How Do We Get Others To BUY IN? To Make Them Go The Extra Miles With E-learning?

The other week I received an email to a presentation for school teachers on e-learning, which I agreed without hesitation, at no cost, because:

  1. Funnily enough it is the high school my oldest son attends (emotional attachment)
  2. I am responsible for auspicing their aquaculture program at the school i.e the teacher delivers VET qualifications at the school and I keep an eye on how it is delivered and assessed (work attachment)
  3. Assumed that the presentation was on topic that I have presented on a million times (no preparation required)

Admittedly I keep making the same mistake, saying YES, before realising the true extent of what is involved. Well, guess what they are not interested in my standard presentations, they are interested in the elearning leadership project I am currently doing. The school is trying to get elearning happening more, and they want me to give advice to the teachers responsible for inspiring (leading) other teachers to uptake elearning.

At this point the word BUGGER, springs to mind for two reasons:

  1. My training wheels are definitely displayed prominently when it comes to leadership and faciliating professional development. Yes – I know a bit about the use of technology and mobile devices with students, teaching aquaculture to students, and faciliating online courses but I am NEW to faciliating professional development.
  2. Last time I checked I was a TAFE lecturer (i.e. vocational education and training). My continued work with students is invaluable when delivering professional development to other TAFE lecturers because it gives me credibility (relate to their situation and students). But from my work with school teachers in our aquaculture program this credibility is not transferable to school teachers. I know LIKE relates better to LIKE.

So I decided the best solution was to ask for tips from people involved with inspiring school teachers to uptake elearning at their schools.

Here is where I am at so far:

  1. Brian C. Smith (Mobile Minded) nicely agreed to do Skype interview, at 11.30 pm, his time on how they get teachers involved. I am currently in the process of creating a video from this interview – watch this space!
  1. Sent email to Darren Draper (Drapes Take) and he created a fanastic video for me. Honestly it was SO FUNNY I had tears running down my face. Darren, forget the blogging, you should be a podcaster. TAKE the time to WATCH THIS VIDEO and encourage others to watch as well! This video desires a SNOW DAY!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/omWi_XQgbvU" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Can You Help Me?

Now I don’t want to cause an International incident and I know that other Aussies will realise that I only have interviews by Americans. WHY? Well, I know that Graham is probably really tired from Melbourne (so worried about asking), Jason is snowed under, have not had time to contact anyone else because they only gave me the final details on Friday and the presentation is this Monday afternoon.

But my work on elearning leadership is ongoing!

I would love to hear from ANYONE (e.g. school teachers, instructional technology specialist, TAFE lecturers, librarians etc) who is INVOLVED with inspiring others to uptake elearning!

If you want to do an interview, or create a video – fantastic – but I understand time issues – and comments below would be EXCELLENT! Before Monday = even better!

You can check out my personal progress on elearning leadership HERE – remember this is a work in PROGRESS (and I will be adding everyones tips and advice to my leadership site).

Here is my questions:

  1. What are your TIPS?
  2. How do you get OTHERS TO BUY IN? To go the extra steps and actually use what they have learnt outside of professional development workshops.
  3. What professional development workshops do you find works the best when your participants have limited technology skills?

11 thoughts on “How Do We Get Others To BUY IN? To Make Them Go The Extra Miles With E-learning?

  1. I used a Ning site to present to educators last week and it was a huge success. You are welcome to use my site. My blog describing how to do it is here http://injenuity.com/?p=5 Brian also helped me out by logging in during the presentation and sending a photo. The teachers were impressed!

    Jen Reply

  2. Sue,
    I do a lot of professional development. Adults want the learning to be highly relevant, and you are right in that they want to be sure you understand them. You’ll have a range in the room. Some will be afraid of the technology itself, some will be afraid of the time it will take. It can help to acknowledge the fears, maybe even do a shout out of them. It will give you a sense of where the concerns are. Then balance it will a shout out of what people are excited about, which will give you an idea of how many people are at the other end of the spectrum.

    The biggest thing with people who are low tech users is not to overwhelm them with all the cool things they can do. Focus on a few things, preferably ones that you can say can save them time rather than things that will take a lot of time. Maybe using delicious bookmarks to share resources with others? You have good material on that already, which you can then refer them to for follow up. You have to scaffold the learning after they leave you. You can’t get them to integrated application in a training….they have to do that later. But you can refer them to resources that will help them when they are doing it by themselves.

