It’s an unfortunate reality in our education system that cost often outweighs improvements in education. Budget concerns too often win out over what benefits students, presenting a barrier against progressive, blended-learning techniques that schools desperately need. A 2015 survey conducted by TES Global revealed that 48 percent of teachers believe cost is the main influencer of whether an institution is equipped with educational technology, rather than student outcomes.
Many teachers understand the need to integrate technology into the classroom but lack the proper tools and training necessary to make this happen. Unfortunately, costs and anxiety about technology prohibit teachers from training in the systems that would make their classrooms more effective.
Offer Sufficient Training for Technology
A survey conducted by Samsung found that a whopping 90 percent of teachers believe integrating technology in the classroom is important to student success, yet 60 percent admitted to feeling underprepared to use technology in the classroom setting.
Other teachers don’t even attempt to embrace the latest digital technology, complaining that it is too complex (37 percent) or that their schools don’t offer proper training (63 percent). They lack role models for blended-learning classrooms—even after workshops and other attempts at training—teachers find they still lack the right tools for successfully integrating technology into the classroom.
Enhance Student Learning Outcomes
Teachers acknowledge the significance of integrating technology in the classroom (91 percent say it’s important to achieving success), and they hold their students’ best interest at heart when they admit technology in the classroom encourages hands-on involvement (81 percent). In fact, the impact on students is the main reason for teachers’ concern about a lack their lack of technological training.
Students experienced in blended learning can adapt to changing educational environments, giving them an edge over students taught in traditional ways. Invaluable skills, such as creating video and audio content, will increase students’ chances of succeeding after they graduate. Students who don’t experience a blended-learning classroom miss out on the benefits of social collaboration and multichannel navigation, and they’re liable to fall behind the 21st century learning curve.
Incite Change in Teachers’ Tech Training
School districts are widely failing in their efforts to train teachers about technological advances. Only a handful of innovative schools have created training programs, while the rest assert the need for role models to follow. District leaders aren’t checking in on teachers after workshops to ensure integration, nor are they offering help to those teachers who are still struggling.
To close the gap between the ideal and the real, measures must be taken to improve teacher training. Teacher training sessions should be more interactive, encouraging teachers to explore the functions of a technology and learn how to harness its full potential in the classroom environment. The assumption that teachers will learn on their own time or be willing to attend unpaid training seminars will only serve to reinforce current classroom downfalls.
Offering incentives to teachers who go the extra mile to create a blended classroom is another important step in promoting technology use in the classroom. Sites like Teachers Pay Teachers offer monetary compensation for teachers who create their own lessons, learning games, and resources. Teachers deserve credit for the time and energy they spend outside of the classroom and will feel more inclined to undertake the task of integrating technology if they’re receiving proper training, and periodic recognition. These are small steps to take to ensure our children’s education, and their digital future.
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