You may have heard the story about the young husband watching his wife make a pot roast. As he's watching, she chops off the ends and throws them in the trash. He asks why, and she says, "That's the way my mother always did it."
At Thanksgiving, he gets to ask his mother-in-law why, and she says, "That's the way my mother always did it." That Christmas asks his wife's grandmother. She gives him a funny look and says, "I don't know why they did it, but I did it because my pot roast was always this big," holding her hands about a foot apart, "and my pan was always thins big," moving her hands closer together.
Schools often work the same way. All too often, "We've always done it that way" becomes a justification for maintaining the status quo.
Google Apps for Education gives you a bigger pan so you no longer have to trim the ends off your pot roast. Here's how you can help your stakeholders make the change.
Adding up the variables for Successful Change Management
Making the transition to Google Apps for Education can be intimidating, but it can run smoothly if you follow some simple steps.
1. Get leadership Support for The Change
It all starts with the leaders of the district seeing the benefits of the change. Once you have secured their support and they demonstrate their commitment to making the change, you have an anchor in place to start making the transition.
2. Let people know what's happening
Google Apps for Education promises to make teachers' jobs easier and make schools more effective, but you have to let them know about the change in advance. A marketing and communication plan that highlights the benefits helps put aside the anxiety in this "what's in it for me" world we live in. Help teachers see how Google Apps for Education will help them.
3. Coach 'em up
One of the biggest sources of anxiety for teachers is having to learn a new system, especially when so many of them will feel like they just learned the last one. If you can build time into your professional development for teachers to work with Google Apps for Education, you'll help calm their concerns. Google's Training Center offers training and certifications you can use as the foundation of the professional development.
4. Integrate with existing systems
One of the strengths about Google Apps for Education is the way it can integrate with what teachers are already using. You're not remodeling the entire kitchen to use more of the pot roast, you're just giving teachers the best cookware possible. Google Apps for Education is a tool just like many of the other tools teachers use. It can eliminate and automate many of the repetitive tasks teachers have to do.
5. Provide ongoing support
No matter when you provide the professional development, teachers are going to need updates and continuing assistance. The professional development the week before school starts is a whirlwind, and teachers often feel overwhelmed as they try to learn something new and prepare for the new students they'll meet on Monday. During the school year there is only so much teachers will get in any one day of in-service. Fortunately, the Google Training Center also provides a community where teachers can get the help they need as well as build learning communities of their own.
Let Coolhead Tech help you make the transition to Google Apps for Education. Download our Change Management Guide, and contact us about how we can help you with the change.