Sunday, August 1, 2010

Creating Desire for Using Technology Effectively to Transform Learning

“A common mistake made by many business leaders is to assume that by building awareness of the need for change they have also created desire.” (“ADKAR: a model for change in business, government and our community”, Hiatt)

Creating awareness for changing the way students learn is an on-going process. I believe it has to be communicated frequently to stakeholders why change is necessary and what the consequences of not changing are. As quoted from the book, assuming that creating awareness is done effectively does not guarantee that people desire to change the way our students learn. Desire to change is dependent on the following:

1. The nature of the change (what the change is and how it will impact them)
2. The organizational or environmental context for the change (their perception of the organization)
3. An individual’s personal situation
4. What motivates them (those intrinsic motivators that are unique to an individual)

Hiatt suggests several ways for creating desire for change within an organization. I have added ideas to create desire for transformative change in schools. They are:

1. Effectively sponsor the change with employees

a. Talk to each stakeholder about what their part of the change will be.
b. Help them to determine how they will change how students learn in their classroom.
c. Share with them successes and challenges of implementing change in their classroom.
d. Help them to determine a change assessment measure.

2. Equip managers to be change leaders

a. Provide time to meet with change leadership to establish goals and strategies
b. Provide training to change leadership team

3. Assess risks and anticipate resistance

a. Identify potential difficulties and resistant staff
b. Plan strategies to deal with the problems and resistant staff

4. Engage employees in the change process

a. Meet with individuals regularly to assess difficulties, celebrate successes, revise goals. This could be done in private or in PLC’s.
b. Celebrate successes in regular staff meeting time (this should not take time away from staff)

5. Align incentive programs

a. Provide release time to observe successful implementation in other classrooms
b. Provide PD time for training for special interest groups

An extra word on resistance to using technology effectively to transform learning. There will be resistance to change within schools. Resistance to change is normal. Hiatt writes, “As a basic principle, managers must first view the task of creating desire as more than managing resistance. Adopting a “resistance management” focus can take a business leader down a trail of reactive management actions that often turn into firefighting and damage control. In other words, you should not introduce a change and then wait to identify those groups or individuals who are resistant to that change. Rather, you should adopt those strategies and tactics that have been used by effective leaders of change that are positive and proactive”.

Once we have created awareness of the need to use technology effectively to transform learning, we will need to create or empower the desire. The next step is to help stakeholders get the knowledge to implement the change.

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