How to Understand the Problems Facing EdTech
During this last year, school districts, teachers, and students have been forced into using education technology (EdTech). Due to this, there have been mass advances in EdTech. However, despite these advances, there are still several problems facing EdTech today as we know it. My goal with this blog is to help you understand those problems.
1. The Lack of Professional Development
Too many teachers are not technologically proficient. Many of those who do have technology skills don’t know how to apply those skills to the classroom, and they’re not getting much help in this area.
When teachers do get training in EdTech, they typically get training in how to work the technology. “Here is the power button.” “This is how to project the illustration on the board.” “This is how you turn the device off.”
What teachers need is pedagogical training using this educational technology. Without this proper training, teachers are entering the classroom (whether online or traditional) without knowing how to apply the EdTech to the lessons.
2. Many Resist Technology
Many teachers resist veering from the status quo. Using technology in education is merely not what they are used to. It is different. It is a change. People are afraid of change. They are so scared to take a leap. Therefore, they resist EdTech.
Sometimes, it’s not the teachers that are resisting the change. Sometimes, it’s the school leadership. They see “experimenting with technology” as outside of their job description. After all, they were hired to run the school, not implement the newfangled tech.
3. Failure to Engage Students in Informal Learning
Some distance learning models are set up to be rigid lecture-and-test models. These models fail to engage students to experiment inside or outside of the classroom and thus engage in informal learning. Other classroom models, such as the flipped classroom, let the teacher blend formal and informal learning. When these are blended, the students tend to learn better and retain more.
4. Failure to Personalize Learning
Teachers see the need to personalize learning. They have been taught this need and see it in their classroom. However, the tools they need to deliver this necessary personalized learning merely don’t exist in the capacity they need to.
There is also the fact that teachers do not have the insight into the students’ abilities when they are teaching remotely that they do when they are teaching in a traditional classroom. When teaching in a traditional classroom, teachers can read the students’ cues.
Are they comfortable with the topic? Do they fully understand the concept? Teachers can tell in a traditional classroom. However, an online classroom doesn’t offer this insight.
5. Many Fail to Deliver Formative Assessments That Are Effective
Though EdTech allows teachers to assess their students in several different ways, these assessments may not be as adequate. I state this because teachers cannot know what the student is doing during the assessment. Is there adequate adult supervision? One simply cannot know.
There are other problems facing EdTech, but these are the major ones that we need to understand. And we cannot overcome them if we do not know what they are.
Education, today, is an ever-growing, ever-changing world. EdTech seems to be the answer to much of the education needs. We must work on understanding these problems so that we can work on fixing them one-by-one in our school districts and our classrooms.