*Survey conducted with 120 educators, mainly from Twitter (March 2011)
What’s the hardest obstacle to overcome in integrating technology in your classes?
You need to look a bit deeper in this Wordle(click on Wordle for link) to see some appropriate words. “Access” seems to be one that is quite apt with “Time”, “Resources” and “Support” standing out too. “Teacher” “Technology” and “Students” are obviously going to be prominent and whether they are part of the obstacles(!) themselves…well you need to skim the answers!
Below are the 120 replies to the question “What’s the hardest obstacle to overcome in integrating technology in your classes?”:
Teacher training, and making sure that the technology implementation is more than substitution.
Been hard to get teachers used to the idea that if it can be done with paper and pen, substituting a laptop or an iPod isn’t much transformation. Coming along though.
School district tech people who are more concerned about networks than student discovery and learning. Too many roadblocks.
Access to technology.
Getting technology into the hands of my students and not just for making my life easier. Also, using technology for math in a way that is useful and has purpose instead of just cool/flashy/fun.
Roadblocks put up by the school. IT department says things can’t be done or won’t be done.
Lack of student computers
The hardest obstacle has been the lack of accessible technology in our classroom. I only have two student computers in our classroom. We are able to go to the computer lab twice a week. I would like to have more computers to use in our classroom.
“that not all students have access away from school and that when I have to provide access for them all at once in a computer lab I have difficulties with hardware. (this computer’s monitor doesn’t work, this mouse, that one’s keyboard, all stuff I can typically get working, but it’s a time suck). Or that the lab’s computers are on ‘deep freeze’ so they don’t have current updates on softwars (flash, adobe, etc) and are not able to run programs I want to use.
our computers are locked down and our head of IT is very hesitant about installing anything
Access to resources (lab booking)
Booking computer labs.
Offering the support…and taking the time to support students as they learn to use technology resources professionally and productively.
Enough tools for each student (laptops). Trying to get a few iPod touches but it would come Out of my pocket…
Currently I am having huge problems with our system because it is controlled centrally and we cannot upload (for example) our pictures onto a glogster or our pics onto an animoto. I am new at this school and I wondered why this had never been an issue before. Hopefully with my pushing things will now change. I am also annoyed that I cannot access YouTube clips even as a teacher. Also complained about that.
Getting the parents to understand what is going on. The integration part is easy.
District support for purchasing up to date equipment.
Training teachers is a huge challenge, but so is not focusing on the content when developing lessons. Technology is a tool that can facilitate learning, however there are many cases where it does not need be used and doing so can actually hinder the educational experience.
The hardest obstacle is the lack of computers.
Having the available resources and time to implement and use them.
At first, not all young children have the same skills set with computers. This depends upon their exposure to computers at home.
Getting hardware/software to work consistently
Not having enough computers in the classroom and access to laptops as often they are checked out or have not been charged. Also restriction on administration purposes on the computers.
Computers need to be updated regularly and teacher’s have personal preference to what type of software used in their classes but the IT department restricts that.
reluctance from other teachers/admins
The hardest obstacle is not having one computer per student for each classroom. It is very frustrating when the students go to get their allocated computer out and someone from another class has failed to plug it in. Having taught in a school which had 1:1 laptops and interactive whiteboards I have seen the benefits. When students have their own computer students can produce much more of their work on computer and it is great for having their own Wiki, electronic portfolios etc.
“Planning ahead and finding the time to learn about it, master it before implementing in class. Typically, it would look like this:
Step 1: have an IT idea Step 2: learn how to do it first Step 3: Figure out how to implement it smoothly. This all takes TIME”
Not enough time to use technology during class time for academic purposes; I do not mean dedicated IT lessons.
Reliable access. At times sites are blocked and others they are not. Inconsistency with the firewall and updates often slow us down.
“recently has been bandwidth, we need to up our bandwidth at school now that we have so much online access to resources going on.
Inconsistent network and internet access.
It is all bolted on rather than built into our units. The pace is so fast that it is a real challenge for my teachers to have the space needed to integrate technology. We can’t make that next leap until we are 2:1 or close to that so teachers have enough access to tech to be able to use it daily when appropriate.
Bandwidth. It’s terrible here in Kuwait and truly hinders what we can do. Connecting with others outside the walls of the classroom gets challenging, along with accessing great resources like youtube.
Having everything “work” when I need it! Very frustrating to walk into a room and find out the lamp on the projector has blown, or that some computers have been re-imaged and don’t have correct software installed, or some kids have broken their headphones/micas and can’t record… Etc etc
Ineffectual school leadership and poor ICT management.
The fact that I teach IT as a stand alone IT class. I also teach Maths so I it is easier to intergrate it with a Maths theme. I rely on ideas from the rest of my teaching team as to how to integrate it into units that they do in their subjects.
Our school lacks many resources in terms of technology. Although we have about 1/3 of our classrooms outfitted with SMART Boards, we only have one laptop cart with 15 laptops on it to share with a school of 620 students.
Teachers don’t always view me as a technology collaborator because of my librarian title.
Time and resources….
