Somehow, the classroom of the future suddenly became the classroom of today. You know that action is needed in the near future so that your campus’ technological facilities, considered modern until quite recently, are quickly becoming almost archaic to your students. You know this. You know what needs to happen and are willing do the research to find out about the how.
You also know that not everyone shares your viewpoint. There will be opposition from some teachers, parents and board members. Buy-in is essential for success, not only of bringing ubiquitous access to campus but to facilitate the access’ impact on the overall quality and cultural relativity of the learning on your campus. Here are some tips on garnering buy-in so the real work of updating and redefining learning processes can begin:
Do your homework:
As you know, the bottom line for many is positive results and there are quite a few solid sources that can help you build your rational. Familiarize yourself with the quantitive study the state Maine conducted, concluding that ubiquitous access “creates better writers”. The annual Horizon Report is a vital read as well, covering key trends, critical challenges and technologies to watch, among other topics in this comprehensive yearly overview.
An increasing number of accessible books and journal articles have been published in recent years and although they may not be written in defense of technology integration into classroom practice, their research leads one to conclude that it is best for learning. John Medina’s Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School is among my favorites.
Involve the entire community:
Parents, teachers, administrators, students and board members are all integral components of a successful program. Although the board, depending on your school’s structure, needs to wave the proverbial green flag; once their approval is secured, the other four contingents determine the whether or not your initiative enhances and improves learning.
It’s easier to climb steps than spring to the top landing:
Many successful laptop projects began with a scaled-back approach. Beginning with laptop carts is a good way to hook teachers and students while giving teachers and administrators a hard look at sustainability; thus leading to a full-blown initiative becoming the next logical step. Beginning with one grade level, or a few enthusiastic volunteer teachers is also a way to build curiosity, knowledge and support, while allowing decision-makers to evaluate results in order to make a decision to widen the project.