PROMOTING TECHNOLOGY: 13 WAYS TO DO IT
by Karen Robertson
Here are some great ideas to turn educators, students and
community members into technology users and supporters.
These are methods I've successfully used to promote
HOLD EXECUTIVE BRIEFINGS
Show board members, community leaders, teachers, facility
planners, finance directors, and the superintendent the
latest technology. Ask hardware vendors to send
representatives to demonstrate their latest products.
COORDINATE TOURS TO OTHER HIGH-TECH SCHOOLS
Visit schools within a 50-mile radius to learn about
equipment being used there.
HOLD "COMPUTER DAY" FOR PARENTS
Invite parents for a hands-on computer day. Provide child
care and offer computer instruction. Teach them to use
the software their children use daily. Plan enough
instruction on word processing to allow them to create and
print out a brief letter to their child.
HAVE STUDENTS EVALUATE SOFTWARE
Choose a class to evaluate each new piece of software.
Better yet, develop a "techie tribe" that always, when new
software arrives, fills out the registration card, boots
it up, and explores its capabilities. Let the students
demonstrate it to their teacher and the technology
HOLD CONTESTS REGULARLY
Carmen Sandiego Day-Broderbund has a catalog of Carmen
Sandiego shirts, folders, contest suggestions, stickers,
Creative Word Processing Contest-Promote keyboarding, word
processing, and writing skills by integrating them into a
Computer Art Contest-Students enter computer generated art
Write articles for local newspapers, magazines and chamber
of commerce newsletters. Call the local newspaper every
time you plan a computer contest or project.
DEVELOP A MEDIA CENTER WITH A TRAINED TECHNICIAN
Train the technician to use software, which can be checked
out of the media center by teachers and administrators.
Have software catalogs and computer magazines available.
Invest in site licenses. The technician can facilitate
copying and dissemination. He/she becomes another arm for
the technology coordinator.
SEND OUT A NEWSLETTER
A regular, professional looking publication to the
community is a great way to spread the word about your
SEEK OUTSIDE FUNDS
Write grant proposals and ask local businesses to support
the computer you want, what needs it satisfies and how
much it costs. Enter any contest that offers equipment or
software as prizes. Hold fund-raisers.
MAXIMIZE TECHNOLOGY USE
Create mobile laptop or multimedia stations, a video
production studio, cable TV station, telecomputing station
or satellite learning center. Allow students to checkout
laptops, VCR's, video cameras, and classroom computers.
REWARD THOSE WHO COME FOR TRAINING
Give tickets at the end of the session, have a drawing. I
have given away software, coupons for dinner at local
restaurants, two raw T-bone steaks, candy, key chains, and
paid vacations. (A paid vacation consists of one hour of
freedom for the teacher while I teach his/her class.)
Select and train a computer contact teacher at each school
or site to train other teachers, distribute software ,and
promote technology on the site level.
TRAIN STUDENTS TO BE TROUBLESHOOTERS
Teach them to set up and break down a computer, and impart
some basic troubleshooting skills. Give them
identification badges; they'll become your maintenance
staff. At the end of the year, recognize them with
certificates of appreciation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KAREN ROBERTSON is a technology coordinator for Murrieta
Valley Unified School District, Murietta, CA.
Adapted from SCHOLASTIC'S ELECTRONIC LEARNING,