No matter how well you prepare, there are always going to be issues with your transition to Google Apps. Some people will seize on those issues to reinforce doubts and resistance to your implementation. The key is not to let those small missteps derail your program. Don’t give in to the negativity.
Show the value
“I think it’s best not to directly address negativity,” says Dean Stokes, a Google Certified Teacher working as a Learning Technologies Manager at a secondary school.
“Obviously you need to answer questions, but it’s much better to spend as much time as possible with those people, guiding them through different features so that they end up seeing for themselves how good this stuff is.” “The key is providing proper training that doesn’t just show how to use the basics of Google Apps for Education, but how to actually integrate it into the curriculum,” says Peter Henrie, Google and Edtech Consultant at Amplified IT in Virginia. “Administrative staff are regularly resistant to the switch, but showing them Google Forms and how it can save many steps on gathering data can turn a non-believer into a dedicated follower within minutes.”
Keep on talking
Kate Fahey, Instructional Technology Specialist, Lockport Township High School East, says that ongoing training and communication is the most effective way to overcome resistance.
“I am in constant contact with the teachers via email, department meetings, district meetings, quick questions in the hallway, brainstorming sessions, co-teaching, and many other avenues,” says Fahey. “Some of the most eager teachers were the most inexperienced, yet some of the negative ones were already using technology in a meaningful way. For some, it was as simple as sharing a Google Doc with their students for the first time.”
“Sitting beside them while they explore is intrinsically more motivating as they begin to realize that the scary online things are much less scary and much more helpful than they originally thought,” says Stokes.
You are always going to have naysayers. Information and communication are the best ways to win them over.
For even more tips and best practices for a school’s GAFE implementation, download our eBook.