"There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new order of things...Whenever his enemies have the ability to attack the innovator, they do so with the passion of partisans, while the others defend him sluggishly, so that the innovator and his party alike are vulnerable."
The Prince, Machiavelli (1513)
We all know our colleagues that may not be all warm and fuzzy when it comes to doing
things differently in the classroom, especially when technology is involved. In fact, they may be a real pain at the mere suggestion of change. So much so, that they cause a huge disturbance and the adoption may be halted or tabled for a delay that will never end. On the flip side, we have eager teachers and administrators ready to jump in feet first. Momentum can be on the side of the innovator if the resistant teachers are supported through the implementation. How might we be able to support them in a change environment?
Any innovation runs the cycle of diffusion of innovation. According to Rogers (2003), "diffusion is the process in which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system." In a school, the members of such social systems are the educators and students. For the sake of this article, we will exclude the outside forces of community, government and parents. What Rogers is speaking about is the acceptance or rejection of something new. Usually with regard to technology for our purpose. It is the last 16% of the group that will not adopt without persuasion.
In order to address an implementation in your planning, consider the following chart while planning a roll-out. Tech resistance is motivated by several factors outlined in the tables below:
Above all, support and patience are the keys to encouraging those to adopt that are unwilling, unable or resistant.
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