Should it be expected of me to buy my own technology?

Friday, December 24th, 2010 | technology

“If my school or the education authorities want me to use technology, they must provide it,” some teachers argue.  Others add: “They surely can’t expect it to come out of my pocket.”

Clearly this is a sensitive issue – an emotional one.  One argument is that plumbers, electricians and doctors are all required to provide the tools of their trade, and therefore teachers should do the same.  Teachers may counter this by pointing out that when they were employed, technology did not feature in their job description and since it has only been introduced lately, they can’t be held responsible to pay for their own technology.

This argument can go forwards and backwards, without a clear winner.

Good reasons exist for teachers to have access to technology on a regular basis – preferably in their homes – regardless of who should pay for technology.  Consider two of them:

If you’ve never used technology before, it is important that you become comfortable with it before trying to use it in the classroom.  Most people need time to adapt to the use of new things – it is not just a matter of taking a course, but rather one of practice, practice, practice.  Technology in your home – available all the time – will make the learning process much easier.

Even if you are at ease with technology it is advisable to possess your own equipment.  At home you can use it for admin functions and to prepare lessons and activities for your learners.  You can explore educational software packages and find websites with information suitable for your lessons.  Regular use of technology is far more beneficial than sporadic exposure.

A laptop or a personal computer is a good place for you to start.  The relative cost of these items is coming down and, while it may call for some sacrifice, you’ll find that the investment will pay handsome dividends.

Skillful use of technology is no longer optional.  Try all possible avenues to lay hold of technology – and if all else fails, buy your own.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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3 Comments to Should it be expected of me to buy my own technology?

Pam Miller
Sunday, 26 December, 2010

I know someone who taught CAT who had to pay for the computer with which to mark practical exams at home and prepare, and pay network staff at school for repairs when necessary. All the practical work for that subject could not be done at school on the school’s computer but why did that teacher have to pay about a month’s take-home pay per year, just to be able to teach that subject? That teacher had asked the school for financial help but it had been refused. That teacher eventually gave up teaching CAT.

[...] previous post (Should it be expected of teachers to buy their own equipment?) gives reasons why teachers should seriously consider purchasing their own laptops if they are not [...]

Alan Felix
Thursday, 23 June, 2011

Yes and No.
If you truly want to make your life easier,want to learn the computer, want to make your admin easier,want to communicate on other platforms, don’t want to stay behind the fast changing world, want to use ict in the classroom, want to be one step ahead of your children (school and home), buy one yourself! How long are you going to wait for someone (the government) to buy you one.
On the other hand: teachers are just like other people in the world, we are also struggling with our finances. We can’t just walk into a shop and buy a computer, we got children and other expensis. I know the laptop initiative is still in it’s baby shoes but I don’t believe its a good deal (check the figures of repayments). I think the government could have get a better deal at major manufacturers with their bulk bargaining powers.

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