Sunday, October 9th, 2011 | education
One of the critical success factors of implementing technology solutions in schools is the proficiency of teachers in the use of technology as a teaching and a learning tool. This is why technology training of teachers must form a prominent part of plans for the implementation of technology in schools.
Why is technology training of teachers so important?
Consider the following factors:
Few teachers have been exposed to technology, particularly computer technology. The use of technology is foreign to them and technology jargon makes no sense to them.
Even fewer teachers have experience in the use of technology as a teaching tool. They have no knowledge of the various hardware and software products that can be used in the classroom.
Most teachers do not understand the pedagogical value of technology. Their under-graduate training (and even post-graduate training) did not include the use of technology and so most teachers are unfamiliar with its benefits and they do not have the skills to harness technology in the classroom.
In order to make technology implementation initiatives successful, adequate provision must be made to develop teachers to become competent technology users.
The term “professional development” is often used by the education fraternity. Whenever the curriculum changes (for example when there was a move a decade ago towards outcomes based education, and recently, when there was a move away from it) or when there is a shift in teaching methodology, great efforts – and huge amounts of public funding – are put into so-called continuing professional development.
The introduction of technology into education requires a major shift in teaching methodology – this, in turn, requires a major shift in the mindset of teachers. If a school or education authority – or any other organization – is contemplating the implementation of technology projects in schools, professional development of teachers in the use of technology is crucial.
Without careful planning, execution and funding of such continuing professional training, the implementation of technology projects is at risk.