Teacher Technology Adoption

Edwin Wargo
Teacher and Technology Coordinator
Quarter Mile Lane Elementary School
Bridgeton, New Jersey

Recording Part 1
Recording Part 2

“People don’t want quarter-inch drill bits, they want quarter-inch holes”, quotes Pip Coburn in The Change Function.

This vision is the “guidepost” that all stakeholders can refer to when making decisions at any level...As Jerald (2006) quotes Collins and Porras, “Building a visionary company [school in this case] requires 1% vision and 99% alignment.”

"Even in a system that is tightly controlled, teachers have enormous power to mediate policy and bring about results that policy makers never envisioned." from Democratic Policy Making And the Arts of Engagement, Phi Delta Kappan, January, 2008).

"The only way out, he insists, is 'to learn the tools of innovation' and forge entirely new, knowledge-based industries in energy technology, biotechnology and other science-based sectors (Curtis Carlson, head of California's Stanford Research Institute, quoted in "The Age of Mass Innovation" appearing in The Economist, October 13, 2007).

Goal 1: I envision this conversation as an opportunity to collaborate and share our good and bad stories and strategies with perhaps one of the most perplexing parts of 21st century learning: teacher technology adoption.

Goal 2: Teacher technology adoption can be a nebulous topic. I envision the conversation weeding through the abstraction to get into practical, specific strategies that can be taken away to foster adoption of technology in the classroom (once the door is closed).

Goal 3: I would like to share our conversation with Jonathan Plucker who is conducting a first of its kind national study looking at new teacher technology adoption. Even though many of us are currently teachers studying history as we know can be a powerful change agent.

Below is the framework I would like to use for the conversation. My aim with it is to create a face, so to speak, of teacher technology adoption.


Please click here to download the full page PDF version: techadoption-educon20-2008-wargo.pdf

Is having teachers adopt technology, to act as connectors and facilitators of knowledge, content, and technology, one of the greatest obstacles to 21st century learning and schools 2.0?

Teacher Technology Adoption: Walking in Step with Student Learning?


Conversation Starters:
  • How vital is it to understand teacher technology adoption?
  • What is teacher technology adoption?
  • How is technology adoption different than technology use?
  • Where does teacher teacher technology adoption fit into 21st century learning and schools 2.0?
  • How do instructional practices impact teacher technology adoption?
  • How is student learning impacted by teacher technology adoption?
  • Do students learn in spite of teacher technology adoption?
  • Whose responsibility is teacher technology adoption?
  • Can teacher technology adoption be an agent of change?

Conversation Guides:

Conversation Foundation:
  • Teacher's beliefs of teaching (pedagogy) and student learning (epistemology) affect teacher technology adoption.
  • Teachers who engage in more teacher-led pedagogy adopt less technology.
  • Teachers who leverage constructivist-centric pedagogy have a tendency to use more technology.
  • Teacher's beliefs and values are not hardened systems; however, they are complex and prone to revision.
  • The richness of an environment (technology, support, quality, quantity) can change a teacher's beliefs and values in learners and pedagogy.
  • The manner in which technology is presented-teacher-centered or student-centered-impacts those teachers holding differing views.
  • Web 2.0 and 21st century skills are collaborative in nature; thus they are constructivist. This collaborative and constructivist nature of the technologies require teachers to adopt their beliefs which brings us back to theme #1.

How should we go about implementing either of these NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards in a School 2.0?
How should technology adoption be guided by student learning of these?
What obstacles could be faced with using technology as a tool to teach these standards?
Is your solution sustainable?
Is any decision based on the school culture or vision?

8th Grade - Reading
Locate and analyze the elements of setting, characterization, and plot to construct understanding of how characters influence the progression and resolution of the plot.

8th Grade - Math/Geometry
Develop and apply strategies for finding perimeter and area.

Background Reading
Shaping Student Learning Through School Culture: Vision's Vital and Pragmatic Role
Note: The study of culture has really shaped my thinking about teacher technology adoption especially with the concept of using vision as a guidepost for "the way we do things around here".

Human Nature 1.0: Teachers as Technology Consumers
Note: This is a paper, originally intended to be an article, I wrote exploring teachers as technology consumers.

The Relationships Between Teachers’ Beliefs, Technology Perceptions, Pedagogy, and Technology Use
Note: This is a research brief that provided a foundation for the seven conversation themes found above.