The previous post did a nice job of articulating the challenges of technology. I would submit one more potential issue/ obstacle would be how teachers can effectively integrate technology into the classroom. Many teachers need/ require some type of professional development to fully understand the implications of technology within their content area. This is a very challenging component to all teachers, especially veteran teachers who have been accustomed to implementing their lessons in certain manners. The idea of using technology as a way to enhance instruction, as opposed to occupying students with busy work or mind numbing repetition is of critical importance to the success of technology in the classroom.
One major barrier is students' access to technology at home. Because access at home varies, it is difficult for teachers to require students to do outside work that requires a computer. Additionally, resources within a school or district are sometime difficult to access within the school day (both for students and for teachers wanting to bring a class of students, say to a computer lab). Finally, even technology within the classroom, such as LCD projectors and smart boards are sometimes difficult for districts to afford. Even if a district can afford the technology, it must also pay to train teachers on that technology in order for it to be used well.
There are many issues on which decision need to be taken for best utilization of available resources for improving education effectiveness. The three most important of these issues are:
- Nature of technology to be used. Different kind of technologies are available now for improving the education. For example: there are technologies that enable improving the teacher effectiveness in class by providing facilities, such as PPT, without changing the basic nature of student-teacher interaction. Alternatively there can be Internet based instruction system where the pattern of interaction between student and teachers change.
- What kind of methods should be used for what type of education. The types of education can be grouped in many different ways such as student age group, subject taught, or type of activity (e.g. lectures, laboratory, or home work.)
- Who should have the responsibility for implementing the new technology and what will be its mechanics.
The three most important barriers, that are likely to come in way using technology to enhance education are:
- Availability of financial and other resources required for this purpose.
- The student-teacher relationship may be affected negatively, unless proper attention is given.
- Implementation of the technology. This will include among other things, developing positive attitude of teachers toward new systems and their training in using the technology effectively.
What are the issues and barriers to the adoption of technology to enhance education?
Issues to address are many but some of the main issues would be the paradigm of belief that face to face brick and mortar schooling is the best kind of education. There are technical issues with peoples computer understanding but I feel this is not an issue for most of the youth of today only those stuck in the old paradigm of belief that technology and Internet learning is not as good or better than brick and mortar. Financial issues about the cost of technologies to enhance learning are also an issue with the current economy and in general schools have to maintain a budget and sometimes there is not enough to purchase the needed equipment.
Technology has taken some major leaps in the last few decades and I believe that there will be progress towards technology being a more accepted way of getting an education. I am an example of that, I went to a brick and mortar school for my first two years and completed my first, second and almost done with my third degree from on-line schools. I am just completing my PhD in Clinical Psychology and recieved my MBA and Bachelors degree on-line.
I believe I have received a better education than I was receiving in a brick and mortar environment. The problem and barrier is in changing attitudes and principles of belief in terms of technology in education. Once the paradigm of belief in different technologies being acceptable means of teaching the changes will come.