Saturday, 14 December 2019 12:52

Why educational technlogy has been failing?

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We have reached a point in our lives that would seem impossible to previous generations, thanks to the technological improvements that have bettered our daily lives. We have also seen the rise of EdTech around the world during the last few years however most of those solutions are still lacking in most schools around the globe. It really disappoints me the fact that today’s teachers still use realia, photocopies, and plain books to teach Gen Z students, the so called “Digital natives”, who were born with a smartphone on one hand and a mouse on the other. A variety of issues are to blame for this situation.

Unexpected drawbacks

Lessons are interrupted by regular negotiations that reduce lesson time. This is related to sudden technical issues that may arise such as power shortage, devices being insufficiently charged, system failures, poor internet connection etc. Slow or unstable Internet connection is one of the main reasons that certain apps which require WiFi connectivity are not used

Lesson preparation & planning

Digital technology training and preparing lessons to include new technologies can also be time consuming. Educators need to be well prepared and need to have a back-up plan in case an unexpected drawback happens that will prevent them from using technology. Besides they need to adapt their lesson plan and find ways for a beneficial classroom implementation of the tech tool since there aren’t many pre-made lesson plans or guides that take into consideration the use of technology.

Teacher beliefs

Some educators especially those who belong to generations older than Millennials fail to understand or accept the usefulness of the various technological advancements into education, preferring a more traditional approach in their teaching. They firmly believe that the learning goals can be achieved via the way they were taught refusing to evolve as professionals, because of either fear of the unknown or disbelief about the profitableness of using technology into school. Even tech-savvy teachers encounter resistance from their colleagues who are not so keen to adopt tech tools.

Teacher professional development and support

Even if teachers decide to use technological tools into their teaching they often get discouraged when they find a solution and realise that they have no idea how they can implement it in their classroom.

Teachers not only need access to technological equipment for classroom implementation but they also have to keep up with continuous technological advances. This needs to be regular, scaffolded and continual. Yet, allocation of professional learning resources and teacher training events has been reported as sporadic in scope and quality. Teachers have to undertake regular consultancy or training sessions that will help them enhance their skills.

Inadequate trainers

It should also be emphasized that teacher training programs should be conducted by professionals who possess the necessary skills, and are able to combine both pedagogical and technological knowledge. Training shouldn’t be generic but specific, by providing crystal clear practices on how to use technology to improve one’s teaching. This will create educators with high TPACK value, eventually improving their students’ performance. Training needs to be delivered by pedagogical experts who can give teachers hands on experience of using technology to learn.

Lack of budget or infrastructure

Many schools struggle in providing the necessary tools for teachers who are keen on implementing technology into the learning process. This is because buying new hardware or software requires a substantial amount of money that schools can’t provide. This leads inspired teachers to empty their own pockets, trying to achieve much without having the financial support required for the task. Schools need to invest into tech implementation and the only way to do is by allocating a sum of money for this purpose.

Epilogue

Implementing new technology can be frightening on so many levels. If educational technologists fall short into demonstrating the benefits of classroom technology to schools, teachers may view Edtech as an inconvenience rather than a necessity. In addition, without holistic improvements to teacher support and training that address the many issues teachers face, there’s the risk of creating a generation of ill-prepared students for a digital future.

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