The Current Nature of Technology Use in Schools

Thursday, January 22, 2015
There has been a huge push for the use of technology in the classrooms in my school district. Teachers are evaluated on whether they employ technology. Last year, one of our district-wide goals was for each teacher to take 3 technology classes offered by the district. Further, other training is offered for credit over the summer. We even have “Tick, Tock, Tech” lessons that we can sign our entire classes up so students can learn new technology, as well.

However, there are some obstacles that must be overcome before true integration of technology is achieved in my district. First, there is lack of teacher knowledge on how to successfully and efficiently integrate technology into our curriculum to best support student learning. Yes, we are offered many opportunities to learn about technology, but we are never taught how to plan lessons using it or what content would best be supported by a particular technology.


Another obstacle is the lack of current, working technology available to students. Yes, the teachers have laptops and iPads, and we do have one class set of iPads available for check-out from the media center, but the two computers I have in my classroom are older than the students themselves. When they do work, they will rarely run many of the educational websites our students are familiar with because the hardware cannot support them.



I dare to hope that in 5-10 years we will see these and other obstacles overcome and a true integration of technology in the classroom will have been achieved. I hope that teachers will have received appropriate training on how to integrate technology into their lessons effectively. Further, I hope that the technology available to students is more up-to-date and the ratio of hardware to student is reasonable. As a student in an educational technology program, I am excited to see advancements in education in the area of technology. Further, I am glad to be doing my part to help students learn to use technology in meaningful ways to enhance and even improve their education.

1 comment:

  1. Ashley,

    Thanks for your comments. You are right about the problems facing teachers needing knowledge to actually integrate. Davies and West (2014) pointed to a study showing that even among teachers who do have daily access to computers only 29% said they “rarely or never used computers for instructional purposes”. One problem affecting teacher knowledge is that teacher-training programs often have courses in pedagogy, courses in content knowledge, and courses in technology uses, but fail to integrate the three (Koehler et al., 2014). In this article, Koehler et al. discusses the TPACK framework as a way of restructuring teacher education to integrate pedogogy, content area, and technology. Even with “current, working technology”, teachers need further training to effectively use it.

    Jeremy Sutter

    References:
    Davies, R. & West, R.E. (2014). Technology integration in schools. In J.M. Spector, M.D. Merrill, J. Elan, & M.J. Bishop (eds.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology (4th Ed.). New York, N.Y.: Routledge. [iBooks version]. Retrieved from iTunes.


    Koehler, M., Mishra, P., Kereluik, K., Shin, T.S., & Graham, C.R. (2014). The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge Framework. In J.M. Spector, M.D. Merrill, J. Elan, & M.J. Bishop (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology (4th Ed.). New York, N.Y.: Routledge.

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