ICT4ED: A solution in search of a problem? (part 5: managing change)

I returned to The Bahamas after completing my graduate coursework. Instead of returning to my old Vice Principal position I was promoted to the Board Office. I shared an office with the technical director for schools. He would continually express frustration at the teachers’ limited proficiency with the systems we were trying to implement: “I don’t know what their problem is. I’ve given them training at the beginning of the year and I’ve detailed all the implementation steps in the manual. All they have to do is read and follow the instructions!” I smiled to myself because I could hear myself saying the very same things five years prior (when I was VP we didn’t have a technical director: all those tasks were my responsibility). Truth is no matter how hard we tried, we could not get to full or even widespread adoption. We seemed stuck in an in-between stage where some teachers had completely adopted and some had partially adopted and some again had not adopted at all (we discovered that they were getting other teachers to do their electronic work for them).

Really I should have known better. Read More

ICT4ED: A solution in search of a problem? (part 4: many a slip ‘tween cup and lip)

Back when I was a High School Vice Principal I was a technology evangelist. I was definitely an early adopter – I saw right away the powerful ways technology could impact my work. I devised technology-aided systems that would revolutionize how we did school – only to be frustrated, disappointed and befuddled that my staff reluctantly if at all made efforts to implement what I proposed. “Can’t they see how it helps their teaching and the students’ learning? Can’t they see how it streamlines their work processes? Can’t they see how it helps track problems so that persistent issues can be handled more quickly and directly? Can’t they see HOW GOOD this stuff is???” I was continuously exhausted by the amount of training and scaffolding we needed to build and implement just to get the programmes started. Nor did it end there. I didn’t predict the continual training and retraining necessary to ensure some degree of implementation. More often than not my good intentions led to half-baked interventions. And we all know where good intentions lead.

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