    Think about something they can do and be successful. So if you send them to a site, make sure there is something clear for them to do, and someone who will interact with them. Seed it with conversations. Show them people asking questions and getting answers. I think a site with just unanswered questions (which is an all too common occurrence) is too intimidating for newcomers.

    Remember there is no lack of information, there is too much. The most effective thing you can do is provide filtering and guidance about a pathway through the info.

    Hope there is something helpful here. I’m sure you’ll be great.

    Christine Martell Reply

  3. It’s hard to top Darren’s advice but after emerging from my tiredness after Melbourne, I reckon there’s some power in sharing the story of how you got involved in using Web 2.0 tools, what were the factors that caused you to “buy in” and where that journey has taken you. I’m still worried that the solemn, quiet faces after my session were because they thought I was crud but it could have been that they were thinking hard about I had to say. Your point about “LIKE relates better to LIKE” probably is worth exploring and explaining as the fact that elearning is the common thread between sectors and education roles can be exploited. Put it to your assembled group that there is more to learn from people in different situations than your own – and that the best thing Web 2.0 does is allow you to easily learn from others. Look at who’s offering to help you here – they aren’t fellow aquaculture TAFE lecturers, but they are all elearners. I’ll be on Skype tonight if you want to bounce some more ideas but seriously, point them towards your wiki as a starting point and tell your story.

    Graham Wegner Reply

  4. Yes, I agree with Christine that you have to present a little – keep it simple, don’t go in at the deep end (show them flickr before podcasts) and don’t overwhelm them with new gadgets which are fun but of limited relevance. (I am fascinated by GPS but really how can I use it usefully with my ESL classes?); allow them to see how they can use the technology, which means finding out who your audience is going to be and what subjects and kinds of classes they are teaching. If the group is too general, why not just take a tour round EdNa and nings to show them how they can use it meet like-interested teachers?

    But really Sue, I think you are worrying too much, having been in one of your sessions I personally picked up so much. You have to bear in mind, however, that you have to be content with a very low adoption rate. I have been trying to get our teachers to embrace e-teaching more than they do and you have to accept two things:
    • only a few participants (if any) will do anything about your suggestions, even though they all greet the new knowledge with apparent (and often real) interest
    • initial enthusiasm of most of these few will soon give way to former routines.

    I had an example of this last week. Two years ago I showed some of our distance learning lecturers how to correct e-mailed scanned assignments (from a workbook) by writing over them with an image editing program (even Paint although I would use something like Snagit now), re-attach them and email them back. Fantastic, they all said! so easy! so simple! and so time-saving! Anyway, I was wandering around the office on Monday and saw a completed workbook assignment printed out in B&W. I asked one of the teachers who said yes, we print off the jpg attachment, correct it and send it back by AusPost. , I asked? Yes, yes, it doesn’t matter if times have changed…

    You can but hope to inspire by your example but don’t be put down if not much comes of your efforts – you have done your bit to change the world.

    Philip N Reply

  5. I have learnt something new. DOn’t use greater than signs a speech marks.
    Last bit of penultimate paragraph should read:
    I asked one of the teachers who said yes, we print off the jpg attachment, correct it and send it back by AusPost. “But why”, I asked? “Well we’ve always sent back their work by post.” Yes, yes, it doesn’t matter if times have changed…

    Philip N Reply

  6. Sue,

    This is a great idea to have people submit interviews, and I will gladly send one your way, as soon as time allows. Darren’s was classic.

    Patrick Reply

  7. Sue, what you are really doing is showing them a taste of the possible! and why it makes sense with digital kids – point to ideas from Pew Report, Marc Prensky etc as rationale. Throw in a couple of short videos – my favourites are the CISCO human network videos (you’ll find them in my vodpod. Encourage the teachers to draw on their expertise to create new experiences for their students, and to do this by ‘having a go’ at some new tools. Give them a ‘wish list’ of Web 2.0 tools – like the list I have in my latest slideshare presenation. In other words, make it exiting, challenging, fun and definitely something they CAN do – and actually CAN’T afford not to do as well 🙂 Good luck and enjoy!

    Judy O'Connell Reply

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