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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