Are Teachers Afraid of Edtech?
As our lives and classrooms become increasingly technological, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the array of EdTech opportunities that promise to improve our teaching.
Implementing new technology can be frightening on so many levels. Whether it’s a fear of letting go of control or a sense that one doesn’t have the right skills or a concern about digital footprints, privacy or cyber-bullying.
Integration of technology does bring a lot of challenges to teachers.
Some teachers already feel naïve or intimidated when it comes to technology and students in the age of digital natives.
In theory, educational technology presents a great opportunity; in practice, teaching with technology remains a challenge.
Even though educational technology continues to advance, becoming easier and more intuitive, many teachers express misgivings about integrating technology into the learning process.
One of the most common complaints from teachers is that, due to time constraints, they wind up spending all of their time teaching about the technology rather than teaching with the technology. Teachers can spend more time searching for adapters than helping their children adapt to new technology
Teachers can spend more time searching for adapters than helping their children adapt to new technology
Are schools responsible for preparing teachers to teach with tech?
Given the amount of tech pouring into classrooms, schools can find themselves behind the curve when it comes to preparing teachers and administrators to evaluate, purchase and use technology. As Sophie Bailey of The Edtech Podcast says, “there are no national standards for teachers of educators when it comes to integrating edtech into curriculum or classroom practice.”
The Edtech sector lacks overall strategy, which would conventionally come from central or local government. Schools traditionally needed a sense of national Edtech priorities to guide their purchases. Strategy needs leadership within schools, but heads and governors are not always sufficiently informed and time constraints mean there is often very little collaboration between schools.
“there are no national standards for teachers of educators when it comes to integrating edtech into curriculum or classroom practice.”
The challenge for schools of education is very real.
Schools can lack understanding of ‘basic’ Edtech opportunities for how Edtech can deliver better admin or teaching. Many teachers still use Google, Twitter and Facebook as their primary sources to find & share information.
If we move too quickly to map training to the current products suites, we run the risk of relevance: preparing students for a world that doesn’t exist, and technologies that are passé by the time that these students graduate.
So the question is how the DfE and local governments might use their tools to promote and support meaningful edtech, overcoming barriers and offering up coordinated solutions? Will this much vaunted ‘Edtech Strategy Document’ materialise? Is it as real as the certain other impact reports?
During the Edtech Challenger Business Programme, solution highlights included the below:
- Teacher workload challenge fund
- Mandated appointment of a paid digital champion for each school
- Tax breaks for teachers investing in CPD
- An accredited ‘tripadvisor for edtech solutions’
- Mimicing the USA’s National Broadband Plan to get high quality broadband to each school fast.
Will this much vaunted ‘Edtech Strategy Document’ materialise? Is it as real as the certain other impact reports?
Professional development can promote quality technology integration and learning by minimizing the importance of computers within professional development and concentrating instead on the core areas of teaching: content, curriculum, instruction, assessment, and classroom management.
Teachers looking to get a sense of their Edtech options could start with Wonderhub’s own Edtech Buying Hub