Technology and People in Schools

Recent articles like IoT making kids and schools smarter and Top 4 Reasons Technology-Based Learning Implements FAIL are interesting for what say and more because of what they fail to say.

Recent experience at workshops and in schools shows (anecdotal results only) that, in my opinion, the number one predictor of successful educational technology adoption in schools is teacher buy-in.

The pre-service teachers I work with are digital natives and the inclusion of technology in their classrooms is a certainty.  In fact, there would be no question about adopting technology in areas that its use would make their instruction more straight forward.

Teachers already in classrooms and who have been there for sometime are a harder sell.  Their classrooms already work without technology and embedding it into the existing curriculum is viewed as an add-on.  I would go so far as to say that technology may sometimes be seen as a nuisance and a time waster.

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In these cases, the onus is on the administrators in each school to ensure that adequate training has been provided to teachers as part of Professional Development.  Not just training but enough time for staff to feel comfortable with the educational technology that they are expected to include in their classrooms.

To include new technologies, schools must become professional learning communities, depending on digital natives or teachers with more technical experience to mentor those with misgivings and less experience.

The two articles that I listed in the first paragraph assume that all teachers are on board for including newer educational technologies in their classroom.  In my opinion, the single most important consideration when introducing new educational technologies into a school is the training and relative technical comfort of the classroom teachers. The Internet of Things or one-to-one iPads do not make students or schools smarter but how the purchased technology is embedded in the classroom by experienced teachers makes a huge difference.

 

 

 

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