Why does ICT in the hands of teachers sometimes fail?

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 | technology | 2 Comments

Technology can be a valuable tool in the hands of teachers.  Sadly, at times it does not result in improved teaching and learning, leading some to conclude that technology “does not work” and, to use a cliché, the baby is then thrown out with the bathwater.

Don’t be too quick to judge technology if it does not yield the expected results in a particular classroom or school.  Bear the following facts in mind:

ICT is not a magic wand – its presence alone in a classroom is no guarantee that a teacher will miraculously become a good one.

One of the biggest – and most serious – problems encountered with ICT in education is under-utilization by teachers.  This is not a technology failure, but a human (and often a systemic) failure.

Technology can empower teachers but it is only a tool; true empowerment depends on how this tool is used.  It may take time for teachers to become skillful users of technology.

Vast as the potential is, ICT can only transform education if teachers are willing to tap into it!  You may have a huge water reservoir, but if you are not prepared to tip your bucket into it to draw water you can’t expect to quench your thirst.

Metathesiophibia – a fear of change – leads to stagnation; teachers can’t afford this when it comes to using ICT in school.

When you see a classroom where avaialble technology has not yet brought about a change for the better, consider carefully where the problem lies: with the technololgy, the teacher or the system.  Then put appropriate processes in place to remedy the matter.

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What benefits will I reap when I cease resisting change?

Saturday, December 18th, 2010 | technology | 4 Comments

Teacher metathesiophobia – the fear of change – is a barrier to teaching and learning in the twenty-first century.

A fear of change – or even a reluctance to change – leads to stagnation.  It also results in wonderful teaching opportunities slipping through your fingers.

Imagine you were a teacher in the early nineteenth century.  The blackboard was invented in 1801 and appeared in classrooms shortly thereafter.  At the time these blackboards were in the category of high technology.  How would you have reacted to this new invention?  With the wisdom of hindsight you’d probably say that you would have embraced it immediately!  But what if you were comfortable with your existing teaching media and anticipated the way in which the new board would throw your routine into turmoil?  Should you have resisted change?  If you did not accept this change, just imagine what opportunities you would have missed!

The situation is not any different today with the introduction of modern technologies – computers, mobile devices, interactive classroom tools and the internet.  If you are willing to adapt to change and include these technologies in your arsenal of teaching tools, you will benefit both yourself and your learners.

Think about the ways it will help you:

The use of technology can enhance your teaching.

You will have a feeling of being in control in a classroom of learners who are already engaging with technology in one way or another.

Learners will respect you.

Now think about the way it will benefit your learners:

Learners love technology – using it in your lessons helps to hold their attention.

When you bring technology into play in your classroom you will be teaching learners in the way they learn best.

They will be equipped with technology skills required by the workplace. 

Are these not enough reasons why you should welcome the changes brought about by modern technology?

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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Do you fear change?

Saturday, December 18th, 2010 | Cartoons, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Is that how you feel about using technology in the classroom?

This cartoon was created by Kobus van Wyk, using ComixMakeBeliefs - use it to create your own cartoon.

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Why should I allow technology to change the way I teach?

Saturday, December 18th, 2010 | technology | 3 Comments

We are unaware of some fears until we have to face them.  Metasthesiophobia – the fear of change – is one of them.

As a teacher you may feel comfortable in your job, having done fine work over the years.  Now you are confronted with technology and you wonder, “What is wrong with the way I’m teaching without the use of technology?  I managed fine till now – why should I change a winning recipe?”

In all likelihood metathesiophobia does not present itself to you in the form of cold sweats or a dry mouth.  Perhaps it is not so much a fear of the changes technology brings about in the classroom, but rather a feeling of anxiety that you don’t have the time and energy to cope with these changes.

Life is susceptible to changes – technology has changed the world considerably since the time you qualified as a teacher.  We now communicate in different ways – just think about cell phones, text messages and e-mails – and the internet has changed the way in which we find information.

You can’t afford to remain static in a changing world.  Accepting the challenges of technology is exciting – it helps you to keep pace with what is happening around you.  When you embrace technology it opens opportunities for you and your learners to grow and stay in tune with the world around us.

Why did you become a teacher in the first place?  Perhaps you said, “I want to make a difference; I want to improve the circumstances of children.”  Do you still feel that way?  If you do, do you believe that you can bring about a change for others if you’re not willing to make changes yourself?  If teaching is your passion, you will make whatever changes are necessary to meet the changing needs of your learners.

When you discover a tinge of metathesiophobia in yourself do some self reflection – remind yourself why you are a teacher.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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