Working in a high school, it is very obvious to me every day that peer influence is powerful. In many cases, peer influence is seen as a negative thing unfortunately. Often times bad behavior can be associated with peer influence. However, after watching the Washed Up video, it was evident that peer influence can be associated with positive behavior change.
In the video, it took a peer telling the other children to wash their hands to get the children to wash their hands. Peer influence wasn’t the only influence that helped to steer the children to changing their behavior (personal motivation, changing the environment), but I believe that peer influence will play a larger role amongst my colleagues and students when implementing my initiative. My colleagues who are creating and using ePortfolios themselves will be better able to influence our adult peers who aren’t using them yet. Also, having colleagues who have experience with ePortfolios will give them the confidence when working with our students to implement ePortfolios. Students respond to teachers who are genuine and there’s no better way to be genuine than to practice what you preach! Similarly, having students who are excited about using ePortfolios share their experience and successes to their peers could help to influence more students. While peer influence is a major contributing factor to behavior changes, on its own, it may not be enough.
As stated in the video, four or more influences should be used in order to experience the best chance of success. I think that I will need to explore all six sources of influence in order to determine which will be more applicable within my implementation.