Under what circumstances will technology not lead to success?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 | technology

Technology does not always lead to success – it does not automatically lead to improved teaching and learning.

The introduction of technology in the business world only yields results when it supports the objectives of the organization. A good organization structure must be present – throwing a lot of technology at a problem will not make it disappear if the establishment itself is dysfunctional.

The same principles are true in a school environment. Attractive as technology may appear to a school, it is unlikely to add much value under the following circumstances:

Poor leadership: Where the principal, management team and governing body do not give clear direction in general educational matters, it is doubtful that they will do so when it comes to the use of advanced technology. If sound leadership is lacking, this matter must be addressed before you even think of introducing technology.

Dysfunctional school: Sadly, some schools fall into this category – some schools struggle to persuade learners and their teacher to be in the same classroom at the same time. In such situations it is a waste of time, effort and money to introduce technology interventions.

Inadequate infrastructure: This aspect is often overlooked. Technology can not be introduced in a vacuum – electricity, security and reasonable space must be provided before it is brought into a room.

Unwilling teachers: Where teachers resist the use of technology in the classroom one can’t expect results. Hesitancy to use technology may be caused by a lack of exposure to technology. These stumbling blocks must first be addressed. Introduce technology progressively if some teachers are unwilling to use it, initially giving it to those teachers who are comfortable using it.

Technical support: Nothing is as disheartening to teachers as when the technology fails when they try to do it. Planning to introduce technology in the school must include maintenance and support aspects.

Training is not available: If no training is available, technology may end up being white elephants. Along with the technology, adequate training for teachers must be provided.

There is ample evidence that technology can lead to improved teaching and learning – success depends on the environment in which you try to embed it.

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5 Comments to Under what circumstances will technology not lead to success?

Mark C
Thursday, 30 September, 2010

All the reasons you mentioned above are valid. If you had spent some time in the Aspirant Principal’s course this week you would get a more “on-the-ground” understanding what teacher’s (HOD’s and deputy principal’s) deal with. It is weird. School politics influences the functionality of a school big time. As “outsiders” we fall into the issues and as we try to get one thing to operate an different issue influences it.
The course really underline what I always believed. A principal must have a broad range of in-depth skills, one being getting to know people and managing them. The other thing is that the principal must lead by example.

Thursday, 30 September, 2010

I fully agree with you Kobus. First of all, before we can even start with ICT training, we have to change the mindset of educators and principals. We live in the 21st century, we have to prepare learners for jobs that currently are non-existent, and so can we carry on teaching the way we have done ten years ago? To successfully integrate technology with the academic curriculum is complex and challenging. We have to make sure that all teachers are equipped with the necessary tools they need to infuse technology into their lessons. This process takes time, but eventually it will bring a fundamental change in how teachers educate and how learners learn.

Thursday, 30 September, 2010

The top structure under the leadership of the principal should ensure that ALL areas, including technology, get its fair share. If the school structure neglect e.g. arts, culture and music, the school’ learners will “lack” that “SKILL” in later life. Same with technology.

Albie ICT Principal

Friday, 1 October, 2010

The top structure SHOULD lead to succeed. Even if they are technologically disadvantaged, they still should be able to see the possibilities of using technology in education to enhance learning.
If not, a passionate teacher with a drive and vision to improve learning conditions and classroom experience, should drive it. They must not step back, but take charge!

Mark C
Friday, 1 October, 2010

After reading a book written by John Maxwell a few years ago called the 360 degree leader, I believe in leading from where you are. A person does not require a position to lead. Passionate teachers are the leaders when they move with an idea, etc. They don’ t wait to be instructed by the principal or WCED official. the problem is…we lose them so quickly.

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