Because I am an occasional teacher I don’t have a large professional canvas for technology use. I use school computers to check email, and SmartBoards to post my name and the daily schedule/work for students in classrooms that don’t have usable chalkboard space. I also need to check assignment details for supply work where and whenever I am when I get called. Typically I access technology in the workplace for personal use, especially for completing Masters, Human Resources, and Additional Qualification course work. I also keep in touch with my husband throughout the day to schedule and soon to alert him when I go into labor!
Because these are my main uses, my goal in “adoption” of technology is to move toward universal and mobile access to information that I use on a daily basis. This includes lists, calendars, contact information, internet, blackboard, adobe connect, email, social media, and text messaging, also work assignments and directions. I am tired of finding myself stranded without access to information I need, and wasting my time which is extremely valuable.
As a late majority adopter I have slowly explored apps that allow me to move from ipad to blackberry to laptop to networked school computers without having to upload documents and information to email and sending it to myself. I have adopted some “cloud” technology and use applications more fully (i.e. sending text from apps to other apps without copy/paste). My recent switch to a smartphone has been vital to this change enabling me to be more mobile because it gives me internet access on the go, providing a sort of bridge between computer and ipad. Some technology I have adopted include Dropbox and Adobe Reader to open documents while connected to the internet so I can read them later offline; Offline Reader which lets me view websites offline; Blackboard mobile for course work; Course Smart for etextbooks; WordPress App to compose blogs offline, post online later to name a few. My biggest problem is that not all my devices let me access the internet.
Concerns Based Adoption Model (CBAM)
CBAM is a framework that deals with teachers and their concerns throughout the change process. Though the change I am experiencing is implemented by me for my own purpose rather than as part of a wider professional change, the model is applicable.
In terms of the Stage of Concern, I suppose I am at the Consequence stage. I am aware of at least some potential uses of my mobile technology. I have applied some of the information and found it successful which makes me want to learn more. I find it frustrating when I am still not able to achieve the freedom and fluidity I am personally looking for which is so far how the use is affecting me. Due to the quick/simple nature of mobile technology it is not usually time consuming to learn how to complete certain tasks. Most of my learning is informal and management or planning isn’t really required to use the technology once I understand its application.
The consequence stage has me wanting to refine my use my mobile technology to reach a more effortless level. I want to be able to seamlessly access the information when I need it without ever getting stuck. For example, some schools in my board do not have wifi. When I work in one of them and have a prep period I am forced to find a desktop computer to log into which takes time (15 minutes to load!) and is sometimes impossible. In a situation where I need to double check the lesson plans that were sent to me via SmartFind (our automated dispatch system) I just can’t do it. It is also not convenient to recall log in information for all the different platforms, emails, programs, apps etc. that I use.
As per CBAM levels of use, I fit in between refinement and renewal because I am still making changes to improve, making deliberate efforts to “coordinate (i.e. asking peers, researching) but what I am seeking is renewal, more effective alternatives.
My mobile devices do simple substitutions (i.e. to do lists, phone calls), and augmentation, and I believe I have reached the modification level. I want to redefine my use.
Targets, Rationale, Motivators
I am seeking redefinition or renewal- a new way to complete my work that avoids the barriers annoyances of the old way (logging in, internet access, application compatibility). Though a late majority adopter, I am at the confirmation stage of the adoption process, but need to find a way to use the technology more effectively. My goal is open access and a better management system of personal information with minimal nuisance (no more looking up passwords, copy/past). My reason for wanting this is to streamline and simplify my life and work so I can do more in less time, or from Ely’s conditions, dissatisfaction with the status quo. I no longer have the patience or the time to waste doing things the old slow way. With technology I am able to take on more (three jobs, tons of courses and classes, and a baby) but only if I use it beyond a substitution level, which effectively creates more hours in the day.
As I reflect ton why I have not been able to reach my goal, I wonder if the problem is me, or the technology. I have a lot to learn and could probably make some simple changes to improve my results but I don’t know what they are! On the other hand, maybe some options are not yet available, so the type of access I want is still not possible. In either case, below is a list of obvious inhibitors.
Cost – If I could keep up to date or replace all my devices I would have better compatibility, constant wireless access on each device.
Time – If I had more time I would do more research and experiment to find more solutions, collaborate, ask questions etc.
Tech Issues – Incompatible operating systems, different platforms, some sites not supported on iPad and Blackberry. Specifically my blackberry doesn’t like the school wifi and Blackboard app doesn’t work properly. SmartFindExpress app is only for iPhone, TVDSB First Class does not work on ipad, but don’t know how to sign into Frist Class app and connect to correct server, just to name a few.
Because my mind is on Ely’s Conditions of Change for my upcoming presentation, I wanted to note that all eight conditions seem to be lacking in one way or another and it seems to me that there is a tipping point for each, offering an explanation for why I am not at my goal level.
I do have sufficient knowledge and skill to a certain point, but then I need help. Resources are available, but I don’t know where to look for them. I have incentive to make the changes and adopt the technology, but not enough to actually call the school board tech department and deal with the wifi and email issue. So my last inhibitor is…