The gadget you added is not valid

There are many models of tech integration in the world today. Some are good, and some need improving. Like any other movement, there are roadblocks. If you are lucky, you have never run into any of them, but if you have, this post will help you to take some solution themes back to your team. 

  • "That technology is thought of as a teacher substitute" - Yong Zhao
    • Technology will not replace teachers, at least not all of teachers. Technology provides teachers more time to focus on the things that tech is not good at. Relationships, socialization, thinking skills, and TEACHING! Good teachers cannot be replaced by technology.
  • Technology is the magic bullet, no matter the depth, or scope of the integration, it will fix all. 
    • If there was a magic bullet, we would all have it, no matter the cost!!!
  • Teacher skills are severely lacking 
    • The EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research published a study about the Relationship Between Students and Their Technology in 2011. This stated that roughly 50% of their teachers have the skills to effectively integrate technology. For those math majors, that is an "F".
  • "Most teachers don’t care about technology". - EdTech Coaching
    • The article phrased this in that teachers care more about teaching than technology. They would care more about learning new strategies to help their students than learning how to use a new tool. I would agree with this but counter it with the notion that the strategies should have technology infused into it. 
  • "Technology forces us to do short snippets and minimal thinking". - Dr. Gary Small
    • This is a learned behavior that does not have to reflect school. Yes, 140 characters in Twitter and Facebook notifications are short but these are not required, and they are not educational. School can focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity!
  • Our Brains are being re-wired
    • Yes, this is true. Your brains are not working the same way that they were in the past, but how they work today is not wrong. We have better multitasking skills, we can make more decisions and faster than before, and we can communicate in far more methods. These skills are necessary for success in todays world. 

How do you get over them?

Focus on Integration not Addition
Technology CANNOT be extra! It needs to be present at opportunities that enhance the lesson and learning and put away when it is not necessary. Doing activities that are extra will always be a waste of your and your students time. 

Make Thinking Happen!
Too many times has it been pointed out how important it is for students to still problem solve, think critically, collaborate, communicate, and be creative. These are essential skills that every person will always need to have. Technology can pair with this and make it easier. 

Sync the Message
Technology makes life more efficient. It can make teaching more efficient as well. We need to focus on teaching, and find avenues to make teaching more efficient. 

Technology today is not being used to the fullest of its ability! Far and away the The majority of "technology infused lessons" that I help out with today are base level substitution. For some teachers, this is the best that they can do. This does NOT lead to better absorption and retention of the material. If you are not learning or remembering more using technology, why are you even doing it? 

Great teachers provide students with lifelong learning opportunities (regardless if technology is used or not). They immerse the students in learning they remember forever. Technology can make these lessons more efficient or create a permanent record of this learning. 

Top Down Pedagogy Alignment 
 "I see a disconnect between pedagogy and technology right now: in many school districts, there are curriculum directors and administrators working to improve educator effectiveness through curriculum redesign, evaluations, and initiatives like PBIS… and on the other side, there are technology directors working to put technology devices and tools into educators’ hands.

The result is that we have teachers who know how to build authentic learning experiences, connect with students, and drive learning- and then we also have teachers who know how build websites and flip their classrooms with video lectures. We have teachers who know how to teach- and we have teachers who know how to use technology."
                            - EdTech Coaching

It should not be one of the other. We need to start from the top and align messages to be carried down. Foundational professional development needs to start and the top and trickle downwards. We cannot ask our teachers to do something that is not modeled and showcased. We need to streamline the work that is done rather than addressing issues as they arise or flick golden nuggets at teachers. This method is a band aid, not a shift.

Raise the Bottom Line
Classrooms today need to look differently that they did 50 years ago. Having students sit in rows listening to lectures is insane. Teachers need to provide flexible learning environments that differentiate and scaffold learning. We need to ask hard questions, challenge their thinking, and publish their work. Technology makes all of these things easier!