As an instructional technology coordinator, I work diligently to integrate strategies, skills and resources that will enhance teaching and learning.   In this role, identifying the level of the learner is imperative.  Great educators do this naturally.  I make my best effort to be patient and kind when working with staff and technology because I realize it can be very sensitive.  As development trainers we must be conscious that everyone is making progress at their own pace based on their own comfort level. At this stage in the game, where technology is truly shifting instructional practice and everyone is being asked to relearn what they do…we are all learning. Our administrators are learning, alongside our teachers, right next to our student learning. It is exciting and scary all at the same time. For this to be successfully we must continue to reflect and assess and meet the learner where they are in the process.
Respecting the sensitivity for this subject and reflecting on my own practice, I have developed a top three list of successful strategies for working with staff and technology integration.

1. Patience
This is an essential.  Patience truly is a virtue.  Much of what we are discovering and developing is very new…to everyone.  Google Apps for Educators is under five years old.  The first chrome book was on the market in 2011, that is just two years ago.  Many participants in educational technology training are going outside their comfort zone.  Be patient.

2.  Respect
No one wants to feel incapable. Going outside our own norms can be uncomfortable at best.  It is of utmost importance to keep conversations professional and respectful.  Acknowledge that our peer educators have many strengths and keep those at the forefront of the conversation to make progress in other areas.

3.  Smile
Stay positive.  Many educators are challenging themselves to integrate their new knowledge and advance within their own profession.  Be mindful that this may be difficult for many and encouragement with a smile goes a long, long way.

Above all – #celebrateEd.  As an industry we become stronger by supporting and sharing with each other to enhance our profession.  Keep up the great work!

As I finalize this post, my thoughts and prayers are consumed by the tragedy in Boston today.  This confirms, yet again, the value of our mission as educators to provide our children with the skill sets and knowledge to make positive contributions on our very fragile world.

All for now.
Peace and love.

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