What gets in the way of using more technology in your classroom?

By Alix E. Peshette


Cross-posted from EdTech Gold Rush


It started as a simple question to the 466 K-12 teachers in my district. I needed this data for an upcoming technology leadership meeting at the country level. I emailed that question on a Monday morning at 7:00 am. By 12:00 noon 62 teachers had responded. The number is now over 100, with more responses showing up daily.


I’m a member of the Technology Support Department (the only certificated member) and I expected the usual grousing about too many computer problems and not enough technicians. What I didn’t expect was the number of “thank you for asking this question” responses! In the midst of their busy day, teachers were saying, “Thanks for asking for my input”. It occurred to me that the entire K12 staff had never been asked this question formally or informally with promises only to share comments and grade levels with others.


Some responded with a short list. Many teachers sent lengthy and articulate responses. As I read the emails and interpreted the comments, the obvious categories emerged.


Hardware:

  • Need more computers in the classrooms
  • Need modern computers – some people cited classroom computers that were running Windows 95 and 98
  • Need LCD and DLP projectors
  • Too much set-up and check-out time for equipment
  • Update the computer labs
  • Not enough access to computer labs


Software:

  • Lack of software – especially for the K-3 students
  • Incompatible software between the computer labs, classroom computers and teacher computers
  • More input into what software is purchased at each grade level


Tech Support:

  • Need on-site tech support
  • Need more technicians at the district level
  • Technical problems in the classroom – from lack of cables to lack of trouble-shooting skills


Network:

  • Filtering restrictions
  • Students and teachers accessing student files - problems
  • How to move curriculum resources to student computers that are frozen with Deep Freeze


Curriculum:

  • Curriculum time restraints driven by testing
  • Need curriculum planning time for technology
  • Dated curriculum materials that don’t address technology


Staff Development:

  • More basic training – how to connect an LCD projector to a computer
  • Trouble-shooting training
  • How to use limited computers in the classroom


Faculties:

  • Lack of access to network drops and projection screens at the point of instruction
  • Lack of space for student computers


I would guess that this list comes as no surprise to most teachers and almost all technical staff. Many of these things can be cured with money and time – both of which are in short supply in school districts.


The Technology Leadership meeting is tonight. We will compare our results, break into small groups and brainstorm some ways to meet these needs. It should be interesting!

Views: 39

Comment by Sylvia Martinez on November 13, 2007 at 2:42pm
Love to hear an update!

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