In 2012, we adopted iPads for our 7th grade students. Teachers received iPads as well. There was excitement. There was frustration (how did one copy and paste on these things?). There was reluctance.
Change is hard. I want to address this fact before I continue, because even though we've put devices in the hands of every grade level student and teacher in the four years since we've started our 1:1 program, the core of what we want to accomplish will always be more important than access: innovation.
I think it's important to realize that even the Terminator movies had technology that was designed to assist us in our daily lives, make life more convenient, and improve the quality of life we enjoy. Aside from computer viruses, nobody designs a piece of hardware or software to be deliberately cumbersome or cause you distress (unless you count QWOP, which is the most frustrating game ever).
Migrating to a digital workflow solution or trying to make your classroom paperless does come with the task of understanding different digital ecosystems and how they work, which, by necessity, will force you to learn tools you haven't learned before. Sometimes, stuff won't work. Sometimes things will work 93% of the time, but 7% of your students can't get their Google accounts to authenticate that day for Google Classroom. You may have to call your IT guy. You may have to have a plan B.
My point is...don't you always need one? Copiers break. Students forget pencils. And pens. And binders. Educational technology is not the catalyst for chaos - teaching is. We must always adapt to what the needs of our classrooms are. If students are using technology to access information, content, experts, and each other for the majority of their day, why are some of us asking them to get into a time machine when they enter our classrooms? If it's because it's easier for us, I believe that is the wrong answer.
How do we manage change?
The excellent Tim Lings pointed out in a recent forum post that Apple runs training camps that address this type of technology aversion some teachers experience, and how to manage the changing tide:
"Imagine a desert island, and you need to get to another island. Some might jump in the water and swim off straight away. Others might get their binoculars and look out for the sharks. And others might cling to the flag pole on the island you're on already.
Each approach has it's advantages and disadvantages, and none disqualifies someone from leading change. [Some may] be the one[s] jumping in straight away, not noticing that the water might be shark infested!
But to make the change, what you actually need is a boat to carry people across. And in the end, you might need to burn the flag!"
Here are some things that may assist your reluctant tech adopters:
Finally, when your WiFi goes down the day you've scheduled an online exam, just remember that every aspect of being a teacher involves a little improvisation. The plane may be flying at high speeds in the air while we're building it, but we all need a boat to carry us across to the next island when it crashes.