Activity 1: The Diffusion Simulation Game
Your experience playing the game.
The first time I played I wasn’t very intentional in my choices and didn’t look at the lunch mate or social committee. I found it frustrating at how long it took to get people interested and then ready to adopt peer tutoring. I think the game is very similar to real life when you’re trying to get people on board with your new, innovative idea. I like how the game was set over two years.
How many times did it take before you were happy with the number of teachers and staff you convinced to adopt a new technology?
The first time I played the game I had 7 adopters by the end of the game, which I wasn’t entirely happy with. It took me a while to get the principal on board, which slowed down the whole process of getting the strategy adopted by more teachers. I also didn’t really pay attention to who was active socially on staff, which actually made a huge difference as then the teachers would talk about what I wanted them to adopt outside of school time.
The second time I played I was more intentional about getting to know all the personal info on the entire staff, talking with people who’s background sounded like it aligned with adopting the peer tutoring, as well as connecting with more social staff members. I also thought of the first year as a background, intro year and waited until the second year to do the majority of the pro d and such. Even with this strategy I only gained 2 more adopters than my first try.
What strategies worked for you? Which ones did not?
Getting to know the staff was crucial at the beginning, and not just the classroom teachers! You need the secretary and janitor on your side if you’re doing after school activities and trying something new! Also, taking time to get lots of teachers interested by visiting classrooms and going on site visits was key.
Did you learn anything from playing the game that will influence how you approach integrating technology in your own practice? In your Technology Integration Activity project?
I learned how tough it is to get an entire staff adopting one strategy collectively. We have autonomy in how we teach, so that will also come into play with people who are laggards and wish not to adopt a new technology. In my own practice, I would take the time to connect with colleagues on staff and visit other classrooms or schools that have already adopted what I’m interested in. Then from there I’d use it in my class and invite teachers in. When teachers see first hand what you’re trying to promote they have a better understanding and might want to use it in their own classroom. In regards to my Technology Integration Activity project, I’m creating a virtual way for students to submit their assignments so I can give formative feedback along the way. If I’m happy with my end product I think I would reach out to my colleagues to tell them what I’ve discovered using strategies I’ve learned from this simulation.