Having teachers wanting to do the same things, the same way but using different tools. And also lack of understanding about what learning looks like. Classroom management and pedagogy issues.
Finding time to create possibilities and resources. School internet filtering system.
Aligning to standards.
Not enough tech integration specialists to support all the needs of the teachers. Professional development needs to be ongoing.
Teachers viewing technology as an add-on.
1. Having access to technology
2. Learning how to use technology without support
3. Getting everyone else on board to give it a go so that there can be consistency (even though I
feel that there needn’t be consistency for absolutely everything between classes)”
cannot think of something
Principal is concerned about students using social media.
Training of teachers who are reluctant to use it.
Reliability of Internet connections and of laptops.
Local authority blocking sites
Access to computing device.
learning and remembering to use them
Internet access is not always smooth so I plan lessons and then have to go to plan B.
Time & cost
the colleagues and the IT guys!
Time as I am also a senior manager
Technical backup if something doesn’t work. Slow broadband.
Have managed to overcome most obstacles. Obstacle in other classes seems to be teacher reluctance, time to learn and try new things.
No competent support
For the teachers, I think it’s taking a risk and trying something for the first time.
Our slow Internet speed (256k)
lack of access to fully functioning resources .. eg students often leave netbooks at home or they are broken … not enough access to computer labs or laptop trolleys
Time to learn how to use technology. Limited resources.
Access and time for homeroom teachers. For me, teaching ICT, the biggest hurdle is not being involved in enough of the unit planning with homeroom teachers.
Keeping the equipment working properly – especially microphones/ recording so that the sound is high quality and manageable for a whole class activity
Not having enough of it. I have 2 student computers in my room, a promethean board, and a set of activotes to share w/ the class next door. I teach in a small rural school. We are k-12 all in one building. We have one lab in the school.
Availability of resources. Either computer lab not available or connection too slow
People seeing tech as a separate subject
Getting teachers to buy in to true integration.
Demistifying “technology integration”
Realizing you need to just begin and it will grow (all the tools I need are provided in abundance at our school – highly encouraged and supported).
I feel that there is often a Fear amongst “”non-tech teachers”” which prevents them from embracing Tech Integration because they feel they are not knowledgeable or skilled enough. They see a divide between them and the techies where they’ll never feel competent in comparison. Also many tech savvy teachers could aid in reducing this divide by dropping the lingo and find ways to make it accessible to this group.
lack of tools
patchwork of equipment. i am thinking a lot this year about how to make it work: personal devices such as ipods netbooks and laptops plus 7 laptops on a cart that i can access. our wireless is good. but it is a challenge to conceive of a purposeful use for 6 periods a day. without using computer lab.
Time. Taking the time to research/surf to cool sites and then integrating them into lessons.
As a Head of ICT, training other teachers and motivating them to be confident users of ICT……..
Getting funding so I can have more than one (my own) computer in the classroom or more accessible computers. Allowing students to constructively roam the internet for information without admins blocking everything.
IT support staff who don’t know what they are doing, and don’t want to learn
Getting decision makers to understand that the hardware and software in the hands of quality educators (and their students) really can make a difference in learning … and then getting funding for hardware and software.
Having all the hardware work correctly all the time and enough access to equipment for students.
Budget issues – I would love for each student to have a laptop in the classroom with a wireless connection.
websense blocking site and slow wireless connections
Lack of understanding about the advantages of trying many of the new social media opportunities. At the same time not allocating enough time in the school schedule for digital citizenship and media literacy.
Having filtering removed
fear from kids/parents
Access to computers, consistent network connectivity, time
Tech support when things go pear shaped
Getting my administration to give me time to assist my teachers with tech integration
I’m a tech facilitator, so the hardest part is the time it takes to build a relationship up with a reluctant teacher, so they are comfortable enough with me and technology in order to dive in.
Getting students to understand that technology is not just for playing games, watching music videos and chatting with friends.
cultivating digital citizenship
Making sure I have a foundation with the program or device before I turn the students loose.
Training so I and the teachers feel comfortable using it as a learning tool. Cost is also sometimes an issue.
the “background noise” — ensuring that everything works, has been charged, is not broken, and can be booked.
It was always slow broadband and old equipment.
lack of facilities
Internet filters, enough computers, cumbersome longins.
senior team understanding that mobile phones can actually benefit learning
Availability of computers
Lack of network access in classroom. Apprehension and obstruction of other teachers
The money to get it first and then IT support
Lack of time – so much to share, but gosh, those darn assignments get in the way! 🙂
Administrators who don’t understand the value of technology. The fear factor is huge in our district, but mostly form admin folks.
I teach specialist ICT in a lab so I don’t have any trouble integrating ICT.
Availability/condition of laptops
Getting technology funded
Teach in a lab.
Hardware issues – live in remote community so have to be self-sufficient. Need to be able to fix all problems locally
Getting teachers on-board to continue to use the technology that you’ve gotten students excited about!
When technology doesn’t work due to “technical” issues. Example: the server is done or it runs way way too slowly. OR when we can’t get something to print.
Only 2 computers in class; low bandwidth; restrictive firewall
finding time to prepare
Time available to prepare and keep up to date.
One teacher 30 children