Keeping this in mind, we start with a problem of practice they currently face. Teachers deal with a myriad of challenges everyday: struggling to differentiate with large classes/high numbers of IEPs, grading hundreds of papers a week, challenges with unearthing student metacognition, finding effective real-time assessments. I show them how digital learning can often alleviate or even solve many of these issues by using a strategy I like to call the "Gripe Jam".
This originally started off with me bringing a large, empty jar to one of their weekly staff meetings and labeling it "Gripe Jam". I put a few pads of sticky notes on tables and played a rock anthem like "We're Not Gonna Take It". They had until the end of the song to write down any and all issues they are facing in their classrooms. I took these sticky notes, went home and created a Google Doc / Spreadsheet showing how as many of these challenges as possible could be addressed by digital learning tools/strategies/sites/etc. When I returned the next week, I shared this spreadsheet. The teachers then voted for or select one strategy they'd like to learn more about. This is how we decided where we began our exploring of digital learning.
This crowd-sourced PD has been a huge buy-in generator. Acknowledging that many teachers respond better to new ideas when we first listen to their current issues makes them feel heard and respected. Showing them how what we're trying to sell is actually responding to these issues makes them interested. This then opens the door to learning more about the tools and how they can enhance other areas of practice. Teachers started seeing how digital learning could create new opportunities to make their jobs easier and solve problems they might not have realized existed. From there we've shared the SAMR model to guide their use of digital tools and shared ideas to transform teaching / learning for their kids (such as Challenge Based Learning). And even though this often created new helpings / tasks to add to their "plates", they were suddenly more amenable - and even excited - about this.
I don't always bring the physical Gripe Jar into a room anymore - I usually collect this through a Google Form and email the spreadsheet. Yet when I face an especially skeptical collection of colleagues, I break it out again. All the while, I try to keep in mind: respect the learner, be it a child or an adult, and respect their needs.