10 Ways to Get Teachers Using Tech

1 May 2014 | Under Lists and Infographics, Technology | Posted by | 0 Comments

Your school took a big risk with its technology initiative. Once your technical migraines have settled to a mere headache, what do you see? Your teachers are hardly scratching the surface of the potential that all your educational technology holds. Really, though, can you blame them? You know how thinly your faculty is stretched. Try these 10 ways to get your teachers using tech:

Editorial note: We’re biased. ExitTicket’s primary customers are schools. Administrators want the big-picture view of comprehension data: They can see which standards are stumping their school and can plan accordingly. Insightful coaching information is made available to students, teachers and administrators only when teachers have woven ExitTicket into their routines. So we’ve got some skin in this game.

1. Ban alternatives for a week

Rock the boat. Give teachers plenty of warning that the big week is coming. And during that week, firmly request teachers do without the antiquated alternatives you are trying to phase out. If you want to implement ExitTicket for example, this may be the old clicker system, paper exit tickets or little whiteboards. A week without the accustomed alternatives might just be all that’s needed to adopt a new tool.
Note: Don’t ratchet up the pressure by telling teachers you expect this one week to be the catalyst of a change in their whole teaching routine. This is just a one-week experiment in which you are asking teachers to replace a single tool from their belts. Keep it that simple.

2. Devote time to adding content

The biggest obstacle to planning brilliant lesson is the time required to do so. The same is true for a lesson that includes educational technology. If you want to get teachers using tech, give them time! Offer up a short demonstration on how to add assessments into ExitTicket and properly name them for easy retrieval, (or request a webinar and I’ll virtually crash your meeting). Then free them from a typical meeting time to add some rich content into ExitTicket. Once they have content and can access their peers’ content, teachers get very quickly hooked on the convenience of keeping their formative assessments in ExitTicket.

3. Designate an Ambassador

Put your rockstar technologist under the spotlight. Ask that teacher to develop a relationship with the technology developers. You’ll be surprised how eager companies are to work one-on-one with teachers to build model classrooms. ExitTicket has a program devoted to exactly this, and we’re welcoming folks that want to capture real-time data and make powerful, lighting-fast decisions with ease.

4. Share student voices

A spotlight on a model teacher provides a great example, but a spotlight on a student provides motivation. Share a student’s story on how the technology helped. For me, it was sweet Catherine coming for extra help with her standards-based scorebook pointing right to the concept that had her stumped. Put student success in front of educators and you’ll get teachers using tech (or walking through fire for that matter).

5. Preserve existing routines (at first)

The eventual goal of edtech implementation is to reshape the typical routines teachers use in the class so technology is seamlessly integrated and helpfully captures new types of friendly, color-coded data. But try telling a 30-year veteran teacher that can recall every ideal example problem in three different subjects to change how things are done in their sanctuary of learning (actually, don’t). If technology helps to get results rather than simply changing things up, then a deeper implementation will be much more appealing — and easier to execute.

6. Put resources in a clean package

Before your big edtech push, assemble your helpful resources and guides. Don’t be deceived if the resources aren’t being accessed. I’ve found teachers are much more willing to give a product a try knowing there’s a helpful guide acting like a safety net below them. With ExitTicket, try our Toolkit or even take a course to get certified.

7. Sync your account

It sounds like putting the cart before the horse, but this works. Lock in a paid site licence so your teachers have the convenience of class rosters that have automatically been generated from your school’s database. Typically, administrators wait to see the usage numbers of free teacher accounts at a satisfactory level before pursuing a paid license. But when administrators commit to ExitTicket from the start, it brings a host of advanced features and conveniences that make a big difference in adoption.

8. Separate initial goals from long-term goals

Be as transparent as possible. Show your teachers the incredible things that ExitTicket can do. A mastery-based scorebook is a big deal. It takes time for it to develop. Clarify that’s where you’re heading. In the meanwhile, set smaller goals. Try a flipped, differentiated lesson for example.

9. Tech Tuesday

Every Tuesday we see a huge jump in user activity. Teachers most often use ExitTicket on Tuesdays. We’ve been asking around, and we’ve found many administrators pushing “Tech Tuesdays.” They walk from class to class and see what type of edtech is being used throughout the school. It’s a great way to start concretely building a habit of regular implementation.

10. Make it fun

Thank your teachers. Celebrate the model users. Offer a prize to the teacher that has the most number of assessments. Bring coffee in for your teachers on Tech Tuesday. Let your teachers know that games and competitions go wonderfully with ExitTicket. Encourage them to have fun implementing the tool, and find a way to enjoy the process yourself.

References and Further Reading:

Podio Project Management tool’s 10 Tips
– “Preparing Teachers to Use Technology

Dan Adiletta

About Dan Adiletta

Daniel Adiletta is a licensed teacher with experience implementing 1:1 programs. While guiding an iPad initiative and teaching Computer Science, Adiletta went through numerous response systems until he found ExitTicket. It was exactly what he was looking for and he told his colleagues about it via YouTube.

Giving frequent assessments allow teachers to help struggling students before they fall to far behind because they provide quick feedback. They also give the teacher the opportunity to reteach.

Chanda Jefferson, High School Biology, South Carolina

Kept frequent and fun, real-time feedback can identify where interventions are needed.

Kelly Metz, MIddle School Science, Michigan

Students know where they stand, and can take charge of their learning when needed to understand a certain concept.

Jen Ciok, Middle School Social Studies, Illinois

Prior to ExitTicket, paper-based quizzes, exit slips, and even tests would sometimes go ungraded on my desk.

Robert Rigonan, Middle School Science, Nevada

Today, I ran a professional development my teaching staff at Allen Park High School. It went great. Before today, I have 8 teachers who are using it. After today, the number will definitely increase.

Tim Brown, Mathematics Department Chair
Allen Park High School

ExitTicket has been designed how education technology should be designed: In the classroom, by teachers and students.

Scot Refsland, Ph.D.
LPS Innovation Fellow

We designed and built ExitTicket with the purpose of giving teachers a powerful tool to accelerate student learning – particularly for students entering significantly below grade level.

Louise Waters
Dr Louise Waters, CEO, Superintendent
Leadership Public Schools

Great app to be a more responsive teacher, save time grading, and have students celebrate growth

Mitch Mosbey, First Grade
Promise Road Elementary

Looking for a way to track and monitor student progress? Use ExitTicket student response system for beautiful management!

Lindsay Hudak, Edtech Integration Specialist
Tri-Creek School Corp.

Your app has helped me teach my students how having ‘grit’ leads to success

Kristin Thomsen, 6th Grade Teacher

I saw ExitTicket when it was just barely a functional prototype two years ago. Now seeing it in action recently at the Education For the Future’s Summer Institute, Wow! It’s a real game changer.

Marcy Lauck, Director, National Data Strategies, NLET

I am very enthusiastic about ExitTicket because it fills a much needed gap in our education reform efforts.

Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart

I’ve seen a lot of technology over the years, and ExitTicket is one of the most impactful educational tools I’ve ever seen.

Tim Koogle, Former CEO of Yahoo

I’m a huge ExitTicket fan.

James Sanders, White House Fellow

The power of change it produces in both students and teachers is amazing. The way it handles detailed longitudinal data has never been seen before in a student response system.

Vickie Bernhardt, Director, Education for the Future