Here are two models that will help you to see where you are as a tech educator.
Stages of Adoption ( ACOT)
(Sandholtz, Ringstaff and Dwyer, 1997)
- Entry – traditional technology being used and introduction of computers makes teacher uncomfortable
- Adoption – less time being frustrated and beginning to attempt to incorporate technology into direct instruction practices
- Adaptation – technology is being used as any other teaching and learning tool
- Appropriation – understand technology and using it naturally and purposefully
- Invention – how did I ever do it the ‘old way’?
I think I am currently between adaptation and appropriation. I lead a computer class for PK-2nd grade students. We only use technology (mostly iMac computers) in the class and I strictly use digital media to present and teach 21st century concepts and skills. However, I don’t think I use technology in a natural and purposeful way yet. I am surrounded by technology and its use, but I belief this characteristic only truly appears with much more experience. I do know that I am improving in the way I use technology to enhance learning everyday.
I think I have just arrived in this level of the spectrum. I first experienced edtech in my teaching credential program. It was an edtech cohort that had implemented a 1:1 computing program. Lessons and assignments involved technology, such as media presentations or Web 2.0 tools. I don’t feel intimidated by technology and use it like any other tool. I have become more effective in using technology at appropriate times, but I believe I haven’t entered the appropriation stage quite yet.
I would love to be in the invention stage. I want to incorporate technology in EVERY aspect of teaching and learning. However, I am not saying that I want to use technology for the sake of using technology, but incorporate technology that is effective, facilitates learning, and produces the best student results. I believe most of my colleagues are in between the entry and adoption stages. I sense fear from some of the veteran teachers who are not familiar with the current tech-integration. I sense frustration from teachers who are being forced to implement technology into their instruction and curriculum.
Ideally, it would be great for all teachers at my school to be in the invention stage. I believe, however, that most will reach the adaptation stage in a few years, and if they continue to teach, they will be the appropriation stage within five to ten years.
KIS wants to be one of the leading international schools in technology. However, I don’t believe we have enough PD involving education technology where teachers feel comfortable using technology in their instruction and classroom. I hope that KIS’s goal of becoming a leading school in education technology becomes true within the next few years. The school has invested large amounts of money in hiring an IT department, and an edtech-integrationist for each school level. We are starting a program soon to have daily PD meetings on edtech so that all teachers can attend. I can see a bright future for this school in terms of being a leader and innovator in technology integration.
Rogers’ Adopter Categories
Diffusion of Innovations ( 2003)
- Innovators (venturesome) – first to try it, ‘the geeks’ who many have trouble relating to even if they respect their innovativeness
- Early Adopters (respect)– respected by others for the willingness to try new things. Not the first to dive in, but not far behind. Others look to this group with ‘if they can do it, then I’ll try it’ mentality.
- Early Majority (deliberate) – adopt the innovation just before the majority. Not considered leaders in innovation adoption
- Late Majority (skeptical) – adopt the innovation just after the majority, usually out of necessity or requirement.
- Laggards (traditional) – see limited relative advantage, compatatiblity, complexity, trialability, and observability of the innovation
I believe I am an Early Adopter because I am always looking for something new and better that would help me in my teaching. I continually try to find new tools that will motivate students, raise comprehension and retention levels, and keep the attention of students. However, it seems that I am never the first to find these new technological tools. For this reason, I don’t think I am in the Innovators category.
Before entering the edtech teaching credential cohort, I was definitely a laggard. I did not want to have anything to do with technology. I despised computers as a child because it took away from my playing time outside. In my college years, when I decided to pursue teaching, I thought that I would have a little technology integrated into my classroom. The main reason was that technology to me seemed foreign and a daunting. However, being forced to use a laptop and other different types of technology in the credential cohort, I became aware that technology was not here to make my life more complicated, but it exists because it makes things convenient.
People don’t like change. They like having routines and being familiar with procedures. I know that I would only change an aspect of my life if I have a realization that the change is beneficial. This leads to the motivation factor. Realization that change is beneficial can be the biggest motivation to take action. For Laggards, I think forcing them to implement something they feel uncomfortable with is the worst thing that can be done. For these people, they need to be given quality information and have them decide on their own.
Late Majority types are much more easier to convince I think because if you explain to them logically and thoroughly the benefits of change, they would probably make it. The persuasion has to be convincing.