January 18, 2015
Here is an interesting visual that has been making rounds online.The Pencil Metaphor outlines 6 types of how people react to technology. This work reminds me of Rogers theory of Diffusion of Innovation which I covered in a post I published two years ago. Rogers classified people into 5 categories based on their propensity to adopt a specific innovation. These are: Innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.
Similarly, the Pencil Metaphor draws on how people respond to technology to classify them into six categories:
“1. The Hangers-On
Hangers-on know all the right lingo, attend all the right seminars, but just don’t do anything.
2. The Erasers
These people endeavour to undo much, if not all, of the work done by the leaders.
3. The Ferrules
These people hang on tightly to what they know. They keep a strong grip on their traditional practices, and feel that there is not a place for technology in their classroom.
4. The Wood
These people would (get it?) technology if someone would just get them the gear, set it up, train them, and keep it running. All they need is help from some sharp person, and they would be doing it too.
5. The Sharp Ones
These are the people that see what the early adopters have done, willingly grab the best of it, learn from the mistakes of others, and do great stuff with their students.
6. The Leaders
These people are the first to take on the technology, the early adopters would usually document and enthusiastically share what they have tried, warts and all.”
The origin of this visual is debatable. Teachthought, where I initially learned about this graphic, cites a few sources where this work has been previously featured. These sources include:
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