Supporting emerging technologies

Thanks to Grainne Conole for sharing this on Facebook this morning, and to Michelle Pacansky-Brock for sharing on LinkedIn too – 5 Ways to Support Faculty Who Teach with Emerging Technologies.

It’s a great image (available from Mindwires, CC BY) depicting 5 types of innovators, or rather 5 approached of innovating in learning and education, from the (my understanding of the labels, anyway!):

  • ‘Laggards’. Those who  follow on once a technology has proven itself.
  • Late majority. Those who will join the implementation of something new once the initial buzz has quietened down and the research is starting to support it’s use.
  • Early majority. Like those in the ‘late’ majority, they will wait for the back to be broken on the testing and development before adopting and implementing, but will have been keen observers from the start.
  • Early adopters. Being involved and helping developing new uses for existing technologies (as well as driving developments) the early adopters will often be closely tied with the ‘innovators’ through professional connections.
  • Innovators. The first to know, the first to try, and sometimes the first to fail. These ‘technology enthusiasts’ will not stop when something doesn’t work, they’ll often try again, alter their approach or expectations, and keep looking around to see if there’s anything else they could use to improve work or learning efficiencies.

What do you think, do you identify yourself (or someone else) in any of the descriptors here?

    • Totally agree James – we are all these roles/perspectives to different people and/or at different times, and for different projects.

      “Of course one of the real challenges is to do this is from an holistic organisational perspective and get everyone to start to embed and increase their use of learning technologies where appropriate to enhance and enrich teaching, learning and assessment.”

      For me, as long as people are flexible and able to identify their own likes/dislikes with change or development (even if they don’t actually do anything with this), then they are able to move freely around the labels according to the need, the personal or professional requirement, and their own requirements.

      Thanks again.

  • Ann-Kathrin Watolla

    Great image, indeed. However, in addition to asking who you identify with, I believe we should also be asking for the motives of these different types, especially of the ‘laggards’ and the ‘late majority’. Why is it that they are only slowly following? Is it because they don’t know how to use a new technology, are afraid to use it or do they really don’t believe in its potential benefits? And the same goes for the other types as well: if we understand why people identify themselves with a certain type, we can better understand how to help them embrace new technologies.

    • Ann-Kathrin – totally agree with you, it’s enough for some just to keep up with what the community is talking about, let alone to be ahead of it. I have worked with people at all stages shown above – some are happy in following the crowd, others are keen to find their own way. Each to their own, yes?