Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Module 5

Briefly describe a situation in which you have encouraged people to use a new technology and have been met with resistance or disappointing results. What attitudes did these people exhibit? What behaviors did they demonstrate?

I will never forget my first year moving from a veteran teacher having taught special education in resource and collaborative settings to a teacher in the general education 2nd grade classroom.  Our principal was investigating the process of implementing mimios for our classrooms.  In order to experience with the equipment, he provided teachers with a roll cart which held the mimio equipment.  Mimio is very similar to promethean boards.  He gave me the responsibility of transporting the cart amongst the second grade classrooms, quick training the teachers in its use, and encouraging them to experiment with it.  Boy did I get told.  I met resistance from one particular veteran teacher.  She never moved from her position of arms crossed, smirk on her face and position far away from the equipment.  She informed me that she had no intention of using the material.  She stated that she had done just fine using chalk and board, text,  paper and pencil. She added that she only had one more year and was not about to learn a whole new tool.  This experience was so different from everything I had experienced with my “teacher peers” in special education.  In special education, we were always so tickled to get any new tool to try out with our students! 

On the opposite side I have found that there are those teachers who try very hard to adjust and learn how to use new technology tools.  I especially found this to be true in one first year teacher who taught next to me for several years.  Although we were each older than our remaining team members, we were as excited as young chicks when we got together, shared ideas, and explored new technologies.

The lesson I learned through these experiences is the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are positive, truly care about students, and are creative in their teaching style.

Using Keller’s ARCS model, describe how you could change the motivation of these people, or learners, to encourage success. 

In utilizing ARCS model (Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction), I would do the following:

Promote Attention – Mimio promotes attention immediately.  Students are drawn to the interaction it provides.  They are able to manipulate and interact with the lesson through the use of a pen which makes additions, erases, reveals information and so much more.  Students attention spans are longer when they are engaged and using several of their sensory inputs such as touching, seeing, and hearing.

Improve Relevance –  Teachers would be prepared for this transition rather than throwing it in their hands and saying “here it’s your turn to try it out”.  They will be connected with resources that will enable them to see first-hand how this technology addresses their standards in a dynamic way.  They will have opportunities to discuss amongst themselves issues and ideas for implementation.  Two teachers will be selected to implement it first, and then share their success with the others.  Many times, teachers are more willing to try new tools once they see how it is benefiting their peers.

Build Confidence – Teachers will build confidence in their implementation of the new technology if they are allowed to make the transition through steps.  One major downfall in the experience described above is that some teachers felt they were being forced to try it out.  Comments were made by one teacher that she never gets in front of her class and uses something for the first time.  The time frame of trial was way too short.  The time frame would definitely need to be adjusted.

Promote Satisfaction –  The greatest way to promote satisfaction is through seeing others be successful and then implementing it yourself.  Student’s enthusiasm is also a great resource for promoting satisfaction.  Teachers satisfaction will be heightened if there questions and trouble spots are quickly addressed.


Keller, J. M. (1983). Motivational design of instruction. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional-design theories and models: An overview of their current status. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Keller, J. M. (1984). The use of the ARCS model of motivation in teacher training. In K. Shaw & A. J. Trott (Eds.), Aspects of Educational Technology Volume XVII: staff Development and Career Updating. London: Kogan Page.

Keller, J. M. (1987). Development and use of the ARCS model of motivational design. Journal of Instructional Development, 10(3), 2 – 10.

I have responded to Fred Davis and Karen Wondergem's blog.


  1. Debbie,

    As a regular follower of your blogs and a longtime communication instructor, you have highlighted a clear case of territoriality on the part of your colleagues. There is also a prima facie case of proxemics, in which seasoned or veteran colleagues tend to protect their distance -- and in this instance, their turf. Given your well-documented experience as an educator, I know I don't have to tell you about turf battles and the "protective bubble" involving verbal communication, because I'm sure you have a firm handle on these consequential forms of verbal communication.

    However, inherent in your fascinating anecdote, motivation perhaps is not only a communication elixir but a panacea for team-building and collaboration. As this relates to embracing technologies, I have no doubt in concert with the Keller ARCS Model that confidence on the part of a team will ensue. The key word here is confidence, because it helps to scuttle technological temerity and/or apprehension, given the face-paced and rapidly changing landscape of integrated learning technologies.

    Nice job in raising a universal situation!


  2. Debra,
    I feel that sometimes we meet resistance like what you experience because of being unfamiliar with the technology. The veteran teacher you spoke of has been teaching so long the same old way that she is probably scared to try to learn a totally different way of doing things. If only she would have given the MIMIO a chance she would have grown to depend of it. BV

  3. Debra,

    As educators, I think that we need to keep in mind that we must adopt the new technology prior to training and teaching others. This will assist in validating the use and the purpose of the technology. The use of Keller’s ARCS Model will assist teachers in the implementation and break barriers for those individuals who are intimidating and resisting new technologies.

    Question: Do you think that another reason for resistance is the fear of the unknown?


  4. I had the same experience with veteran teachers! They were very resistant to change of any kind. I still find this to be true at the collegiate level- any type of paradigm shift that alters their tried and true way of teaching is seen as an invasion.