Overcoming Barriers to the Effective Implementation of Technology in Education
Technology in classrooms has become a necessity. They have simplified tasks involving classroom management and also, the lessons in the form of school apps inspire students to keep learning.
But, there are some barriers that schools or teachers have to face while introducing technology to classrooms. Some schools may find it a difficult task to integrate technology to the existing curriculum. But, to change the curriculum as a whole is much more difficult. Not to use technology cannot be a solution either. With criteria such as computer knowledge becoming a must for various jobs, not using technology in schools mean denying students of their right to compete in future for the best opportunities. Hence, integrating technology in education is a must and the best way for schools is to find suitable solutions to overcome the barriers.
Now, what are the barriers that schools or teachers face while implementing technology in education?
Unwilling to develop professionally
For most schools that have not yet integrated technology with learning, this may be the problem they are facing. Teachers refuse to lend support and they don’t care about professional development at all. They may not be prepared to handle the various gadgets or to integrate technology into classrooms. Meanwhile, their students may be well versed with using the same gadgets. The schools may not be providing training to familiarize the teachers with the apps or mobile devices that can help them simplify their jobs. If teachers are not technically updated about the technology, how can they impart the same knowledge to the students?
Shortage of innovative ideas
Those with a creative mind find it easy to deal with technological tools than the non-creative ones. Some people tend to learn the usage of technological tools on their own and they may even try to implement them into solving a problem. Technological tools keep on getting updated from time to time and therefore, you have to keep learning to integrate them to your challenges and also how to use them. It’s nothing that others can teach you but you have to find out on your own. Most of the technological tools support multitasking and therefore, to figure out how to work with them and integrate the, to your needs require new ideas.
Lack of facility
This is another challenge some schools tend to face. They may not have access to the technological tools such as projectors that make visual learning possible. Some schools don’t even have a proper computer lab with enough computers and Internet facilities.
The list of barriers does not end here. But, to find solutions to them requires lots of thought.
What can be done to overcome the barriers?
Overcome your fear of being introduced to unknown technological tools
You are not born with knowledge of each and everything on the planet. You have familiarized yourselves with them with time as part of a natural process. Teachers can form small communities where they can discuss the challenges they face while integrating technology with education and share their knowledge of the technological tools they are familiar with. Also, schools can hold training sessions for teachers to have a better understanding before they go on to introduce the technological tool or school app into their classrooms.
Be innovative with the tools you are familiar with
Take the risk. Even if it is a PC with Microsoft Office and Internet connection that you are familiar with, put it to good use by assigning projects or assignments to your students that they can complete using these tools. You can start with familiar tools and then go on to use newer ones. This can boost your confidence.
Look for free easy-to-use digital resources
There are many user-friendly digital resources like online applications available that you can use on your own. You may not need any one to guide you. After you learn to use them, introduce them to your students. Also, this is cost effective.
Learn with your students
Teachers can learn the working of technological tools along with their students. They can discuss about various ideas that they can implement to create projects and learn. This technique works better than one day workshops and training sessions.
The benefits that integration of technology in education offers are plenty like-easy access to any subject-related information, expansion of knowledge at a global level, visual learning through school apps such as smart apps for preschoolers etc. Therefore, schools must make sure that they integrate technology with learning.