Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Educational Technology Fails to Create Widespread Changes in Education ...

The idea of incorporating technology into our classrooms appears to be a simple idea to most people, as easy as installing a SMART Board or having laptops in the room.  However, these things have happened, but the changes that were expected in teaching and learning have mostly, stayed the same.  I believe this is because teachers lack the training to utilize these 21st century technologies to enhance their lessons and utilize them to their full potential.  Although teachers may be trained on how the technology works, they are not trained on the many ways these technologies can be used to create more engagement in the classroom and help students attain the 21st century skills they will need to be successful.  Many teachers will use a SMART Board if it is in their classrooms, but they use it in the simplest way they have been taught, to show a PowerPoint presentation or as a white board.  Many teachers do not take advantage of all of the interactive ways the SMART Board can be used to get students up and interacting in their studies.  Another reason these changes are slow to take place because the technology available in every school varies, meaning that not all teachers have access to the tools.  If we want change to occur, we need to make an effort to have technology in every classroom across Ontario.  This will create a larger network of tech-enabled teachers and some of these teachers will become technology leaders which will provide further support for the teaching community. 

Although these resources are being provided to teachers, they are still stuck in the traditional methods of teaching, so they chose not to use them and if school or school boards do not implement proper training both on how to use the tools and ways to integrate them into the classroom effectively, they probably never will.  Maybe it is time for school boards to make a change in the expectations they have for their teachers.  If the education system is going to shift and change for the better, then there needs to be a shift within the expectations we have of teachers and how they teach in the 21st century classrooms of today.  Teaching is an ever-changing profession and teachers need to embrace the life-long learning that the job requires.  This means that they need to be properly trained on 21st century teaching strategies and the 21st century tools that can assist them.  In order for widespread changes to occur with educational technology, the Ministry of Education needs to make implementation of technology in all schools a priority and teacher training involving both use of the tools and integration of the tools mandatory.  I think by making these changes and making technology a priority (especially since it is a vital part of how we live today and sure to be a vital part of our future) we can promote change in teaching and learning which enhance 21st century skills that our students need for the present and the future ahead of them.

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