Sunday, May 6, 2012

Module 5

Recently, I encouraged my fellow faculty members to utilize Google Docs to facilitate department meetings and collaboratively record meeting minutes. For the most part, the (math) department that I am a part of of was very supportive and willing to try this new approach. However, many of the other staff members appeared to lack enthusiasm and viewed Google Docs as an addition to the technological demands to which they were already trying to adjust and incorporate in daily routines. The behaviors were not rude or pessimistic, but instead, were rather passive and lacking in any visible signs of enthusiasm or willingness to try. Using Keller's Model, the motivation of my colleagues can definitely be changed.

As Driscoll (2005) suggested, I would first want to get the attention of my colleagues. Using a staff meeting as my platform, I could project the creation and participation in a Google Doc so everyone could see how simple it is to do. I could enhance the relevance by explaining how it is difficult for us to travel from classroom to classroom throughout the day - - and this technological tool allows us to communicate and collaborate without being face to face. In addition, when we assign one member of a team to create an artifact such as a lesson plan or a quiz, there is disappointment when the finished product does not reflect everyone's standards of quality. With the use of Google Docs, all members of a team can collaborate in the creation of artifacts together. This is turn builds confidence in each member since they are a contributing factor. Lastly, there is a general satisfaction since the contributors and administrators can view the 'revision history' in the Google Docs to see the contributions that every member of the team made. That way, the administration can be satisfied that every member of the team is on board. And the members of the various teams can be satisfied in knowing that there contributions do not go unacknowledged.

Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.


  1. Tawana-
    I think the indifference that some educators have when being shown a new technology is the most discouraging. If someone is outright against it at least a dialog has been started. Then you can look at their objections and roadblocks and see how to navigate a path that works for them.

    You made a good point about raising the standard of work when working as a team in an openly collaborative environment. I think we saw that when we worked on our project together. I really felt the need to put my best foot forward and help where ever I could.
    Thanks for an enlightening post.

  2. Tawana,

    I remember when I had to utilize Google Docs for the first time to work collaboratively with my group. I was not totally against it, but I was a little apprehensive. I had never used it before and didn't want to seem absolutely ignorant about it. Once I tried it, I loved it and it was easy to use. I tried to get my co-workers to enroll in Edmodo, a secure social learning environment. I was met with opposition. I am the only one at my school of almost 1800 students with an account. You have a well thought of plan to introduce Google Docs to your co-workers. Great post!!!

  3. Tawana

    You have shared great ideas for motivating your colleagues to utilize a resource that could prove beneficial to their classroom process. Your ideas involve modeling how to effectively use the technology. I would love it if a colleague did not just tell me about a new process, but actually showed me how to use it. I think that I would definitely be more likely to adopt the process in this case. Great post.

  4. Martha, I too saw the power of collaboration when we worked on our Google Doc as well. It was so interesting to be a part of creating an artifact that reflected the thoughts of everyone in our group. I thought it was great how we all were willing to challenge each other's ideas or rationale for wanting to change, add or omit various components of our work. The intellectual discourse was absolutely phenomenal. Ever since then, the math dept and (other departments as well) utilize Google Docs to collaborate on various tasks. And yes, you definitely put your "best foot forward" and were an asset to our team.

  5. Greetings Tracy! Yes, I was very fortunate to have my team act as the early adopters in our building. Because my school is broken into pods (consisting of 4 teachers - 1 per each core subject), I was able to have the other math teachers encourage their pod members to get on board with Google Docs as well.

    It is interesting that you mentioned being apprehensive about utilizing Google Docs. I, on the other hand, was apprehensive about working in a group altogether. However, when one of my group members (Martha) did decide to initiate a Google Document, I was able to see (right away) how knowledgeable and willing to collaborate my group members were. So it definitely provided a positive learning experience for me. Thanks for your comments.

  6. Greetings Vida!

    Yes, I am also a visual learner. I actually need to see a demonstration that is also coupled with audio instructions. Otherwise, I will not see the true value in the technology. I was glad that my building principal asked us to do a demo for the staff. I believe that all were initially thinking "Here we go again with another tech tool..." However, I believe they were all surprised to see how quick and easy Google Docs is to use. Thanks for feedback.