LIBE 467 Assignment 2: Behaviour Change – An Exercise in Opportunity and Risk

“Often the biggest barrier to innovation is
our own way of thinking.” – George Couros

For the purpose of this assignment, I will discuss two fictitious teachers who work in the same elementary school and their effective use of reference resources in their pedagogical practices.  Using the Concerns-based Adoption Model (Figure 1) to evaluate the success of new programs and techniques, as well as SAMR model ( Figure 2) of technology integration, I will compare the two teachers in their approach to change.    

Teacher 1 – Emerging


Emerging has just started their first full-time position in a grade 4 classroom.  They have been a certified teacher for a couple of years, but mostly in the role of a Teacher Teaching On Call (TTOC).  Emerging wants to engage students in resource-based learning activities but finds the experience chaotic and difficult to clearly identify when learning occurs with her students.  Emerging is working on developing stronger classroom management skills as their students have a difficult time demonstrating the necessary self-regulated learning skills required for personalized learning and inquiry activities.   The helpful and supportive teacher-librarian in their school suggested using the SAMR framework for technology integration and a document called Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada to assist in developing their students’ information literacy skills.  Emerging is starting to take pieces of information from both sources and applying them to their practice.  As the information is new and their pedagogical practice in the early stage of development the resources feel overwhelming and it’s difficult to see results.  Emerging uses some forms of technology in their classroom including visuals and videos but is reluctant to extend the use of technology to her students. Emerging is worried that her lack of framework and experience around technology usage may lead her students to become distracted and resulting in wasted time.  Emerging’s students lack basic information literacy skills and typically use print resources from the library and photocopied learning resources from textbooks. When researching online, students use laptops to access Wikipedia and Google searches. Students in Emerging’s class tend to demonstrate their learning in a variety of written and oral formats including posters, skits, and speeches.


With respect to technology integration using the SMAR model, Emerging is at the substitution level.  Emerging is using online technologies as a direct replacement for offline techniques. For example, instead of documenting research on paper students are documenting research online.  In terms of using the library reference materials and services using the CBMA model, Emerging is at the ‘Personal’ level and at the ‘Information’ level in terms of innovation. They are focusing on their own needs and asking themselves questions like, How does this new approach work?


In order to move Emerging’s practice forward in the area of technology integration, they could consider using technology to transform the learning experience. Instead of using a word processor to individually create content, Emerging could work to create a more collaborative classroom environment and encourage students to write in a collaborative manner on the same document using Google Docs or Microsoft 360.  This would represent a shift wards modification in the SAMR model. In terms of the CBMA model, Emerging would benefit from developing a mentor relationship with someone in their school or school district. They would also benefit from partnering with the teacher-librarian and engaging in team-teaming activities around information literacy.

Teacher 2 – Established 


Established has been an elementary school teacher for 15 years.  They have worked in a variety of schools in the same district and usually teach upper intermediate aged students.  They have a passion for student-led learning experiences and are currently enjoying the rich discussions, inspiring guest speakers, and cognitive dissonance that their Master in Education is Resource-Based Learning provides them.  They consider themself a lifelong learner but feel they need to create more play-based and student-centered learning experiences for their students. Established is active on social media and believes that it is important to develop a strong personalized learning network.  They share their educational successes and setbacks regularly and understand that learning is personal, non-linear, and involves deep explorations (Couros, 2014). Established likes to use theoretical frameworks and sound pedagogical models to anchor their lesson design, lesson planning, and learning experiences with students but they don’t always have the skills to achieve their goals.  They have a strong collaborative relationship with their school’s teacher-librarian and think it’s important to help develop and strengthen students’ information literacy skills. When researching online, students are encouraged to use the school’s online databases rather than general Google searches for their reference needs. Students in Established’s class use a variety of print and digital media and are exposed to some student-led learning experiences.  When asking students to create artifacts of learning she encourages students to combine audio, video, and text into their presentations. Some students remarked that it’s sometimes a little chaotic in the classroom and there is too much freedom.


Established is transforming their practice, and in terms of technology integration on the SAMR model is in the ‘modification’ zone.  For example, when working on presentations Established has moved beyond the realm of a poster or a simple slideshow with text into the realm of multimedia content.  In terms of using the resources and services from the library to facilitate learning, Established is in the collaboration phase heading towards refocusing on the CBMA model.


Established is in an excellent position to embrace and move their teaching practice forward. Already in the phase of ‘modification’ with respect to SAMR, it would not take much effort to continue the transformation by using technology for the creation of new tasks not previously possible.  For example, when studying content presented by the teacher, Established considers making connections-based learning partnerships instead, or Established may consider directing students towards a more interactive presentation like Nearpod.  In terms of the CBMA model, Established could take on a leadership role in their school around the process of change – a change champion among the rest of the staff and a mentor to those in the earlier stages of concerns and levels of use of innovation.      


“Change is a highly personal experience, involving developmental growth in feelings (the Stages of Concern) and skills (the Levels of Use)” (The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM), 2008) that often requires a catalyst to ignite momentum.  These catalysts can materialize at any moment and from unexpected sources. It requires opportunity and a little risk to embrace and tackle unfamiliar tasks. Those in the process of change need a foundation of support on which to build upon.  Mentors, virtual networks, and pedagogical frameworks such as SAMR and CBAM and help during these transitional phases in an educator’s life. Teacher-librarians can help support teachers in their school by utilizing these models to “improved student achievement through the refining of instruction for essential literacy, research and inquiry and communication skills” (CLA, 2014).


