No change comes without barriers or points of contention. When you encounter instances of resistance to the new technology, think of them as growing pains towards a stronger organisation. Without incentives, team members become resistant to change. Dedicated though they may be to improving student outcomes, teachers need to see tangible, personal gains from the hard work they put into this initiative.

Incentives should range in scope, reinforce positive components of the work, and inspire a desire to embrace the new undertaking.

Questions to consider:

  • What incentive do teachers have to switch to a new technology product? What will they gain from it in the short term? In the long term?

  • How will you encourage teachers to begin to build robust curricula? Do they need more time? Would a stipend help?

  • How will you express gratitude for your teachers’ hard work?

  • What benefits will the leadership team get from embarking on this project?

Build celebrations for milestones into your strategic plan! When will moments of encouragement be needed the most?

Achieving teacher buy-in for new technology

Teachers need to understand why a new technology platform will benefit your school, and how it will benefit their practice and students’ educational experience. Manage resistance by:

  1. Listening to and understanding objections – it may help to have another teacher who advocates the new technology to help explain, peer-to-peer.

  2. Removing obstacles – through learning about teachers’ values and priorities, you may discover what they feel are obstacles, such as lack of knowledge of the new technology. Explain your plans and allotted training and support.

  3. Make a personal appeal – empathy can be a powerful motivator. Hearing the words “I’ve been there...” in a story connects with and validates feelings. Depending on your relationship and rapport with a teacher, you could ask them to try a particular part of the new technology platform as a favour, with a scheduled check-in to see how it went.

  4. Meet in the middle – is there something you can ‘give’ as a compromise? Time or space, for example, or leadership cover for your teaching staff? Designing a relevant initiative and setting realistic expectations for teachers’ busy schedules can go a long way in building buy-in.

  5. Provide simple, clear choices and accountability – providing clear steps for teachers to engage in the new technology, as well as the advantages and/or consequences of not engaging, leaves the choice with them.

Teachers are often motivated by helping; either helping their students or helping make processes easier for them. Technology can do both of these if leveraged correctly.

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