How to increase technology adoption at school?
You bought 20 new iPads for your teachers… You spent money which, most probably, wasn’t easy to find. Now, the teachers are finally able to bring the 21st-century EdTech into their classrooms.
However, two months in and the iPads are still locked away, waiting for the right time…
You are starting to doubt whether you did the right thing. Was investing a chunk of budget into something that’s never going to be used a good decision? Well, simply handing new tech to your teachers is not enough.
So what is the solution?
In this article, you will learn 5 must-do things to increase tech adoption at your school.
What stops us from using technology?
The use of new technologies in schools is a common struggle for school leaders. It all boils down to the lack of time. Marking, preparing resources, attending meetings leave little time for anything else. The report on Mental Health and Wellbeing of Teachers in England shows that over 25% of teachers in England work more than 60 hours a week…
…which makes a 12-hour shift…
How can the world expect them to put any more time into learning new technologies?
When you introduce new tools, the questions teachers will ask are:
- How will I find the time to learn it?
- Will it help my learners meet their learning goals?
- How will it facilitate the teaching process?
- What will happen if it breaks in the middle of a lesson and I am left with no backup?
To address these uncertainties, let’s think of what teachers really expect from technology.
What can EdTech give us?
When teachers think about EdTech, what they expect is that it will buy them more time and allow them to finally work human hours. Fair enough! In practice, what they (and you as a headteacher) want to see is some return on investment. But what exactly is it?
Once you spend valuable resources on new devices, you want to see teachers use them to boost learning outcomes. Most importantly, you want it to save time. All in all, this is the purpose of technology. It should serve you and it’s fair and reasonable to expect that. So how do you ensure the return on investment?
To help you address your teachers’ struggles, here are our top 5 tips on how to encourage your school community to embrace technology and truly bring the classrooms into the 21st century.
Nominate Tech Champion and offer a reward.
Find the most tech-savvy teacher or TA and nominate them to be a go-to person for others to get support, advice, and ideas. Teachers will feel safer and more willing to experiment if they have someone to ask for help. Don’t forget to recognise your Tech Champion for their effort!
Partner with a tech-savvy school to share best practices.
Find a school that has successfully implemented the use of EdTech and encourage knowledge sharing. Teachers will have an opportunity to share their struggles, concerns but also support each other. Organise an online coffee morning and invite them to just sit back, relax and network.
Create a stimulating working environment.
The OECD 2020: Teaching in Focus report shows that the school environment plays a crucial role in promoting the use of EdTech. More specifically, letting staff experiment and lead new initiatives increases the likelihood of successful integration of ICT into the classroom. Allowing a 10-minute brainstorming session once a week will give your teachers time to discuss what works well in their classrooms.
Start an after-school tech club.
While this might seem like a time-consuming initiative, it will pay off. Generation Z and Alpha are digital natives and they know more than we do. They’re born with the motor skills to swipe, tap, and scroll touch screens. So trust your learners and give them time to experiment with new devices or apps. This will take the pressure and workload off teachers.
Encourage teachers to use EdTech for independent learning.
Let the learners decide on the tools they want to use to complete school work. Invite them to research apps they want to use to work on school projects. This will save you time and also give your learners a sense of control over their learning.
Creating a stimulating, open and innovation-friendly environment is the keystone to the successful adoption of technology. Make sure you take advantage of your learners ‘ tech skills and appreciate tech advocates. Share knowledge and learn from schools that successfully adopted tech. Finally, give your teachers the green light to experiment!
If you want to use the latest technological advances in your school, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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For more information on the adoption of EdTech, check out The OECD 2020: Teaching in Focus report.