The Truth About Laggards

The word Laggard. We’ve all heard it and we all have our own connotations of this ‘dirty word’. What comes to mind? A decrepit, out-dated and vehemently ignorant person who regardless of seeing the many benefits of new technology continues to stay out of touch. Now they may have been given a bad wrap…so let’s uncover some truths of the matter — shall we?

  1. Technology adoption among younger and older teachers has less to do with the generational gap

The general consensus or the rhetoric surrounding technology use among older teachers is that adoption rates reflect generational attitudes. Older teachers having seen the steady increase of technology use in their profession would more than likely become technology laggards. That is not the case.

In a study by Kollewyn and Crichton (2010), their findings showed that when it comes to work-related application, there is no generational correlation when it comes to user adoption. Findings do however indicate that younger teachers have a greater potential of technology integration outside the classroom both in social and personal lives than their older counterparts.

2.  Subject Matter, it Really does matter!

Teacher adoption rates to technology are dependent on the material taught. Some subjects can be more readily able to integrate technology like math or, business. A  study conducted by Cherry, 2014,  saw that business teachers adopted technology at significantly higher levels that social studies or science teachers. 

3. Access to Technology spawns Technology Adoption

Having access to technology is important in learning how to confidently use  and teach technology tools. Findings from Cherry (2014) revealed that there was a positive relationship between the technology available and technology adoption. Levels of technology adoption increased when tools were made available. Laggards may not always have access to technology, and that creates a negative adoption environment.

Additional Resources

Fast Adoption of Technology for Laggards and Luddites

Class of Adopters Overview


Cherry, J. E. (2014). Technology integration in education: An examination of technology adoption in teaching and learning by secondary teachers in minnesota (Order No. 3615990). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1525819504). Retrieved from

Pegler, K., Kollewyn, J. & Crichton, S. (2010). Generational Attitudes and Teacher ICT Use. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 18(3), 443-458. Chesapeake, VA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education.

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