Session 97 – How do we encourage and empower the most reluctant users of technology in school?

Title: How do we encourage and empower the most reluctant users of technology in school?

Session Summary
[pullquote]Problem is you need time to “play” and the “guts” to risk it all going pearshaped in front of a class if/when the tech fails!![/pullquote]

A lively discussion took place about encouraging and empowering the most reluctant users of technology in school. After some initial clarification that this would primarily be adult users, there were many who mention students becoming experts to help staff and the use of digital leaders.  The willingness of students to “have a go” isn’t always shared with all teachers, though many of us taking part in the discussion are more confident users of technology and agreed that playing with something new and finding out how it can be used is something we enjoy.


Risk averse-ness is a feature of our education system but it’s important to accept that there will always be a divide between learners and teachers, that there will always be something new to learn and try out, that we can learn from each other’s expertise, that there will always be a scary element to using technology as it moves on so fast.  Giving teachers the confidence to have a go – and permission to learn from mistakes in order to build resilience; time to try things out – after all, learning anything new takes time; a combination of video/written tutorials to allow teachers to check if unsure; showing how technology can be used in a relevant context –  their own subject – can help, as well as narrowing the focus of the tools and application till they become confident with strategies; immersion days; initiatives such as RiskIT.   Some success was related about building confidence with weekly TA training sessions, others reported a schedule for making teachers use tech on a regular basis helped, or showing what the learners were able to achieve through the use of technology, or how assessment could be made more efficient or effective through using technology. Repeated support, nurturing support, just-in-time support, personalised CPD, backing of the SMT/SLT, lifelong learning attitudes, availability of plan B, trying one new thing and learning to use it well are all strategies described by discussion participants….. and contrasted with the less sympathetic attitudes of others who felt teachers need to get on with it or they wouldn’t be fulfilling their professional responsibilities….

In conclusion, this issue isn’t going away and is still highly relevant to those who are working with these colleagues in school. A range of approaches were outlined but there is no single solution that suits all – that’s the beauty of education, isn’t it!


@tmeeky tech is the currency of this (and next and next…) generation(s). Ignore at our peril. Max it’s potential. Beware of the darkside #ukedchat

@deputymitchell  WAY better teachers out there than me who don’t engage w/tech. If someone told me musical instruments were the future-I’d struggle #ukedchat

@ethinking #ukedchat @oldandrewuk @mrpeel agreed but an outstanding teacher examines any innovation & uses if it has impact #bloodsweat&tears

@eylanezekiel  Innovation is an iterative process of substantial positive improvement, for the many, by a few. #ukedchat

@cherrylkd @PeterSpencer88 @janwebb21 Digital leaders are the way forward to help reluctant teachers. Being teacher doesn’t make us experts #ukedchat

@judeenright #ukedchat @emmaannhardy we have so much to learn from primary. Secondary subject areas need to work much more closely together to do this.

@Sarahloooo #ukedchat ICT is a tool of choice in teaching and learning- it needs to be used where it is most effective.

@Ideas_Factory: #ukedchat Only way to encourage reluctant tech users is to show them how easy it is! &keep showing them-time & time again

@RyburnMark #ukedchat Little and often – you can’t eat an elephant whole. Identify quick wins & start making them think

@largerama #ukedchat Digital Leaders is the answer for every school. Read this: attend this: & see #dlchat


@mrsdenyer #ukedchat problem is you need time to “play” and the “guts” to risk it all going pearshaped in front of a class if/when the tech fails!!


@janwebb21 – honestly, I am 21 😉 – located in sunny south Cheshire (well, it’s sunny today); enthusiastic about tech-enhanced life and learning; Professional Officer with Naace and an independent ICT consultant when I haven’t got my Naace hat on (which is a very grown up way of saying that I get to go and play with learners and teachers in schools). In previous incarnations have been ICT coordinator, elearning lead teacher and too many other things to mention. At this point, the penny will start to drop that 21 is a state of mind and that I am enjoying looking forward to the rest of my life – and to continuing to indulge my love of life long learning!


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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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