Overcoming Technology Barriers: How to Innovate Without Extra Money or Support

Edutopia imageHot off the presses – but online for your enjoyment!

Overcoming Technology Barriers: How to Innovate Without Extra Money or Support – Five easy, practical steps toward better digital integration in your classroom by Suzie Boss is in the current issue of Edutopia magazine.

I’m quoted, along with others including Gary Stager and Maria Knee, an innovative kindergarten teacher I had the pleasure of meeting at the Constructing Modern Knowledge 2008 conference last week.

Here are the steps:

  • Step 1: Innovate with the Tools You Already Have
  • Step 2: Seek Out Free, Easy-to-Use Digital Resources
  • Step 3: Overcome Your Fear of the Unknown
  • Step 4: Start with Small, Fast Projects That Enhance Learning

And Step 5 ——-Learn with Your Students – YES!!!

“We’ve been trying to talk teachers into integrating technology into the classroom for thirty, maybe forty years. It’s not working,” says Sylvia Martinez, president of Generation YES (Youth & Educators Succeeding). The company enlists students — whom Martinez calls “the other 92 percent of the population in schools” — as part of the solution. “Can we teach students to help teachers use technology more effectively in the classroom? We’ve got twelve years of data that says we can,” she says. (Read an Edutopia profile of GenYES founder Dennis Harper.)

GenYES encourages teachers to learn about technology in the context of their own classroom, side-by-side with their students. Professional development that’s embedded in the classroom has more staying power than one-shot workshops. More than 1,200 schools have participated in GenYES programs, which include training for students and on-site professional development for teachers. Martinez also advises sharing the vision of twenty-first-century learning with students. “Say to kids, ‘Here are the things we imagine could happen with this technology. What do you think?’

Be sure to read the rest of the article for more great practical tips about technology integration on a budget.

By the way, Suzie Boss is co-author with Jane Krauss of a book that’s on my reading list: Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age available from the ISTE Bookstore. It sounds like a real winner!


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