Managing change

In Weeks 1 and 2 we’ve observed the variety of changes and considerations to be made for effective implementation of an education technologies strategy:

  1. Evaluate current use of education technologies and points of pain for stakeholders
  2. Consider possible solutions through visiting schools, and engaging with research evidence
  3. Make decisions, and set out a vision that aligns with wider school priorities
  4. Identify the necessary changes to help you achieve your vision, including technical and security considerations
  5. Plan a small pilot and evaluation to determine the future journey
  6. Create a CPD plan to support staff

In designing your strategy for the use of education technologies, there’s likely to be significant change for you and your school community to navigate. This may involve a combination of:

Changes to infrastructure

  • Hosting your systems in the cloud, all on site or a combination
  • New internet cabling work
  • Installation of new WiFi spots
  • Firewall installation

New hardware

  • Tablet devices
  • Chromebooks
  • Laptops
  • Visualisers

New platforms

  • Cloud systems for managing and sharing documents
  • Learning Management Systems to manage independent learning

New online tools

  • In-class tools for quizzing, revision and classroom management
  • Tools to enable and homework, marking and feedback
  • Tools for presentations and collaboration

Each decision made in one area will influence another and it is worth considering how you’ll manage this change within your school community on top of the many changes colleagues are already dealing with.

There are a variety of useful models that can help us to manage change effectively:

Kotter’s 8 step process

Fullans 3 Is

When it comes to education technologies, the Diffusion of Innovations Theory (Rogers, 1962) is particularly helpful in helping us to understand the human element of change and can be incorporated as you consider the professional learning culture in your school.

You are likely to have a small minority of colleagues who approach new changes with enthusiasm. These are your innovators. They will be keen to be involved in the design and implementation stages of your strategy. The innovators will be brave, willing to take risks and later on, could be recruited as your key digital champions. Delegate experiments to them and ask them to share their practice with others.

The early adopters will be respected people within your staff body and will be prepared to try new ideas but in a considered way. These are your prime candidates for learning from the innovators and carrying out extended mini action research projects to determine the impact of technology use. At the end of the year, they can share impact experienced with other colleagues.

The early majority will take more time than the first two groups to see the potential of new approaches but are willing to accept change. Possible approaches can be to encourage group research alongside the early adopters or secondary research at the end of these projects.

The late majority will only come on board once the majority have; only when necessary.

The laggards will always be stubborn to change and may never accept an innovative culture - their skepticism will remain until the new ways have become tradition. The laggards will be your most challenging group to work with and it wouldn’t be recommended to mix them too soon with those championing change.

As we saw from Iesha Small, whilst you will need to adopt effective communication strategies for everyone, these can be combined with specific professional development opportunities for different groups to get everyone on board.

If you’re interested in the culture and communication of change in the workplace, then you might also be interested in the work of Simon Sinek on ‘Start with Why’. Watch his TED Talk here

Once you’ve reflected on the points raised with other course participants, click the ‘Mark as complete’ button below and then select ‘Harnessing teachers as drivers of change’ to begin learning about the features of professional learning cultures.

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This article is from the free online course:

Leadership of Education Technology in Schools

Chartered College of Teaching