CBAM ~ Stages of Concern in Action!

CBAM ~ Stages of Concern in Action!

In case you were thinking I was making up how awesome my staff is, I wanted to share a tidbit I happened upon today. It was great timing as my post yesterday was on the Concerns Based Adoption Model and adult learners. Today as I strolled through a second grade class, I happened upon a teacher who has been wiggling around in Stage 3 (management!) and caught her as she took a step out into utilizing her Ipad with kids.

Kim is a great example of …”well, what the heck,I’ll try it…,” a really fun quality in a teacher! She has been making great use of her IPad as we had asked her to ~ living it, getting to know it, getting comfortable doing it. However, knowing her, I was not surprised when I walked in and saw her using her Ipad for the kids, with a reflection app on the ActivBoard, to engage them in a new (to them) way to publish. As she was showing the kids some of the ins and outs of Pages from her Ipad, they were able to watch her navigate the Ipad as she explained a bit about Pages and then were pumped when she told them they were going to check out an Ipad from the library for them all to use. They would even be able to present their writing form the Ipad with the reflection app….just like her! Student engagement,anyone?

As a leader, I celebrated her leap! As a learner, I asked her where she thought she was operating on CBAM. She very quickly responded ~ Level 3. When I probed as to why, she came back with a new number….2.5! (Not my intent by the way.) Kim’s reasoning made me smile: I feel like I am beginning to wonder how this will affect my classroom, but I also feel like the 3 is partly me because I am getting things ready and jumping in with experimenting with them more than just thinking about it . . . I don’t know is this a 2???

Based upon her response, what level would you suggest she is operating within?


1:1 with kids….what are the first steps?

As I mentioned in my first post (ever, I might add) I hope that my reflections on our journey can be helpful to others who are contemplating this incredible evolution or who are like me, and find themselves in the midst of it as a leader.  I think it’s important  to share some background steps my district provided for us at the school sites. This link will take you to a ppt slide show that includes a summary of how we got to January 25….the Board of Education meeting where the history and subsequent pilot were rolled out and approval was requested. The slide you would want to notice if you want some steps from the district perspective is slide 2.

Other items of note in the summary/history are:

  • a “field trip” to Springfield, Illinois (3 hours or so from St. Louis). Springfield Public Schools are currently implementing a 1:1 initiative. My colleagues who attended were so impressed with the evidence they saw in  Springfield. Kudos to Springfield!
  • you can read about the WHY of Ipads on slide 10 ~ we are actually going ahead with the Mini’s, rather than straight up Ipads. I guess I need to get more proficient with my thumbs!
  • You can also read our plan to gather evidence of success of the pilot.  This is on slide 16.

One thing that  Springfield shared, and we had already jumped on, was their wish that they had put Ipads into the hands of teachers FIRST, well ahead of the kids. That makes sense. Imagine being told you were going to need to modify your teaching and planning using this fabulous new tool that you were going to get at the same time as the kids. Imagine learning the tech at the same time in the kids. Who are we kidding? The kids would be light years ahead of some of us, if we didn’t already have the technology on our own.   Can you just feel the angst of teachers as they worked to not feel inept in front of their students, tried to muddle through questions from the kids, learn apps, figure out how to stop the stupid thing from rotating every time you turned it (spoken from experience).  What would the learning be like for the kids?  Not so great…. or at least, it would happen at a much slower rate.

My district is led by wise people, who also rely on other wise people around the table. One incredibly smart move they made was to put an Ipad into EVERY teachers hands one full year before anticipated student implementation. You heard me….every teacher.   I cannot speak to the roll out and technical end of this massive distribution last summer, but I can speak to the real life, day to day reactions of teachers in my building.






Folks were provided the device, and an overview Professional Development session to get them started and then given permission to LIVE WITH THE IPAD. Get to know it, get to know how it works, work at your pace, ask questions in the safety of your comfort zone at your school and see where it takes you. And ~ oh the places we have gone. Without the pressure of having to integrate with children ASAP, my staff is now at an incredible proficiency level, and it’s only been one semester.  And when I say proficient, I mean more than finding cool apps.  We use Ipads at data meetings, Professional Development sessions, team meetings, coaching sessions, classroom observations, to collect footage of kids to use for problem solving…you get the idea.

As  leader, it was nothing I mandated, nothing I started monitoring.  I modeled, I was excited and I celebrated when I saw the Ipads being used to do something we already did…better.  They are becoming a part of our culture, rather than an imposed HAVE TO. IMG_0278

The result:  We are building our own capacity.

Input encouraged:

How have you used Ipads used by teachers and/or teacher teams? How do you as a leader encourage, nudge and support along the way?