have fun! Despite my best efforts (and the efforts of the teachers) the training so many times isn't implemented. There are a myriad of reasons, but I think the biggest is that I was trying to do too much FOR them.

The piece that really takes the time is the shift in pedagogy that comes with using technology in new ways. Very few come prepared for that. First, we are asking teachers to create more student-centered classrooms. Technology (the piece we have advertised) comes after that. There is really no way that a teacher can come and shift their practice to facilitator, learn the tool, see the implications for integration with the content, and understand how to introduce it in the classroom in a few hours. In fact, this blog post The Ugly Truth of Technology Integration by Mark Fijor says it well.

Constructing and communicating knowledge is personal, is messy, and takes time, whether it be teachers or students. If we can help teachers see the opportunities and then commit to spending time developing their understanding and skills, we will all be more successful, students included. I hope that I am prepared to make the shift to facilitator as well!


  1. Karen, Thank you for always being willing to help us, lead us, facilitate us, nudge us, and throw us a life preserver when needed.

  2. I completely concur! If the educators and participants have time to play around with the different tools in many different facets, then it will be easier to see the seemless integration into the classroom. When you showed me Google Hangouts last week, I bet you had no idea that I would be going back and playing more with Google Plus, did ya? Nope 'cause it is just by the exposure and seeing the possibilities that matter. It has to be relevant. I showed teachers this week how to become a collaborator on my blog. I never really took them through a complete tour and then showed them how they can post, until this week. I sent out invites today and I already someone has posted their writing! Ya just never know! Thanks Karen for all your invites. We need to work together way more often. If I am becoming a total computer Geek it is all your stinking fault! It's all on you! I love it!