Uphill Climb: Standing At the Top

Every educational technology professional knows the frustrations of getting buy in from the teaching staff in school as districts work hard to create 21st century learning environments for students.  I’ve written several times about the complaints, excuses, fears and attempted coups in my building.  Its been an uphill battle, pushing, pulling, cajoling, begging even, to get the majority of the staff to at least pretend to realize what HAS to happen in their classrooms.

A couple of months ago, our high school teachers went through 2 days of training for Promethean boards they would all have installed in their classrooms.  They were all excited and the buy in was amazing.  We hit a glitch with the installation of the boards though.  So, naturally, enthusiasm fell off, and the grumbling started up again.

Now, what was the use in learning how to use the software and playing around on the boards if we don’t have boards to use?

I swear, there’s always a hangup somewhere, isn’t there? The school year will be over before we get the damned things, I’m sure.

Even the principal was getting complaints from people about “board placement” and “incompetence of tech support”.

I’d just smile, tell them what the delay is about, (one other high school in the district was also getting the new boards, and it was discovered there was an electrical issue in the installation.  They wanted to avoid that same issue in our building)  All were polite about it, but still skeptical. I did an hour long rant session during a staff meeting, allowing them to tell me (and IT) what they want, need, desire.  We wrote everything out on poster paper and hung it up in the teachers’ lounge to reflect on.  People started to calm down a bit.  I needed to prevent a mutiny at all costs.

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Our tech support team called me last Monday to tell me they’d start installing board on Wednesday. I figured they’d be at it at least 3 weeks. This past Friday, all but 6 of the boards were installed, and one of the 6 not installed would be put in this summer because it was in a science lab full of cabinets, so a full tear out is needed.  I wandered into classrooms Friday afternoon and checked on everyone.  Joy in Mudville!  I even had a lagniappe for them – Document Cameras!

Oh, Chevin!  The board is amazing!  Come on down and play with it any time you want, ok?

I have no idea what to do with this document camera, but I’m gonna figure it out!

They get a refresher class on using the boards this coming Wednesday.  I’ll have our tech coordinator come in and show them how to use the cameras.  I can’t wait to tell them all the students will have email addresses after Spring Break AND they’ll get Chromebooks to play around with for the rest of the year before roll out in the fall!

Ahhh, the view from the summit is spectacular!  Big shout out to the district Tech Team for a flawless installation!  Next stop… showing them how to use some cool tools.

I love my job!

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