Saturday, August 15, 2015

My Personal Context through the lens of the CBAM

I have found myself coming back on several occasions to re-read, reflect on, delete, re-write, make some additions, delete again and then add some more content to my previous blog post 'Arena of Change at Cobham'.

As I immerse myself further into the learning activities and readings related to my study for EDEM630 - Change with Digital Technologies in Education, I find myself moving away from looking at all the reasons why the shift to BYOD has occurred at our school to wanting to focus in on what is actually happening in our classrooms as a result of the move to BYOD.

To gain a deeper insight into the classroom practice, we used Hall and Hord's 'Concerns-based Adoption Model' to ascertain where our teachers were positioned in terms of adopting the innovation of BYOD at our school.

There are three main dimensions included in the CBAM:
(see for more in depth information)

  • Stages of Concern = Seven different stages of emotion or feelings that educators experience through the process of change or implementation of a new initiative, programme or practice
  • Levels of Use = Eight behavioural stages that describe various behaviours and actions educators display as they adopt and implement the change
  • Innovation Configurations = Provides specific examples of what the implementation of the programme should look like at different parts of the continuum from best/ideal practice to least desirable practice

The reality is, the successful implementation of any major change in a school will rely heavily on the teachers who need to implement it.  And teachers are human, they all have different strengths, needs, skills, knowledge, beliefs and emotions.  At Cobham, our staff all had different attitudes towards the change to whole school BYOD programme, which obviously affects how they will adopt the change.

So What? 

Without going into any personal details, within our school we have a range of teachers across the different stages of concern and levels of use.  It is fair to say that all of our staff have moved past the awareness and informational stages of concern and are scattered across the personal through to refocusing stages.  It is the levels of use however that highlight to me how well the change is being adopted and what potential impact this is having on our students learning experiences in the classroom.

In relation to the effective use of digital devices in the classroom to engage students and improve students outcomes our teachers are able to self-identify where they feel they are and why in terms of level of use against the CBAM.  Some of the feedback from teachers has been that there are many different reasons that their level of use is at a particular stage, for example, their own personal experience with digital devices, changes in staffing e.g. new teachers are starting off at orientation, minor or major uptake by students in their own class and how reliable the devices have been for the learning opportunities they are being used for e.g. some classes have large numbers of iPads or smartphones being used but often children have been struggling with using these devices for online work in their Google Drive.

As a leader for the development of ICT/e-Learning in our school, I have been reflecting upon how I can best support staff through the process of change working towards a successful BYOD programme.  As I have learned more about the CBAM, I have come to identify that there has been a major hole in how this tool has been utilised within my personal context, my school environment. I have used the framework of the stages of concerns and the levels of use to guide the beginning of our BYOD journey and it has been an extremely useful tool to identifying what teachers are feeling, how they are behaving and where we need to head.  What has been missing is the development of innovation configurations to share specific examples of what effective BYOD practice and implementation should look like at our school.  When I realised what a crucial part of the model I had left untouched so far, I realised that this was the key to why some staff may feel stuck at level 4-routine or lower.  Even though we spent a lot of time growing a shared understanding of the why, when, where and how, we did not invest any time together as a staff to develop the what.  So teachers could basically be back in their classes with all the technology available, planning in place for learning experiences that include the use of digital tools but no clear idea of what a successful BYOD programme should look like.

Now what?
I believe that through this learning experience, one of the answers to my research question "What support needs to be provided to ensure a successful BYOD programme?" has now become clear.

To gain all the full benefits of using the CBAM as a tool that will support us to "gauge staff concerns and programme use in order to give each person the necessary supports to ensure success" (SEDL, 2013), we need to develop an innovation configuration map, which describes the different ways in which staff might implement BYOD at Cobham.  "Leaders use this component with staff to develop a unique set of expected actions and behaviours for each person" (SEDL, 2013) .  This was a key element that I had not put in place, spending more time and effort working through identifying staff stages of concerns and levels of use. Upon reflection, I can see that this has potentially had an impact on the success of the change and a shift in concerns, practice, attitude and level of use for our teachers.

A next step for myself as a leader of ICT/e-learning at Cobham will be develop a innovation configuration map for our staff.  This will mean that one piece of the puzzle in terms of answering my research question will then be in place.  I now believe that one element of support that needs to be in place, is to have an innovation configuration map in place that clearly identifies expected staff actions and behaviours of effective practice within a successful BYOD programme.


Hall, G. E., & Hord, S. M. (1987). Change in schools: Facilitating the process. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Introduction to the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM). Retrieved from

SEDL (2013) Concern-Based Adoption Model: CBAM. Retrieved from

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