What it Takes to Make a Hesitant Teacher Use Technology?

What it Takes to Make a Hesitant Teacher Use Technology?
Educational Institutions always strive to enhance student learning and there is no doubt they’re doing their best with all the traditional classroom methods. But why these traditional methods are no longer effective nowadays?

Juan Lopez-Valcarcel, Chief 

Digital Officer, Pearson has once given some statistics about students’ academic as well as professional profile:

“46% of US college students don’t graduate, they drop out. For the ones who actually graduate, 40% employers say that they don’t have the right skills to work.  In the last decade, tuition has gone up to 70% and the value of the degree has gone down by 15%.”  

The Hospitals, Industries, Offices and many other areas are being upgraded continuously as per the technological changes. But educational system in many countries hasn’t undergone significant changes yet. Once upon a time, we had a classroom with rows of students, black board, text books and a teacher. Many schools and districts are still continuing the same old traditional methods. This results in student dropouts, lack of communication, creativity and problem solving skills. Technology helps students learn in their comfortable learning style, reduces teachers’ efforts and provides them sufficient time and tools to work on what really matters. There is a necessity to rephrase our educational model by combining the traditional approaches with technology. Technology alone can’t help institutions drive student achievement unless it is in the hands of a powerful teacher. A powerful teacher is the one who has great expertise and experience in assessing students’ performance and at the same time he should be capable of using the 21st century technology effectively to engage students of today.

Major factors that restrict administrators to integrate technology in their educational institutions are especially budgetary problems, lack of vision, lack of leaders, hesitant teachers, etc. But many educational institutes have teachers who are hesitant and resistant to adopt new technologies. They are mostly well qualified and efficient teachers so administrators can’t dare to replace such experienced faculties with new ones. Replacing such teachers may not always be beneficial, so gradually administrators need to make them use technology as it plays an essential role in both educators’ and students’ performance. Let’s learn about how can we make hesitant teachers use technology.

Make them know why it is necessary:

Traditional methods are no longer effective as different students learn differently at a different pace. So what administrators need to do is to create awareness for educators on how important technology is in education right now. If you show them some real-life examples of how students get the benefit of technology, how it reduces their efforts and how effectively it engages students with lessons. They’ll gradually know the benefits and once they consider it useful, administrators are free to implement educational technologies in the classroom.

Ask them where they get stuck:

Some teachers don’t adopt technology because they don’t like it, some don’t go for it because they feel difficulty in using it while many others resist it, thinking that they’re comfortable with traditional methods. The way administrators approach these teachers should be different for different categories of them.

For Teachers who don’t like technology:

These teachers believe that technology spoils students and make them addicted to it. What educators need to know is that for the students, it is simply a part of their life and daily routine (specially for anyone under the age of 30), technology gives solutions to many of their problems and there are many useful, safe and secured technological approaches we can use in the classroom.

For Teachers who feel difficulty in using technology:

What administrators need to do for these teachers is to provide them with sufficient time as well as proper training. To add on to the top of that, technology itself helps these educators learn about its usage. There are numerous edtech startups working hard to help educators and students be aware of technologies in education.

For Teachers who feel they’re comfortable with traditional methods:

As we know traditional classroom methods can’t engage 21st century students with their studies, there is a must need of implementing educational technologies with a set vision and purpose. Teachers who feel comfortable with traditional methods need to be aware that they can perform even better by using technology. Their existing practices can be enhanced further if they are willing to be learners, which is one of the important skills for 21st century teachers. An experienced teacher can be good at traditional classroom methods, and but he can be great if he adopts 21st century technologies.

Select easy-to-use technologies instead of complex software and hardware:

Most of the teachers haven’t used today’s technologies in their studies, so, probably it’s difficult for them to adopt them and they take time to perfect themselves in using such technologies. Administrators need to help educators by choosing easy-to-use software and hardware in the classroom.

Invest in teachers’ professional development:

Rather than just spending money on training programs for the technology usage, invest in teachers’ professional development programs and provide them with numerous opportunities to enhance their abilities. They’ll automatically know how important technology is in the 21st century. Professional development programs include various technological approaches and collaboration among many educators. This helps educators to explore and exchange new effective ideas of edtech implementations.

Above are the few methods administrators can adopt to make hesitant teachers use technology. Modern education is now trending and educational technologies are a great option to enhance student learning so, educators need to realize the necessity of upgrading our old traditional education system with effective use of technology, like many other fields which do it. We’d like to know few more ways to make hesitant teachers use technology in their classroom. Please feel free to share with us in the comment box.

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About the Author
Author: Santosh Bhaskar KWebsite: http://www.twitter.com/SantoshBhaskarK
Devotee of Dr. Abdul Kalam. Following his path of Creating Creative Education in India. Contributing my works in "India Vision 2020". Former EdTech Blogger/Researcher at ETR India

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