If you have been around very long, you have probably already heard a plethora of excuses why incorporating technology into the classroom is just too much to expect. I have found myself pointing out the reasons we don’t do more. My usual complaint is our network’s “walled garden” is more of a tiny pot for herbs than a vegetable garden! So, instead of whining “what can be done?” Here are some suggestions for the more common obstacles:
|I don’t know how to use it.
- Learn by watching tutorials on YouTube or other sites
- Look for professional development opportunities from organizations such as NCTE and ISTE.
- Check your state’s education department for professional development or tutorials. In Arizona it is the IDEAL Portal
- Use the tutorials within the application
- Read the manual
- Have someone teach you, either a co-worker or a student
|The technology department doesn’t allow it.
- Demonstrate the educational need for the resource with sound research!
- Provide exemplars of how the technology will increase learning
- Have students present to the power-that-be
- Request access to specific sites instead of opening up an entire category
|My students don’t know how to use the technology, and I can’t afford the time to teach it.
- Team up with another teacher, like the computer applications teacher to do a joint project
- Use tutorials to assist students who are not familiar with the application
- Use peer-tutors as the experts to teach classmates
|I have too much to do already and I don’t have time for more!
- Use an appropriate combination of computer/non-computer application
- Use it as a learning tool as opposed to a teaching tool
- Using simulations, digital storytelling and virtual field trips are motivating alternatives to traditional lectures and pen and paper projects
- Technology increases student engagement, making class time more productive
As Roblyer and Doering point out in Chapter 11, regardless of your teacher education program, it is a teacher’s professional obligation to learn the tools through ongoing education and professional development.
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching. (6 ed., pp. 264-393). Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.