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Overcoming the Fear of Change Brought on by the EdTech Push

For administrators, teachers, students and any human being, really, completely changing they way you go about your daily routine can be stressful. It can also be pretty scary, and with the current push to transform classrooms at every angle, there is an added pressure on teachers and students to adapt quickly.

“Change has long been the most feared aspect of education. Regardless of its inevitability, each time it’s met with the same disdain and hesitance as the last,” according to Mike Patterson, K-12 Education Strategist for CDW-G.

“As someone who is very much still a creature of habit and a slave to his routine, I understand the importance of staying on task. As we position learning initiatives to teachers, instead of marketing it as another change, doesn’t it make sense to position these initiatives as a complement to their routines?”

Patterson’s findings on overcoming the overwhelming stress that comes with change came to him during a leadership workshop for the district of Texas, according to his Ed Tech Magazine piece. 

“When we start by embracing and celebrating everything that is great about what our teachers are already doing in the classroom through content and instruction, technology becomes a way to complement instruction instead of changing it.”

While fully empathizing with teachers and the amount of work that comes with the addition of technology in classrooms, Patterson urges them to embrace change that is best for students. He also suggests empowering a group of champion teachers who will be sort of the gate keepers/experts on the newly-implemented technology.

“It won’t be easy—change never is—but look how far we’ve come in education, particularly in the last 30 years,” he said.

“As Dane Conrad (@daneconrad), chief information officer for Hattiesburg Schools in Mississippi, says, ‘Implementing the technology is typically the easy part. Changing the habits of people is the real challenge, and it is hard … but totally worth the hard work.’”

Teachers aren’t often empathized with, despite the extensive changes in the last 10 years of education. However, the change in technology doesn’t have to be a scary or overly stressful one. Hopefully Patterson’s tips help districts across the nation map out their priorities and tackle change with a more proactive approach.

Read the full story here.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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