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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?


  • Isaac Day (View all users posts) 10 Jun 2011 11:49am ()

    For me the 'hard nosed' way doesn't work and just gets people to actively disengage, while often putting up the face of yeah, I'm doing it. Smile

    I am also cautious about the 'evangelical' techno people who promote the hard nosed approach as I often (NOT ALWAYS) find that technos, don't make the most effective teachers and therefore don't necessarily get the best out of the kids or teaching staff (and many are not reflective enough to see it).  I think, if the teacher is a great teacher who loves their kids, actively engages them in their learning and gets the best out of them, why force them into using a computer?  Let them get on with the job of making a difference to their learners. Then allow them to see the benefits, e.g. how they could use an iPad with one of their reading groups, get some reluctant writers going with a cool web 2.0 tool.  Effective leadership, Small steps, and patience will see this teacher grow.  Show them how it improves learning for the kids... don't just tell them 'its motivating', or that they 'have to use it in the workplace' or that it will 'improve test scores'... that won't wash with anyone with any clues.  Show them how they can use it to promote effective pedagogies and quality learning (and tell them that they don't have to be a computer expert to do it!).

    On the other hand, if they are doing a crap job pedagogically, or are not a sound practitioner... just give them a jam sandwitch and feel glad that you don't have to do their appraisal, because putting a computer in front of them is not going to help their learners either! Smile

    Also try not to label these folks as 'technophobes' - they are people first, teachers first equal (If that makes sense) and a label is likely to disengage them further (great teachers do not deserve to have the mickey taken if they are doing a good job!).  To take the proactive stance, maybe ask yourself, "... how would I get the least tecn-savvy person in my family to use technology to support them?...".  By and large you love family, and you take a more compassionate approach when dealing with family difficulties (I hope) and that may help you to support them more.  It may help, it may not... but it is worth a try.

  • Isaac Day (View all users posts) 10 Jun 2011 12:47pm ()

    Why do some shy away?  Good question and worhty of some discussion, because if we can nail this, you can hopefully help these teachers to grow to accept and embrace eLearning to support their learners. Wink

    1. What is jumping out at me right now is that it is often seen as an 'imposition'.  Almost like, someone is making be do something else that I don't want to do. 
    2. The second thing is that the attitude of the teacher is negative, due to their lack of confidence with the tool or that they don't want another change forced on them (see 1, above).

    I find it hard to think of the specific factors, because they could be different for each hard to reach person (as it is with your hard to reach learners!).  The factors could well be a personal, school, leadership or resourcing centred, but they will depend on the individual and could easily be a combination...

    Great question!Cool

  • Isaac Day (View all users posts) 11 Jun 2011 9:30am ()

    I like it... :-)
    Do you ever find that many of these teachers don't like the idea? how do you go about persuading them to take part?

  • Isaac Day (View all users posts) 12 Jun 2011 9:26am ()

    Fear in some cases, in others it may not be... :-)
    Thats why I like this forum question, if we try to understand what is causing the lack of adaptation, we may be able to support these teachers to understand the value of eLearning (seek first to understand and then to be understood).
    It may be interesting to survey those who are struggling with the whole idea to get their take on it?

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