Sherry, L., & Gibson, D. (2002). The path to teacher leadership in educational technology. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education 2(2), 178-203.
According to the Learning Adoption Trajectory Model (LAT), teachers progress through five distinct stages as they move along the path from learning about a technology to becoming leaders in its use and diffusion in schools. In stage one, the teacher is learning about the technology and requires training and support in understanding the skills and pedagogical purpose of the technology. In stage two, teacher as adopter, teachers trial and share experiences of using the technology in their teaching, requiring ongoing technical support and mentoring. The authors note that, unfortunately, many schools fail to provide training and support to develop teachers beyond this stage.
When they become expert learners at stage three, called teacher as colearner, they are concerned with developing the tool to improve its use and effectiveness in the curriculum. The authors note that this requires a necessary shift in the teacher’s perspective on the ability of technology to enhance teaching and learning. In the progression to stage four, teacher as affirmer or rejecter, the teacher makes a conscious decision to observe and analyse the impact of the technology on student engagement and performance. Alternatively, teachers may consciously reject the tool if they perceive negatives, such as increased workload, outweigh the positives. The final stage five sees the teacher as leader, empirically observing and reporting teaching with the technology and sharing their knowledge and skills with others.
The Learning Adoption Trajectory Model (LAT) demonstrates similarities to Davis’s Arena of change in that it acknowledges “embedded [social] systems” at different levels including external “change facilitators” (p. 180). The authors note the importance of a connected community, where the successful adoption of a learning technology depends upon providing mutual benefits across different areas. For example, if the institution provides professional development time and opportunities to teacher adopters, they in turn may provide peer leadership and mentoring to others.
The LAT model provides a relevant and clear shopping list of strategies necessary for the diffusion of technologies in teaching. The descriptions of strategies are a little simplistic, not addressing how the implementation is achieved. Nevertheless, it is a useful model for identifying what supports need to be in place to stimulate teachers’ adoption of technology use. I found it interesting to note the emphasis on the convergence of resources at an appropriate level and to appropriate persons. In my context of developing online teaching capabilities, it may be important to concentrate professional development resources on those advisors whom we identify as potential leaders.