A few weeks ago Jason Gibson wrote a post that covered many of the barriers educators experience when trying to effectively integrate technology. It just so happens that he and I are getting ready to tackle these barriers in an implementation session we’re delivering at a conference next week. While we will be covering a wide range of things to consider, I thought this post would be a great place to start the conversation of how effective implementation can occur.
The first step is to realize that implementation is not something that just magically happens. It is a process. A model that I’ve found helpful in allowing me to think through all of the pieces that must occur to see effective implementation is the Haddon Matrix.
The Haddon Matrix is a commonly-used model in the field of emergency management. As you can see from the image above it consists of a Pre-Event, an Event, and a Post-Event. I can already hear the voice in your head saying “What does emergency management have to do with implementing technology?”. The answer is probably more than you think.
In their book “Switch,” Chip and Dan Heath explain that when looking at potential emergencies, officials use the Haddon Matrix to make life as safe as possible. The example of an automobile accident was used in the book. For example, if you consider a car accident an event, roadways would be one of several “pre-events” that help to reduce the number of collisions. Roads are marked clearly with lines, have guardrails where appropriate, and are repaired in a timely manner (usually) if damaged. Many newer cars even have “pre-event” equipment such as sensors letting you know when a car is in your blind spot.
For the event itself, if an accident were to occur cars are equipped with anti-lock brakes, airbags, safety belts and so on to help reduce the chances of being injured.
Finally, after an accident occurs (the post event) emergency response teams that range from police support to helicopters are available to help depending on the need. As a whole this process makes travel safer.
So where does effective implementation of technology fit in? For successful implementation to take place there are several phases one must go through. If you think of the effective use of technology as being the event, there are certain things that must occur before and after this event for it to be successful.
This is why the Haddon Matrix is useful. It helps us define the event and what must occur before, during, and after it to achieve success. After first learning about the model, I began using it for everything from planning a successful training event to taking a trip. I find myself always asking what I need to do before, during and after a meeting, training, family trip, etc… to make it successful.
So if successful implementation for you means students and teachers using a specific technology in the classroom to increase achievement, what must occur before and after this for it to actually work? For example, proper training and installation are two things that come to mind that would need to be done prior to seeing successful implementation occur. Follow up training and evaluations (by both administration and the end users) would likely need to occur after.
What else needs to occur before and after classroom implementation of technology? We would love to hear you thoughts in the comments section below!