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Four strategies for helping educators embrace change

(Editor’s note: This article is the second in a three-part series about how school systems can build on the progress and leverage the investments they’ve made in technology during the pandemic to achieve true digital transformation. Part 1 looks at how K-12 leaders can develop an effective blueprint for redesigning education in a way that’s more equitable, meaningful, and learner-centered, and Part 3 will examine what professional development should look like to turn this vision into action.)

Digital transformation is about more than making incremental changes to instruction or layering technology on top of existing practices. It’s about fundamentally reimagining education so that it works for all students more effectively, leading to deeper, richer learning that is personalized, engaging, and relevant to students’ future.

But even if your school or district has a forward-looking vision that aptly addresses the needs of all learners, your digital transformation won’t succeed if you don’t have the buy-in and support of all stakeholders—and especially the teachers who are responsible for implementing these changes in their classrooms.

Transforming familiar practices and routines can be hard. Research suggests that companies realize the full benefits of major changes to their business operations in only 30 percent of instances. Effective change management strategies can improve those odds.

Many K-12 digital transformation projects falter because leaders don’t pay enough attention to the need for change management. However, earning stakeholder buy-in and support is possible when you take the right approach. Here are four strategies for success.

Lead with the ‘why.’

One reason it’s hard to convince people to change is because the new practices aren’t seen as necessary. Educators are exhausted. They already feel like they’re juggling too many responsibilities, and they’re likely to view a digital transformation as yet another task added to their overflowing plates.

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