Diffusion of Educational Innovations
This project involved identifying a real innovation and developing an adoption plan for the innovation using the Concerns Based Adoption Model (CBAM).
Concerns Based Adoption Model – Hour of Code
The first step I took in creating a Concerns Based Adoption Model was the development of an Innovation Configuration Checklist. This process is very like conducting a needs assessment, identifying components that make adoption of Hour of Code successful. Several iterations of the check list were made and optimal, acceptable, and unacceptable standards were made for each component identified on the checklist.
Data collection using the configuration checklist was the next step. I collected the data by developing a 35-question Stages of Concern Questionnaire. Teacher filled out the questionnaire anonymously.
The results of the questionnaire lead to interviews. I talked with several teachers to obtain more information about specific concerns that could impact the adoption of Hour of Code in their classrooms. The became a collaborative effort to develop a plan to address their concerns.
Finally, I developed a questionnaire identifying levels of use and indicators of behavior demonstrated at each level. This gave information on their perception of each teacher’s actual adoption.
There are two question I continue to hear from school board members and administrators; “How do we get the teacher to use the innovations we purchase?” and “Why purchase technology or adopt innovation practices if it’s not going to be used?” Diffusion of Education Innovations provided some strategies on ways to encourage teachers (and administrators) to use innovations. This course also made me realize how neglected the use of adoption models are in our educational institutions.
I realized how important it is to identify the diffusion network of a school, school system, business, or industry. Innovators are easy to recognize, but just because someone is doing something new or using a new tool, doesn’t mean the innovation will be adopted. This is the reason it is important to identify the opinion leaders and the change agents within an organization. Although the opinion leaders influence many people, it is the change agent that communicates with people regarding need for change, persuading others, buying into the innovation, and utilizing the innovation for their professional and/or personal use. It is important to remember that a change agent can influence the adoption or rejection of an innovation.
The book used for this course, Diffusion of Innovations is a seminal work by Everett Rogers. His research in the ways to use communication to adopt (or not to adopt) innovations is valuable. However, several of his generalization are false generalization.
Rogers’ research, which dates back to 1963, identified early users of innovations as those that have more education and a higher social status than the late adopters. The wide use of the internet and social media have changed the way we communicate about new innovations. I think it is time for new research of the ways the internet and social media have changed generalizations. Understanding the impact of these dynamic influences can only enhance our understanding of the best practices of diffusion of innovations.