Bringing Engagement and Joy to Every Classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2020, from

Canadian Library Association (CLA). 2014. Leading Learning:  Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada. Available:

Couros, G. (2014, December 27). Retrieved from

LaurieElishPipe. (2015, December 6). Concerns Based Adoption Model is a helpful  tool to ensure you provide coaching support Ts need when they need it. [Tweet]. Retrieved from

The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM): A Model for Change in Individuals (2008). [PDF File]. Retrieved from

Chapter Reflection: Digital School by Clive Thompson

“As various educational analysts have joked, if you brought a bunch of surgeons from a hundred years ago into today’s hospitals, they would have no idea what was going on, because everything about their craft had evolved: antibiotics, laparoscopic devices, MRIs. But time-traveling teachers would have no trouble walking into an elementary school (or even Harvard) and going to work, because schools are nearly identical. Walk to the front of the class, pick up the chalk, and start lecturing.” (Thompson, 2014)


Educational theorists from around the globe agree that the model of school has not changed much in centuries.  I believe that is about to change.


The evolution of digital technology use in schools is increasing all the time.  Educators are using digital tools to augment the limitations of our brains, provide meaningful and authentic learning opportunities, and create artefacts of learning that can be shared and improved on by others.  Of course, this kind of process takes time.  Whenever a new practice is developed there are always those folk who realize its potential early and jump on board.  For others, it takes a little more time to change.


Innovators and Early Adopters are pushing the boundaries with digital technologies in schools while the Early Majority are now moving through the framework of SAMR model of technology integration in their classrooms.  I am sure, upon reflection, the history of school will be divided into the time before and after the digital revolution.

The utilization of digital technologies in our schools is still in its infancy.  Diffusion of innovation theory describes how, why, and the rate in which new technologies, ideas, and processes weave their way into the fabric of society.  According to Everett Brown’s research on diffusion theory, there are four main factors that influence the process of adoption of an idea:

  1. The innovation itself
  2. How information about the innovation is communicated
  3. Time
  4. The nature of the environment the innovation is introduced in  (Rogers, 2003)

The decision to adopt a new idea, process, or technology is based on what Rogers calls the Innovation Decision Period (IDP).  The stages of the IDP are:


Innovation Decision Process (IDP) (1)


“The adoption of an innovation follows an S curve when plotted over a length of time.  The categories of adopters are innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.” (“Diffusion of Innovations,” n.d.)  The adoption of digital technologies, aligned with sound pedagogical models of technology integration, which are used to make school more meaningful and personally relevant to learners are still in the ‘early adopter’ phase.  Several factors stand in the way of the diffusion of digital technologies in our public schools and include; inadequate funding, privacy issues related to FIPPA, general resistance to change, infrastructure issues, hype, and misuse.  According to Thompson (2014) classroom technology has a long history of hype that has rarely delivered.  From radio to television, these innovations have been positioned as saviours to the education system but have failed to live up to their claims.  I believe that schools need robust instructional frameworks to manage new technologies and avoid spending a whole pile of money on using digital technologies for the sake of digital technologies by replicating offline activities, online.


When embracing digital technologies in the classroom the SAMR model of technology integration is both simple and robust.  The model encourages educators to move the practice of using digital technologies from the acts substituting offline activities to online activities to creative new ways of creating, evaluating and sharing content.

SAMR Model

Image the creation of Dr. Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D.

As educators move from positions of substituting offline for online activities to creating content, developing and sharing knowledge, they improve their instructional practice.  Embracing a model of technology integration like SAMR will increase the legitimacy of digital tools by the majority of educators, parents, and educational leaders.  At this point, comparisons with prophesied educational technology revolutions of the past, such as radio and television can end.  Resulting in a move towards creating a new vision of school where all stakeholders have a voice at the table.


Smarter Than You Think, a book by Clive Thompson, tackles this idea that change needs to be adopted in our education system.  His chapter titled Digital School helped me to question the purpose of using digital technologies in my classroom, and prompted me to critically-evaluate the tools I use.  Deciding whether or not to embrace digital technologies in schools is no longer the question we should be asking.  Instead, we should be asking how we can use digital technologies to create artefacts of learning, which are both authentic and meaningful?


Thompson’s discussion on the merits of coding in school were personally relevant as it coincided with my class’s participation in the Hour of Code.  I appreciated Thompson’s discussion around the work Seymour Papert championed in the 1960’s with his Logo programming language.  I’m sure I’m not the only teacher who struggles to make aspects of mathematics personally relevant to their students.  Unlike Logo, where students programmed a turtle to move around the screen during the Hour of Code, my students were making a character skate patterns in ice.  While I walked around the room, I observed several unique moments.  Students did not need to ask me constantly questions about a task; they seemed to understand what was required.  Secondly, I saw cycles of failure and success, which led to new learning.  I rarely see students take these kinds of risks in offline activities.  Thirdly, I saw students collaborate in more supportive ways than I have seen before.  Perhaps most importantly, from an educator’s perspective, I saw student’s experiment and develop new knowledge about mathematical concepts such as computational thinking, angles, and shape naming.  My Hour of Code was a complete success!  I certainly agree with Thompson when he says, “It proves that you learn by experimenting and making mistakes, and not by trying to be perfect the first time.” (Thompson, 2014)


Diffusion of Innovations. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved December 16, 2014, from

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations. New York: Free Press.

Thompson, C. (2014). Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing our Minds for the Better. New York: The Penguin Group.

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