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.
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.