A colleague of mine back in Frederick County, Maryland just published an interesting article in EdSurge and I would like to encourage all of the UCET Blog followers to read it as well.
Dr. Kevin Cuppett is now the Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Innovation for the Frederick County Public School System, but when I worked with him as a Technology Resource Teacher he was Principal of Carroll Manor Elementary. CMES had just been renovated and had a new classroom wing added on to the building. Part of this renovation included the purchasing of a Promethean ActivBoard for each instructional area. Teachers were excited, intimidated, nervous, and anxious to use these new interactive whiteboards with their students.
Dr. Cuppett and I met over the summer to discuss the best way to insure all teachers had an opportunity to feel comfortable and confident with the new devices, but avoid any sense of pressure on the staff or setting unrealistic expectations. An afterschool class was planned for one day a week, every other week, for a total of 15 hours of direct instruction and support learning to use the ActivBoards and corresponding ActivInspire software. About a dozen of the 40+ faculty and staff members with Promethean Boards signed up for the class and were well on their way to integrating the interactive whiteboards into daily instruction by the end of the first couple months of school.
Later in the year we repeated the class for another group of teachers, and in the second year we had a third round of the beginner class as well as several sessions of a course running for advanced users. It was a simple case of providing support for the "early adopters" on staff at CMES that created a sense of momentum and support among the staff. Within two years the entire staff was not only using the Promethean Boards but also creating new and innovative activities for students.
The following article expands on this culture of change and innovation the develops when you "view teachers as consumers" and "promote rapid adoption by design" for an entire school district. I hope you enjoy the read and take a minute to think about how innovation happens in your district, school, or classroom. Are you allowing the innovators and early adopters to define professional development in your learning community?
You can follow Dr. Cuppett on Twitter at https://twitter.com/drkevincuppett