Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fear Factor (iPad edition)

I see this in many districts I work with. As new devices are brought in, someone has the "talk". Do not break them, if you take them home and they break you will owe us. Do not use it for anything personal. They talk about insurance, cost and consequences. They want everyone to take the devices seriously

Every meeting with a new batch of teachers I have a few admitting that the combination of their fears and the threat of insurance has caused them to leave the device in the box, or attached to the charger on their desk.

I am here to say that that talk is destructive and counterproductive. Especially early in new adoption of devices. So e of the educators who are introduced to devices are scared before we say anything. Driving the point home with any kind of threat (percieved or real) drives the teachers on the fence about integration to avoid the new devices. And devices not used are not any better than broken ones.

I understand the concern about costly devices. Three years ago when we got 30 iPads and I gave them to students I was worried. Lost some sleep, but I decided that I will take personal responsibility and try not to scare them off. It paid off big time, with one exception everybody used their device. I am pretty sure that had I started the iPad discussion with a stern warning half of my students would have left them at home (they actually told me that). Recently I worked with teachers on iPad integration and once again half of them did not get them out of the box. Why I asked? Because we do not have insurance yet! Turns out that insurance was to take it out of the building but too late, the fear factor already worked its magic.

So if you can influence this- with students and teachers: make rules but do not scare, do not strike fear, we need these devices in our students lives and ours it is their future and thus our present.
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