Each week I am required to write a post for my EDUC 5105 class, so I thought I would take the time to reflect on the fear of technology a number of educators seem to possess when confronted with technology.
In an article posted on EducationWorld.com, Gary Hopkins discusses the most common questions Tech Teams get when talking to educators. Most notable to me amongst these was the question “How am I going to find time to ‘do’ technology in my classroom? I already don’t have time to do all that is expected of me. What do I give up?” (Hopkins, 2013). This is a question I seem to face all too often in my job, where educators are seemingly overwhelmed with the idea of learning new technologies. While Greg Hopkins quotes a technology specialist Stew Pruslin in saying that “I would like to see a building technology integration specialist, much like a reading specialist, who comes around, works in classrooms, helps with special projects, ‘gets the ball rolling, …”, I think the solution needs to start before the educator even gets to the classroom.
According to a report by the National Education Association, although schools have required technology training, it is “geared mostly toward administrative uses, research, and communications” (National Education Association, p. 18, 2008). If teachers aren’t being trained to use technology to actually teach, it’s not wonder that they feel overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of using technology to teach in their classrooms. As a whole, we obviously need to do a better job educating educators how to teach properly with technology.
As recommended, “professional development in technology should be a required part of initial teacher licensure as well as relicensure, and it should be fully integrated into the ongoing professional development of all educators” (National Education Association, p. 48, 2008). Educators need to be required to consider the pedagogical goals of technology from the offset, and this understanding needs to be an essential part of their qualification as an educator.
From what I’ve learned from this report by the National Education Association is that we’r treating technology as a productivity tool, not an educational solution. I’ll make an effort moving forward to push technology as such in my job.
Hopkins, G. (2013, January 28). Training Teachers Who Are Terrorized by Technology. Retrieved May 18, 2015, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr176.shtml
National Education Association. (2008). Access, adequacy, and equity in education technology: Results of a survey of America’s teachers and support professionals on technology in public schools and classrooms. Washington, DC.