I started doing research on adult learners and change in the early ’90s and am surprised that we still have many of the same issues around change today. Have you ever heard of CBAM (Concerns-Based Adoption Model)? Whenever there’s an innovation of some kind, people take to it at different levels: the Stages of Concern. I wrote this post in 2009 and decided to bring it back with a few updates just so you could see how CBAM could support the integration of technology and even social media.
Here’s what I created to include strategies to guide change on the integration of technology at each of the Stages of Concern. (updated from 2009 version)
History of the CBAM chart and my background
Technology integration is the innovation I used with CBAM from Taking Charge of Change by Shirley M. Hord, William L. Rutherford, Leslie Huling-Austin, and Gene E. Hall, 1987 I learned about long ago. In the ’80s, using technology was new to many schools. It is difficult to even imagine now that very few people had an email address. At that time, email was new and scary. Now more people text or use social media now. The Internet was taboo and not easily available in schools. Internet access was dial-up. Our elementary computer lab was a converted closet with 15 Apple IIes.
I remember being so happy when we received two floppy disk drives for each computer. That meant each computer had 128k and could load Oregon Trail on every computer. Teachers sent their kids to the lab during prep time so their students could play educational games. It was impossible to get teachers to plan their curriculum with the computer teachers. There was no or very little integration with the curriculum.
Does this sound familiar? I am what you call a “Digital Pioneer.” My first computer was around 1978. I learned DOS and how to take my computer apart and put it back together. Actually, you had to those days. I was hooked. Just ask my kids and their therapists. I had to have the first Apple computer called Lisa. I think it cost me over $4,000 and it ran on 64k RAM. I was so excited. I lived and breathed computers.
Learning more each day
I never started at the Awareness Stage. I began at the Informational stage. I wanted to learn more each day. It drove my family nuts. I think I bypassed the Personal stage because I knew this was going to be my life. From my eyes, the computer could do anything I needed to do, and I believed that computers could make the classroom work more efficiently. I made it my life’s work to help teachers use technology. I joined CUE (used to be Computer Using Educators), attended conferences, and was selected to participate in one of the first TLA’s (Technology Learning Academy) at CTP in our region which was before CTAP (California Technology Assistance Project). I think my district sent me to get me out of their hair.
They didn’t realize they created a change agent. I had to make a movie so I used my video camera. I think I spent $2,000 on my second camera plus the tripod, tapes, mics, cables, etc. There were no digital cameras and were all analog. My husband and I used our bathroom for our darkroom to create our own photographs. Back to the video camera. I got into claymation, special effects, and quick and easy videos. I made tutorials on storyboarding, the writing process with movie-making, and more. I just knew that if teachers saw how easy this was, they would want to use technology with their students. I showed the teachers in my district, and they looked at me like I was nuts. They not only resisted, but they also fought me. But this was a long time ago (the late 1990s). If I wanted to use video or computers with students, then they could send me their students. I wrote a Technology Challenge Grant, got it, and became the project director of sorts. Actually, I wrote that “teachers” would do this and that. It happened with only a few at the collaboration level. Today, they would be using their smartphones to capture video. It’s so much easier now.
Tips and Tricks
I went on the speaking circuit; creating videos, showcasing projects, and sharing best practices. I did Tips and Tricks. Became an Edutainer. Actually, I was pretty funny with the intention of providing ideas, tips, and quick ways of integrating technology in their classroom. I created over 250 technology guides with the help of my team and have those as part of My eCoach, but all of them are for older technology. It’s tough to keep up with all the new technology and be a change agent. I thought if you create “Just-in-Time” learning activities, teachers can let go and have their students own the learning process. After years of doing this, I realized I just couldn’t keep up with all the new technology. I started getting evaluations and feedback that I needed to update my presentation. Whew! That was tough but I needed to hear that. Now with social media and all the awesome educators around the world sharing their tips and tricks, I refer to them and learn from them.
Individual Learning Plans
As part of my master’s program in 1996, I created an online assessment for technology integration that generated ILPs (Individual Learning Plans). It took me six months and hiring five people to help me to figure out the algorithms, use Filemaker transferred to Lasso, and uploaded to HTML. It needs to be updated, but I just don’t have the resources to do it anymore. I include a shortened version in My eCoach. I can go on about my story of coaching and how I set up My eCoach and ILPs, but what I’m trying to say here is that integrating technology is still difficult; even with the tools being easier to use and readily available. Things change so fast now, but I’m still seeing that the numbers of teachers at the Collaboration and Refocusing Stages tend to be below 15%.
So why change now?
Why? Because technology today is everywhere and is device neutral. Kids have smartphones and know how to use multiple devices. Many schools are letting go but still need to control the device, what’s on the device, and when kids can use devices. Kids use social media like Snapchat and Instagram, but schools take away their phones. Teachers want to let go but are still concerned about classroom management. Some schools get it, but mostly, we are not there yet. We have to rethink learning, what teaching means, and why our kids as digital natives need to use technology and social media for their learning.
I was fortunate to visit Te Kowhai School in Hamilton, New Zealand last May where middle schoolers were working on their year-long passion projects. What I saw was teachers were advisors. Kids were self-directed and independently using technology for their research. I saw preschoolers using iPads on their own. This is their future, now.
That’s why I will continue to push to support the use of technology in multiple forms for all kids.
Please comment below if you use this chart on CBAM or have any questions for me.
Interested in checking out more of the Rethinking Learning podcasts and reflections, click on the podcast tab at the top, the logo below, or go to https://barbarabray.net/podcasts/
For more information about Barbara’s book, Define Your WHY, go to this page or click on the image of the book for resources, questions, and links.