Presenting edtech to what may seem like a low-tech audience can sound like high stress, but it does not have to be. Use the questions below as the foundation of a five-part organization to your presentation. Answer them, and your audience will go from no tech to edtech in no time. (And as a bonus, tech-savvy audiences benefit from having these questions answered, too!)
How will using this technology ...
1. make faculty members' lives easier without making things too complicated for them or their students when it's time to start using it?
It's the elephant in the room as one higher education consultant recently shared with me. Educators already have full plates. If it's not one report that's due, then there's a scheduling conflict that needs fixing. If it's not one committee meeting to attend, then it's another one for which an agenda needs to be prepared. Spending an inordinate (or any significant) amount of time trying to learn a new technology is usually not at the top of their "Boy, I Cannot Wait to This!" lists. If you have an outstanding and accommodating training program and stellar tech support that will get and keep faculty and students up and running, detail that in great specificity.
2. create a more engaging in-class teaching experience for faculty members?
If a tech tool has the functionality to make a faculty member even more dynamic and enthusiastic in the classroom, bring concepts to life, allow for real-time formative assessments, for example, then you're talking their language. Show that tool. Show that functionality. Show them what technology can do to make class sessions more enjoyable and more productive. Technology is not a tool that will replace the educator; it is a tool -- that's it -- a tool that enhances what they already do.
3. create a more engaging in-class learning experience for students?
Will your technology make it easier for faculty to conduct classroom assessment techniques, low-stakes and informal activities that gauge learning and understanding? Can using your technology create an effortless ability among faculty to reference the textbook and highlight important points for students? Will it have students asking questions, volunteering ideas, collaborating with classmates? Can your technology move students to read *gasp* BEFORE they arrive to class?! Demonstrate how any -- or better yet -- ALL of that can happen with your digital solution.
4. improve out-of-class conversations between faculty and students?
Extending course conversations beyond the classroom's four walls is every educator's dream. What mathematics professor wouldn't LOVE to walk up on his/her students as they sit in the student union discussing the acute and obtuse angles observed on their slices of pizza? Okay. A long shot. But if a technology offers a discussion board that can keep the momentum going after the class session has ended, one perhaps where you can invite guest speakers from across town or across the globe to engage in a conversation with your students, then you can get educators' attention.
5. help students spend time outside of class preparing for the next class session?
There's homework, then there's homework. The type that moves students to think critically and motivates them to engage in the course material BEFORE arriving to class is just the type educators want. A technology that gives students opportunities to experience bursts of learning in the fashion to which they have become accustomed to receiving information is just the ticket. Show educators how your digital tool moves psychology students from barely knowing a thing about William Perry's Theory of Moral and Cognitive Development to them showing up in class, ready to completely rewrite the theory!