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How to help the 'technophobes'...?

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Started by Enabling e-Learning 08 Jun 2011 11:39am () Replies (41)

There was an interesting opinion piece on the e-Learning Stuff blog this week, about the resistance, in some quarters, to using technology for teaching and learning:

'...but I'm a technophobe!' [e-Learning stuff blog]

If you are involved in professional learning, how do you manage this situation?


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 25 Aug 2016 4:50pm ()

    I recently read Steve Wheeler's short blog post, On what we think about technology where he shares how he's expanded on the graphic below - 3 biggest fears of a student using technology on the right by adding the 3 biggest fears of a teacher using on the left. He's opened this up for discussion.

    I recently had a discussion with a colleague about the importance of pen/paper/notebook because of the issues on the right of this graphic... 

    What are your thoughts? Are these your fears or do you move between the two?

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 02 May 2014 11:41am ()

    Wow, this has been really powerful viewing/reading/listening, thanks for this Mary-Anne.

    In the Tedtalks video, Marty Linsky’s guiding questions really got me engaged and thinking! The messages that spoke to me most were:

    • Leadership addresses problems that require adaptation. Adaptive work lives in the heart, guts, belief part of the body. Like you've mentioned above Mary-Anne.
    • When you ask people to adapt, you ask them to give up something that’s worked for them, that’s part of who they are and makes them feel comfortable in life. 
    • Leading adaptive change is difficult because its about the distribution of loss. Maybe even threatening something that is important to others.
    • Leadership is difficult, a dangerous activity. Telling people what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear – can get ourselves in trouble. 

    I just posted a comment today, on how paradigms of the past can influence the actions of today - much like your references to mental maps and filters.

    My parting thoughts would be:

    When we recognise past paradigms (where they come from and why we have them) influence our actions, how we might we adapt and 'evolve' from these - to close the gap between the aspirations we have for our learners and the current reality?

    Image sourced from Creative Commons
  • Mary-Anne Murphy (View all users posts) 30 Apr 2014 4:00pm ()

    ... And in another direction...

    Take a look at this Ted Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af-cSvnEExM

    Also take a look through this webpage (an area I have recently been studying in): http://www.mbraining.com/mbit-and-leadership

    If we are wanting to engage "Techno-phobes" we may want to consider some of the following:

    1. Where are the misalignments between head, heart and gut brains for these people and ourselves as leaders? If we are wanting deep embedding and sustainability, do we not need alignment of all three; or is merely about being consistently persistent and persistently consistent?
    2. What are their mental maps telling them about the messages they receive? 
    3. What are our mental models about these people telling us? 

    Mental Models Map: an event occurs, or we get a message about something. We place this information through our many filters. These then recreate a "story" or our own map of the information, which in turn affects our physiology and external behaviour. So, what we may perceive as being reticent, hesitant or resistant, may in actual fact be associated with the mental filters the person is passing the information through. Our role (I believe) is to engage in dialogue with these people to understand their filters. It is from there that we can move them forward. We all have these parts of our lives where we place blocks, so if we are to take a position of arrogance towards this are we not then showing incongruent leadership?
    Perceptual filters


    Food for further thought... :)

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 30 Apr 2014 1:03pm ()

    Here's something a little bit different. Integrating Technologies | The Pencil Metaphor. Which part of the pencil are you? Thanks for the Twitter image Monika Kern.


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 30 Sep 2011 1:26pm ()

    How to help the technophobes?

    Here's an archived K12 webinar (American) on No More Excuses: It's time to overcome your technophobia which includes the 7 symptoms of 'technophobia' and some cures - useful examples of technology being used in context.

    At the end of this webinar (1.00.36sec) they offer a FREE copy of 32 Tips for the Techphobic Teacher for non-members. http://goo.gl/u4JHT

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 20 Jun 2011 10:27am ()

    Always interesting to hear differing perspectives about any of the issues shared. I think this kind of forum is invaluable when we honour various views and are able to, “…reflect on what effects the application of knowledge capital” and how this may have an impact on individual stakeholders in this community. Having a useful set of guiding questions is one strategy for this.

    For some, it is also a process for gaining the confidence and ability to participate and engage with others online - to possibly alter another “stakeholders’ understanding and definition of what matters.”


  • Anne Sturgess (View all users posts) 19 Jun 2011 6:19pm ()

    Pam, what wonderfully 'precise' questions - thank you. It is one thing to know about the tools available and quite another to know whether or not they are useful in improving outcomes for learners or, indeed, whether they are an improvement on other, more traditional, methods. I'm not saying that ICT tools are more, or less, effective but I am suggesting that we should not make claims about their effectiveness that cannot be substantiated.

