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Overcoming the Technology Resistance Movement: 10 Ideas
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Over the past decade, we all have heard technology resistance stories. Some might say reticence, reluctance, or hesitancy (sorry this last one is not an "r" word; though we could add "restrained" and "reserved" to the Ok, in any event, K-12 teachers, college instructors, corporate trainers, and so on all feel some tug on them to be cautious or to be a tad resistant to new technology integration ideas or shifting their teaching from face-to-face settings to fully online and blended ones.

Of course, change is hard. Even harder is keeping up with possible changes in front of us or to our sides. Frustration often sets in quickly when one does try to keep up. So resistance is often a natural barrier to said frustrations. Before I proceed any further, let me point out that such feelings of resistance have significantly dropped in the past year or two. I notice this almost everywhere i visit. I think we have moved from the technology awareness (Stage 1) and technology resistance (Stage 2) stages or phases to Technology Understanding (Stage 3) and Technology Use (Stage 4). These are the stages as I see them with Technology Application Sharing and Marketing (Stage 5) and Technology Discussion, Reflection, and Revamping (Stage 6) and so on to come later. I just made some of this up so please do not use it for training just yet...unless you want.

I get the question about faculty resistance so often after speaking about it that I wrote a chapter about how to deal with it in my 2008 book, Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing...also called the "R2D2" book. Here is the reference for the R2D2 book:

Bonk, C. J., & Zhang, K. (2008). Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Well, as with many things I do, I wrote too much. So, the publisher decided that it was one of the six chapters that needed to be deleted. Well, fortunately or unfortunately, it is the most popular of "the missing chapters." Seems everywhere I go to speak, those in the audience ultimately ask about administrators, staff, and instructors who are more hesitant and what do to about them. When I get home, I send them the missing chapter titles "Overcoming the Technology Resistant Movement."

I tell them that if you want a copy of it, send me a note at "curt at" You can do so as well. Or, now you can get the shortened version that came out 1-2 days ago in the "Inside the School" newsletter from Magna Publications in Madison, Wisconsin. This article was posted in conjunction with a Webinar I will do for them in a few days (to be honest, the Webinar was taped last month when I visited Madison). Here is the online newletter article citation.

Bonk, C. J. (2010, January 11). Overcoming the Technology Resistance Movement, Inside the School (, Magna Publications, Madison, WI. Available:

Read the 10 ideas in there (e.g., modeling, mentoring, training, sharing, celebrating, etc.) and see what you think. Please note that I was limited to length. It is around 1,100-1,200 words I think. If you have more suggestions, place a comment with them. I have more ideas as well. Keep in mind that Inside the School is for K-12 educational personnel. However, this was originally written with college instructors and corporate trainers in mind as well as K-12 teachers. Hence, the list can be reused and repackaged in many ways and perhaps serve as starter text for a conversation with instructors or instructional designers about technology resistance or hesistancy. Hope you enjoy it.

It is nothing that special but people seem to enjoy having such a list of options to change the culture. There is no one solution. It is a systemic or cultural initiative that needs to take place for true change and progress forward. And on we will most certainly go...hopefully forward. Again, if you want the entire chapter we wrote, just let me know. It will make it in one of my next books.
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 2:18 PM  
  • At 4:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 12:18 AM, Blogger MW (My Wish) said…

    Sometimes it is diffult to get those who were not born in the technological era to buy in. I kind of understand their resistance.

  • At 2:49 AM, Blogger daniel john said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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About Me

Name: Curt Bonk
Home: Bloomington, Indiana, United States
About Me: I am a former accountant and CPA and a former educational psychologist. I am now Professor of IST at Indiana University and also adjunct in the School of Informatics. I founded and later sold SurveyShare. As president of CourseShare, LLC, I run around the world training instructors to teach online and give motivational talks about emerging learning technologies. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

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Click here for information about my recent book, The World is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education.

Visit the Indiana University Home Page of E-Learning Expert Curtis J. Bonk.

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