Well-meaning IT initiatives often encounter pushback and resistance before they even get started. Teachers may see the new initiative as “just another thing” on their plate or may feel unprepared to tackle an entirely new discipline.
To ensure a smooth transition to teaching computer science, campus and district leaders will need to empower teachers to take ownership of the change, rather than just asking them to conform to it.
Here are some tips to make sure your teachers have the space, support, and resources to help them take ownership of implementing IT initiatives with confidence.
Finding time through an interdisciplinary approach
Time. It’s the first thing that comes out of educators’ mouths when asked what they need to be successful. It may even seem cliché to mention it, but in the specific case of computer integration, time is more than a conceptual constraint for teachers. When it comes to IT integration, time presents a real structural constraint that must be overcome.
The structure of the school day is already defined. We start our day at 8:00 in the morning, and we leave at 3:30 in the afternoon. In between, one hour is dedicated to math, reading, science, and all other important and necessary things to meet the learning and other needs of the students.
When there are only so many hours in the day, it becomes nearly impossible to find time for computing, despite its potential to inspire, motivate, and meaningfully engage students in some really cool stuff. .
Most schools already have some sort of special rotation in which students spend time each week in art, music, or another subject. Computing could become another ray in this rotation quite easily, and many schools are already doing this.
The problem with this solution is that it leaves little time for IT, and that it also takes time away from the other areas studied during the rotations.