Obstacles to Technology Integration

The biggest obstacle to a meaningful and effective technology integration lies in the misunderstanding of what technology integration is. Unfortunately, too many school administrators think that introducing 1:1 program and outfitting classroom with the latest devices equals technology integration. Too many teachers believe that the use of a sleek app or a tech tool is what technology integration is about.

Technology is integrated for a reason, and these reasons might differ from school to school and classroom to classroom. Administrators and teachers are responsible for discovering problems that need solving and finding solutions that the technology can provide.

There are frameworks that outline effective technology integration and TPACK framework (Roblyer & Hughes, 2018) is one of them. An educator without technology would use only two parts of this framework – pedagogical knowledge and content knowledge. Such an educator knows WHAT to teach and HOW to teach it. With technology, there is technological knowledge – knowing how to use technology hardware, software, and resources. This knowledge needs to combine with the other two in order to integrate technology from the ground up – starting with the educator’s choice and understanding of learning theories and pedagogical approaches.

Quoting a paper by Hixon and Buckenmeyer (2009): “Teachers are often blamed for failing to integrate technology into their teaching, giving such reasons as lack of time, training, equipment, and support. However, it has been suggested that these are not the “real” reasons technology is underutilized; instead, it is argued that teachers’ core values about teaching and learning are the primary obstacles to successful technology integration”.

A less major obstacle to technology integration is the uneven distribution of available resources and materials. While subject such as math, science, and languages enjoy an abundance of apps, programs, and materials, other subjects like PE, social studies, or music only have a handful of resources to choose from. This leaves educators with no other choice but to create their own materials, which can be time-consuming and limited by the teacher’s tech skills. There is hope that with the recent positive developments in the edtech arena things will change for the better.  

 

References:

HIXON, E., & BUCKENMEYER, J. (2009). Revisiting Technology Integration in Schools: Implications for Professional Development. Computers in the Schools, 26(2), 130–146. https://doi-org.libproxy.boisestate.edu/10.1080/07380560902906070

Roblyer, M. D., & Hughes, J. E. (2018). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (8 edition). New York: Pearson.

1 thought on “Obstacles to Technology Integration

  • Hi, Aleksey. You are right that some disciplines are just more limited in what tech is out there ready to be used. I teach English at the college level, and despite being in a discipline for which there are a million tools, I have to do a fair amount of creation because those tools aren’t at the appropriate level for my students.

    I find the divide between K-12 and Higher Ed to be one of the major challenges that educators face in any discipline. For instance, one of my favorite tools, FlipGrid, has made some changes as of late that trend more toward a K-6 audience. These changes probably make the tool far easier to use for a younger audience, but I worry that my students will find those features juvenile and be less inclined to use the tool simply because of that perception.

    We need to find ways to get out of our silos and communicate/cooperate across all levels and disciplines so that we can prevent perception issues and our students can be better prepared for their futures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bitnami