Today I read this article published by EdTech Magazine. It reminded me of a conversation amongst colleagues about our school, and how it adds up with the challenges faced by teachers in our region’s schools. I have to say, we have really been able to stay at the forefront of educational technology integration, despite being a school of 500 and a “tech department” consisting of one person.
The article cites the 2015 State of Education Technology survey. This poll of more than 150 education leaders and teachers found that schools are underfunded. I was surprised to see how significantly teachers are under-trained. Considering how much professional development exists in the educational realm, there are so many opportunities being missed to get teachers engaged and empowered to integrate edtech.
The eight top issues cited in the survey were:
- 75.9% — Budget limits
- 53.9% — Inadequate professional training
- 41.4% — Teachers resistant to change
- 38.2% — Inadequate network infrastructure
- 30.9% — Unreliable device/software options
- 29.6% — No systems to use technology for curriculum
- 17.8% — Other
- 13.2% — District doesn’t see immediate need for more technology
The article describes “education in flux.” Educators are trying to catch up to a world that has moved beyond the technological “status quo” of many classrooms.
I have presented at many different types of conferences: edtech, foreign language, literacy, etc. I am always remarked by the educators that choose to come to my sessions on educational technology. The breadth of their incorporation of tools in resources is as vast as one can fathom. I often find myself differentiating during presentation sessions based on the needs of my breakout session attendees.
The great thing is that edtech can be used in any content area… from physics to physical education. Many, if not most, of our students know how to use devices that support most edtech tools. A great number of students even have their own device.
We can leverage these devices and knowledge further, but we have to have teachers willing to take risks. In my life, I’ve always been taught “the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.”
So what does this mean for a beginner of technology integration?
Find a professional development session/seminar near you to introduce you to new ideas. Better yet, search the internet for free webinars or Twitter chats to expose yourself to new ideas?
So what does this mean for an edtech enthusiast?
Educational technology is changing faster than we can keep up with most of the time. There is always something new to explore. I’ve been salivating for the “next exciting thing” to come into my pedagogical practice… ideas?
HMU on Twitter @KirstenKenny1 with the hashtag #edtechinspired !