Technology seems to be involved nowadays in most aspects of education and many schools are adopting it quite well, whether it’s adopting BYOD initiatives, blended learning, flipped classrooms, creating content using authoring tools, or using a learning platform. It’s amazing how the amount of technology available today makes learning more interactive and easier. You would think that most educators by now are quite familiar with these practices and use them regularly in their classrooms.
Although the use of technology in the classroom has increased significantly during the last years, there are still educators that are struggling with it, that feel left behind, and don’t know how to include it in their instruction. The worst part is that there are some educators that actually completely refuse to use any educational technology.
So what happens when a school administrator is thinking of implementing an LMS, but the faculty doesn’t want to use it? Well, usually there’s more to the story than meets the eye and you have to dig a little deeper to find out the “why”.
Why are some educators still reluctant to using technology the classroom?
First, it’s important to understand the reasons behind your teachers' reluctance to implementing technology in their classrooms and then come up with solutions to help them get past it.
Educational technology brings so many benefits to students and teachers and they need to know the specific details on how it can improve their activity. And trust me, teachers will respond to that, because that’s their main purpose. Teachers want to help students learn faster and better by using simple tools that help them achieve that.
So let’s have a look at the possible reasons why teachers might be reluctant to technology and, of course, some solutions:
They don’t understand it. Maybe your educators don’t completely understand those benefits I mentioned earlier and how some computers or platforms can help them achieve these.
In this case, the easiest way to solve this problem is to show them specific examples on how beneficial technology can be. Maybe there is another classroom in the school that does BYOD and it’s going very well. Maybe you can show them results of students that use different apps or platforms on how their results have improved. Or maybe they could talk to some teachers that are more familiar with the concepts and have already implemented them in their classroom. You see where I’m getting, right? It’s better to show, than tell.
They don’t know how to use it. This is actually a big problem. As I mentioned above, most schools now use an LMS, but from what I’ve seen, the amount and quality of training that is given to educators on how to use the systems is very superficial. Of course someone is going to be reluctant about using a tool they don’t understand very well, even though the school board states it must be used.
How can you fix it? Vendors usually offer training for their platform and you should take advantage of it. Gather a group of educators that are more into ed tech and let them participate to that training. Then those people can teach the other teachers how to use the platform. Please keep in mind that adopting a new system is usually a slow process and it’s imperative to allocate the necessary people and time resources to have it done well. A two hour training to learn an entire platform won’t be enough. You need to come back with a follow-up training to see what people understood and where they’re having trouble. And always keep some advisers or a tech person on hand, in case there are any issues or questions. If teachers get the support they need, they will learn. If not, they will abandon it and convince other teachers to do the same thing.
They’re very traditional. Many teachers are used to doing things their (old) way, with paper and pencils, creating their lessons on paper, distributing tests to students on paper, assessing their tests, and so on. This is so bad not only for the school system, but for the environment as well. There is nothing wrong with having your own style of teaching, but you have to embrace the changes that come with evolution. These type of teachers usually think that technology can’t do a good job, they have security issues, they’re worried that students can easily cheat, that automatic systems calculate grades inaccurately, and more. Basically, they don’t want to be replaced with a learning platform and they’re afraid of losing control over their teaching methods.
A simple solution for this is to assure educators that no matter how much technology will be used in a classroom, the human factor will always be more important. After that you can go back to #1 and explain to teachers the benefits and how technology can make their teaching lives easier. Careful though, you have to take baby steps and not overwhelm them with too much information at once.
Including technology in the classroom is very important but you have to remember that teachers are the most valuable resources and we need to help them step into this world and help them every step of the way. The results will be worth it, I promise.
Are you familiar with other reasons why teachers might be reluctant to technology? Leave them in the comments section below.