Barriers in ICT integration for meaningful teaching and learning.

In my research I have learnt that emerging technologies and new uses of ICT offer new learning experiences to the learners which benefit better learning out comes. To develop a shared vision I discussed the future role of ICT in my school with my colleagues. From my discussions I came to know that although few teachers are planning ICT lessons yet due to certain barriers most of them are very reluctant to change their conventional ways of teaching. 

Kindly share your views how can real value of ICT integration for teaching and learning be promoted among teachers who are under the direct influence of their pedagogical beliefs?

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Hello,

I hope to discover some useful answers from others...My own experiences (after 25 years at an Independent School where freedom to develop new curricula was freed from State requirementes) have been largely frustrated. At my school there were always a few 'yearners' (borrowing from Seymour Papert's description of those teachers who will always 'yearn' for better ways)....sometimes we were given lip-service appreciation, more often than not no one ever really understand what we were doing.  I will say that down the road from my home school stands the only really competitive school to ours in the area. It had been stuck for so may years in very old ways that despite it's long history, it nearly died. As a result, a change of school Head, Lower School Head and the introduction of a new Tech teacher has resulted in great changes.  They have an excellent STEM program that is slowly building to become school-wide and makes good use of ICT

The above changes were Top Down with increased teacher enthusiasm because enrollment was so low and it was clear to all that their jobs might vanish if change did not happen.

I left the classroom two years ago and now work independently on a project that is using technology to reinforce young children's connection to nature. (I was a MS science teacher by profession, but turned to working with young children as a result of evidence showing that today's environmentally aware adults connected at young ages to the Natural World). What I have always seen as the greatest stumbling block is a misguided faith in 'cuuriculum' as it stands...  I believe the reasons for this are complex and can be historically traced to many sources, but while debating the initial causes, the real hope is probably to discover ways to by-pass these strongly held prejudices that prevent change  In today's world with so much stress over test results, of course, it is even more difficult. 

I recently met a young science teacher, a 'yearner' who had temporarily left teaching and expressed the same frustration that always plagued me.  "why can't we come together on behalf of deep science learning (problem based, authentic, employing all the benefits of ICT) to make a difference?" she said.  We exchnaged emails (I met her out-of-state) and parted.

Of course, there are active groups online pursuing all of these same issues....but from year's of following podcast I see the groups as smaller than I might have hoped by now..with a fairly small crew of 'featured speakers' .still what is there to do, but work on and draw ideas and strength from one another...

excuse the early Sunday morning length of my reply..esp as it offers no useful examples, but I can offer a willingness to help promot others' work ---- as a non-classroom teacher, I have exchanged a loss of money for a gain in personal time.

Robin

Dear Robin, I appreciate your time for answering my query. Your advice is very valuable; I have already started collaborating with experienced educationists across the globe and getting benefit from their experiences and innovative ideas. I am planning to use them in my class room considering their practicality in my own scenario. I am working very closely with those few teachers who are successfully integrating ICT in their lessons despite of these existing barriers. In weekly subject coordination meeting I encourage them to share their lesson evaluations with other colleagues and also to share their success stories so that other teachers get motivated.

Thanks again, Robin.

Hi Abdul
A teacher's own motivation matters a lot.Your approach and ways to handle the barriers in teaching with ICT would actually help to influence you and your colleagues. For that share your ideas in global community. Keep the spirit of collaboration as your driving force. Join an online community.
Establishing your own platform in the form of Blogs or social networks can help others to consider your problems of integrating Technology in your own scenario. Video recording of your own school teacher and sharing with others motivate them to use and get the benefit of ICT.

I feel technical problems matter a lot like waiting for websites to open, failing to connect to internet, printers not printing, malfunctioning of computers etc. technical problems do impede the smooth delivery of the lesson or the natural flow of activity. 

Resistance to change seems to be a barrier itself. but there are reasons why resistance to change occurs. Several researches indicate that the change from present level to a desired level of performance is facilitated by deriving forces like power of new developments, rapid availability, creativity, internet access, or ease of communication while it is delayed by resisting forces like lack of technical support, teachers' incompetency and less time for planning. 

There are number of reasons that prevent institutions to embed ICT i.e lack of resources, planning, prevailing culture, fear, and very important lack of trained teachers . 

Thanks Naila, You are very true about teachers' own motivation level to handle existing barriers. When he successfully uses ICT for better out come of his learners he in fact sets example for other colleagues to follow. This definitely gives impetus to a move of completely embedding ICT in school culture.

I have already been discussing this issue on different social networks with educators across the globe and as well as with teachers in my school and forming my action plan in the light of points I am getting from these discussions. I hope my action plan will work and I will be able to remove certain barriers like pedagogical shift of teachers from traditional to ICT integrated approach and also catering parents fears and concerns.

Faiqa, my discussion with my colleagues revealed the same thing that some of them got demotivated due to technical problem they faced. I think infrastructural improvements like better bandwidth to connect internet, alternative power support etc. and timely technical support by IT teacher will help me in my school to remove this barrier. Please comment on it.

Thanks again Faiqa for highlighting very important barriers. 

Haroon, you have raised a very vital point of teachers training to better handle technology. Lack of such training is definitely a hindrance in path to fully embed ICT in any school. 

My school has started working on it by providing E-Foundation course to selected individuals who learn to effectively use ICT peripherals in their lessons. In my school improvement plan I have requested to extend it to all teaching staff on priority bases and also I have requested the trained teachers to cascade e-foundation course at local level. I feel this will definitely make a difference and help me remove this barrier.

Please comment on it. 

Well, apart from the teachers owns VAB's, as per my experience there are some time lack of technological skills that took the form of traditional mindset. If people are equipped with the technological skills and are IT savvy, that attitude of add on/ burden/ work load will be minimized. But if we keep on engaging our staff on embedding ICT in curriculum without giving them the chance to understand the rationale behind it, the required objectives will never be achieved. So i believe that technical skills developmental programs, as well as training sessions for developing links between ICT tools and Curriculum should be an on going process with in the school atmosphere. As in this way chances of collaboration and sharing among teachers will increase and they will feel the ease of peer learning,thus leading to the E-culture.

very true. Mr. Bari, technical skills development should an ongoing program due to demand of emerging technologies. In my school regional ICT coordinators have been planning and conducting regular subject coordination meetings to enrich our teaching staff with necessary curriculum training guiding them why and how to Embed Technology Across Curriculum. With this support our teachers are becoming more confident.

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