As an e-learning provider, it pains us to say it, but it’s true: there are teachers who hate educational technology.
Sometimes it’s a simple case of not having been exposed to technology enough in a school environment (and even in their private lives). But there can often be more deep-rooted reasons that stretch back to a bad experience with a particular system within their organisation.
There is also the belief that technology, and in particular social media and online communities, can distract from learning and actually harm a child’s success in school.
We recently came across this blog post which, although it dates back to 2012, still rings true. On the one hand, Webanywhere often hears the very reasons that are listed in this blog why teachers hate technology (or, as the blog post corrects, are annoyed by it). Most importantly, though, the blog post lists what a teacher wants from a tech solution, and without meeting these requirements, is doomed to failure.
The reasons why teachers tend to be annoyed by technology are:
When something takes more time with technology that it would if it were handwritten.
We agree whole-heartedly with this. One of the key benefits of technology is that it can save you time; if it doesn’t forget it. However it’s good to also look at the bigger picture: for example, if lesson prep takes slightly longer by using a VLE than it does without, it may be off-putting, but ultimately you are saving lesson prep time in the future. In other words, once you have created a lesson on your learning platform, you can return to it again and again, wiithout an extra prep.
There is, of course, the fact that online learning could engage the child more than a piece of paper, and therefore benefit their learning.
Games and programs that have no relevance to learning at that moment in time.
The blog post we’ve linked to above mentions that ‘teachers must know the technology better than the students.’ The is completely true, and some may argue this is increasingly difficult to achieve as today, many children are using technology literally as soon as they are able to use their hands.
To ensure that teachers are one step ahead of the learners a significant degree of training and guidance needs to take place – Webanywhere are aware of this, of course, and it’s why we provide full training plus unlimited support on all our products.
Solutions that are not useful.
In wanting to join the technological revolution in education, many schools may jump straight in without considering the options. Obviously finding a solution that is of use to a school, its teachers and its learners is the ultimate make-or-break; if it’s not useful, it’s going to fall flat on its face.
In fact, whether a piece of technology is useful or not can be determined by the above blog post’s list of things teachers want in a tech solution. They are a solution that:
- Is NOT used in my classroom (or at least, not yet)
- Is ACCESSIBLE to all kids
- ENGAGES kids
- TEACHES something truly valuable
- SAVES TIME
We recommend that every school, when looking to take on an e-learning solution, considers the above list. If all the above points are relevant, and the solution does not meet all of them, forget it!
The blog post concludes that teachers don’t actually hate technology after all – they just want something that works. Going back to our what we said at the start of this blog post, we can imagine most teachers who have been nodding their heads to the points above are the ones who have had bad experiences with education technology in the past. All we can say at Webanywhere is that, with every solution we create, we have the above criteria in mind.
For those who are new to technology, speak to us about solutions that are easy to use and won’t bamboozle you. We’re happy to talk edtech to anyone who needs help, guidance or opinion!