  • Pam Hook (View all users posts) 19 Jun 2011 4:25pm ()

    Hi Anne and Karen,

    I find this conversation thread to be very revealing - not in as much as what it resolves - rather in terms of what it exposes - it is worthy of deeper analysis in terms of unpacking the beliefs and attitudes espoused by those educators who identify themselves as "the change makers".

    We don't come off too well under Marris' analysis

    No one can resolve the crisis of reintegration on behalf of another. Every attempt to pre-empt conflict, argument, protest by rational planning can only be abortive: However reasonable the proposed changes, the process of implementing them must still allow the impulse of rejection to play itself out.

    When those who have the power to manipulate changes act as if they have only to explain, and when their explanations are not at once accepted, shrug off opposition as ignorance or prejudice, they express a profound contempt for the meaning of lives other than their own. For the reformers have already assimilated these changes to their purposes, and worked out a reformulation which makes sense to them, perhaps through months or years of analysis and debate. If they deny others
    the chance to do the same, they treat them as puppets dangling on the strings of their own conceptions. Marris (p166)

    Anne's challenge is along Marris' lines and drives Karen to ask - How do we help people build their knowledge of curriculum/pedagogy/technology so that they can be discriminating in their choices?

    It is a good question and is this context I take it as a question that assumes that building discrimination will lead to a greater integration/implementation of e-learning technologies which I am not at all certain is warranted.

    Where is the data that shows how effectively the e-thing is advancing children's learning? I am not alone in claiming that the data has not caught up with the claims we make. Juan Cristobal Cobo Romani's Oxford and Cardiff University 2009 Monograph  (pdf) and our own Noeline Wright's University of Waikato Lit Review 2010 claim much the same

    There is an international doxa about e-Learning’s inherent benefits to learners. It masks a relatively small amount of actual evidence about its relationship to improved educational and life chances for students.

    Englemann (cited in Hattie 2009 p253) challenges teachers and schools to ask four critical questions about the innovations we are asked to adopt in school. They are great questions for those who wish to be more discriminating in their pedagogical approach to teaching and learning

    • Precisely where have you seen this practice installed so that it produces effective results?
    • Precisely where have you trained teachers so they can uniformly perform within guidelines of this new system?
    • Where is the data that show you have achieved performance that is superior to that achieved by successful programmes (not simply the administrations last unsuccessful attempt).
    • Where are your endorsements from historically successful teachers (those whose students outperform demographic predictions)?

     When we are thinking about ICTs in teaching and learning they become:

    • Precisely where have you seen teaching and learning through ICTs installed so that it produces effective results in enhancing student achievement?
    • Precisely where have you trained teachers so they can uniformly perform within guidelines of this new system?
    • Where is the data that show teaching and learning using ICTs achieves performance that is superior to that achieved by other successful strategies used in teaching and learning?
    • Where are your endorsements from historically successful teachers – those whose students outperform demographic predictions for student achievement?

    So one way to help teachers become more discriminating in their practice might be to encourage them to ask questions like these - and to let the impulse of rejection play out ...

  • Enabling e-Learning (View all users posts) 15 Jun 2011 10:11am ()

    Quite right, AnneLaughing. Labels are reductive and unhelpful. The original 'technophobe' title was a (perhaps provocative) quote from the blog post that kicked off this thread.

    Many people who have contributed to this conversation assert the importance of finding out where people are at, no matter what their level of expertise and motivation, so professional learning can be tailored accordingly.

    Your comment about being 'discriminating' is a vital one. To use technology knowingly and deliberately as part of a learning experience is what we're all aiming to do, I think. Being discriminating is pretty sophisticated Smile , though, in that it implies one has some baseline understanding of what's appropriate, available, possible... I guess there are some folk who perhaps are not quite at that stage yet, though, and have yet to be convinvced that it's worth being taking that next step.

    How do we help people build their knowledge of curriculum/pedagogy/technology so that they can be discriminating in their choices?

  • Karen Mills (View all users posts) 15 Jun 2011 6:20am ()

    I have heard this analogy used in relation to a schools ICT/E-learning journey.

    Think of a speed boat used for water skiing. The speeding boat is full of early adopters. The waterskiiers are being dragged along but most are happy to be there. Sometimes a water skiier will fall off. If they put their hand up to be rescued, rescue them. If they don't put their hand up, they don't want to be rescued so let them drown.

    So how many drowned teachers would there be in your school? Do we spend most of our time on the drowning teachers who want rescuing or those who don't?

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