Building Capacity in Tech-Averse Teachers
The integration of technology in today’s classrooms has become an essential tool for engaging students, maximizing instructional efficiency and providing equity of access to information. And yet, many teachers resist this change: “I’m not good at technology,” “Why should I change what’s always worked?” or “I don’t have time to implement another new initiative,” are common objections. And understandably so – without appealing to teachers’ intrinsic motivations, a device is just a device.
So how do we build capacity in tech-averse teachers? To answer that question, we must first consider what drives their work: their “Why.” When we understand a teacher’s passion and motivation, then we can begin identifying opportunities to connect the right technology with that teacher’s self-defined purpose. This allows them to see the technology as relevant to their work – as a tool to accelerate student learning that aligns with the teacher’s vision.
Of course, connecting with a teacher’s personal motivation alone is not sufficient to build capacity if the teacher does not believe they have the time or ability to master the new technology. Professional development and ongoing coaching opportunities are essential to a successful technology integration. This learning can also be blended with classroom instruction, as students and teachers work together to guide each other toward proficiency.
The ultimate goal in integrating technology in the classroom is to empower teachers to innovate and provide an equitable and engaging learning environment for their students. For the tech-resistant teacher, this requires a combination of support and autonomy to learn at their own pace and select the right technology tools that best benefit their classroom. Through purposeful and methodical capacity building, schools can ensure their technology integrations will be effective and sustainable.
Educational Technology Coordinator