From an article that recently ran in T.H.E. Journal:
"One of the biggest reasons we face resistance is because so many times we give instruments to the teacher with no follow-up or no training...I don't think fear is the right word. Some teachers have been burned by technology in the past. They used it and found it was either not great or incomplete, or whatever, and so they're not interested in trying again."I've seen plenty of educators with this mindset. They may have tried out a cool new software application or website once upon a time, but the technology just didn't "work" for them. Maybe the laptops were low on battery power. Maybe the internet was slow or down that day. Maybe the software itself had glitches or didn't work like it was advertised. Perhaps the comfort level just wasn't initially present with the tool to begin with and this lack of confidence spewed over in to the instruction causing students to be turned off. Regardless of the issue, it left a sour taste in his/her mouth. The first impression was so sour to the point of no return.
-Tom Nolan, curriculum support specialist for the Albuquerque Public Schools
I've seen another angle to this problem. Marc Prensky's 2005 Edutopia article sums up a four step process to technology integration that leads to this point:
- Doing old things in old ways.
- Doing old things in new ways.
- Doing new things in new ways
An academic recently posed a challenging scenario to me. It went something like this:
"Imagine I am a teacher down the hall from you at your building. I think my teaching strategies are pretty good. In fact, I've been teaching for a while and my students seem to be learning a lot, too. Why should I change?"In light of teachers being burned by technology in the past and seeing it as more of the same, what answer would you give to the "teacher down the hall?"