Thursday, October 18, 2007

Facilitating change in ed tech

Several years ago I decided I knew what our field was about:

- Designing good instruction and related resources to help people learn and perform on the job

- Helping people make use of the learning tools and resources available to them.

In short, helping people design and use learning tools and resources.

Easy to say, harder to do!

Because it takes so much work and time, the design part takes up lots of room in our graduate curriculum - learning theory, instructional models, development tools, etc. But the using part needs attention too.

Along these lines I invite all students in my two classes to read the following paper:

Dan Surry and Don Ely, Adoption, Diffusion, Implementation, and Institutionalization of Educational Technology

This was a draft chapter in the first edition of Dempsey & Reiser's Trends and Issues in IDT book. The concepts are just as valid today, and they relate our roles of change agents within our organizations. The chapters appears in the second edition as well.

Two videos are also recommended:

Who Moved My Cheese Part 1

Who Moved My Cheese Part 2

The Surry-Ely paper outlines Everett Rogers' model of diffusion of innovations; that's the best-known model for change and technology. I'd be very interested in your response to these ideas - especially how the change ideas relate to your leadership role in your school or business. Do you find similar profiles of people, from innovators and early adopters to more reluctant or resistant users? Do you find similar motivations or incentives for people to engage in change? What works best in your organization, to help people make positive change?