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How to introduce new tech tools to resistant stakeholders

IT leaders

As your district grows and shifts, new tools, platforms, and devices will serve your stakeholders while others become obsolete or duplicative with other tools. 

It’s no secret teachers are busy and school staff have a mountain of requirements as it is. So how can you introduce and implement new technology when the people who need it most are resistant or fatigued by change? 

The answer seems simple, but requires effort: listen. 

Listen to whom? And how? 

We’re hearing across the board that parents want their schools to communicate more, and teachers and staff want to share their input to influence district decisions. 

A research-backed survey is a great way to start listening. You can use survey research to get a pulse on where people are in their understanding and use of technology. Asking questions like “What worries you about new technology?” and “What excites you about new tools?” will help you gauge what is needed from your leadership team. A focus group can help you dive even deeper.  

You might be surprised by what you find. Rural families may not have internet access. Some families may only have access to a mobile device in their home. Other families might not always understand the flyers sent home in backpacks due to language barriers. It’s possible some parents desperately want to share feedback — but the timing of public meetings and parent-teacher conferences are impossible with their work schedules. 

Teachers and staff may have concerns about new technology, too. They may feel overwhelmed at the idea of learning a new platform. Or, maybe they’re concerned about technology adding more work or seemingly unnecessary professional development to their already busy schedules. 

Once you’ve identified key concerns, you can work with your community to provide clear information and training, strengthen connections and trust, and provide equitable communications access. 

For example, translation tools can help you better communicate with multilingual families. Asynchronous communications channels — such as a chatbot — can be used to communicate with people with unpredictable schedules. And, training and demonstrations can help staff better understand how certain technologies can make their lives easier. 

The secret to implementing new technology is to do it in a way that addresses key concerns and meets stakeholders where they are – and this is only possible if you listen first. 

Not sure where to start? K12 Insight offers the only customer experience and intelligence platform purpose-built for education. Connect with us for a demo to learn how we can help you provide better experiences, better engagement and better education.

 

About the Author

Sarah Maston
Sarah Maston is a regional account director at K12 Insight. She has experience in academic program management, district partnerships, online and blended learning, and client services. She is completing a Master of Business Administration from Louisiana State University-Shreveport and has a bachelor’s degree in business marketing management from Western Governors University.

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