With all the innovations and all the possibilities to implement great tech in the classrooms, there are still many stumbling blocks. What I see first and foremost, on a daily basis, is equal trepidation on the part of both administrators and teachers in general. You will always have the evangelists who continue to stay current and take the leap to learn with their students, as well as take their own time to experiment and continually build on what they already know. All too often in schools today there is such a strong emphasis on data that real learning gets overlooked. Significant obstacles stand in the way of the technological revolution in schools. Here are some baseline reasons why tech is stagnating in so many of our public schools.
8 Reasons WHY Tech is not advancing in our public schools
1. The mentality in schools that “technology is the future.” This is a fallacy, high-tech is here, in the present and can be found in every aspect of our lives.
2. Inappropriate teaching methods. The lecture and listen model are most prevalent, despite all the research which states otherwise.
3. A staggering number of teachers are still considered to be technologically illiterate, and they will be the first to admit their shortcomings.
4. Teachers won’t survive, and school will become increasingly irrelevant if teachers don’t change their style of teaching.
5. Adequate teacher training in understanding and teaching with tech tools is a major area not being addressed in most circumstances.
6. Formal training isn’t even essential if teachers see themselves as learners. Let the kids show you. This concept goes against the grain of most teachers, as this is not how they learned or have been teaching.
7. For decades computers have been being used primarily as a management tool, largely ignoring its remarkable capacity for creating knowledge and stimulating learning.
8. School buildings themselves are a major impediment. According to the US Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics, the average age of public school buildings in the United States is 42 years, with almost half being built between 1950 and 1969. These antiquated buildings are unable to provide the necessary interfaces needed to support tech integration adequately.
The following quote is from Obstacles to a Technological Revolution by John Merrow:
“In the past, schools have resisted technology successfully, but that’s no longer possible. Our children swim in a sea of technology outside of school. If schools resist technology and its opportunities, young people will simply turn off. That means more discipline problems, a higher dropout rate, and a greater waste of human potential.”
It is as relevant today as it was when written in 1997….