Monday, November 20, 2006

Why teachers don't use ICT.

Terry Friedman of "The Educational Technology Site: ICT in Education" conducted an on-line poll asking, "Why don't teachers use ICT?" You can see the results at this article.

Although I am sure these results are "unscientific" I applaud Terry for asking a good question. Good questions are amongst the most valuable things in the world. Even if the results are not perfect they will lead to meaningful conversations ...which should translate to better educational experiences for kids.

Jim :-)


Fitz said...

After doing some research on this question I have to say the reason I believe teachers are shying away from technology is the lack of professional development they receive in technology. 87% of teachers receiver 8 or less hours a year in technology training, if the training is done out of the district that number raises to 92%. Experts say technical information is doubling every two years so when our teachers graduate, half of what they learned about technology is obsolete.

Jim Forde said...

Hi Fitz,

Those are intriguing numbers. What is the source of that info? I am sure our readers would want to know. I have to say, i tend to agree with them, IMHO.

As far as tech info being obsolete every two years, I am not as willing to buy into that so readily. I will agree that certain standards change in interesting ways(pcmia to usb to firewire etc.) but most of the software tools that are being used are very similar to 10 years ago. As a matter of fact, I am shocked with how little has changed in the typical menu of programs on the public school servers.

Also, if you use contructivist learning techniques (or other similar pedagogic models) in order to structure your teaching the changes in technology don't even matter, as the focus is on the essentials questions or curricular focus and the tools are seen as tools. Does that make sense?


jim :-)

Terry Freedman said...

Hi, Jim
Thanks for mentioning the article. Yes, the results are totally unscientific ;-) However, as you summised I was really interested in getting a discussion going. Perhaps it might even inspire some people to conduct similar surveys. Like you, I think that it's important to ask questions (and the more awkard the better!)

Jim Forde said...

Hi Terry,
I can see that we are kindred spirits! kep up the good work!

jim :-)

Fitz said...

Mr. Forde,

Some of my sources that this information comes from is The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching by M.D. Roblyer and a couple of articles from ET Magazine by Rodney S. Earle.

As far as technology changing every two years, from my own personal experience, when I started college in 1994 I was a COBOL, mainframe programmer. When I finished my Associate degree two years later the mainframe was replaced by a network. That is an extreme example to be sure but an exmple nonetheless.

Year 2000 programming was huge, then web disign and then client server now it's just doesn't seem to end.

I do believe the applications that we use, especially in schools, could use some updating and that the method in which we teach them can stay the same.

Jim Forde said...

Hey Fitz!

It's great to hear from you again.

It is nice to hear the sources. They confirm my feelings also.

I hear you. If you are a working technologist (or scientist), in the field you are constantly on a learning curve. No argument there. I was reacting to the world of educational technology where change is a tad more glacial.

In my experience, the only global leaps occur when new buildings are being constructed or a huge corporate / federal grant comes into play. then a lot of hardware and software are purchased and the staff development is neglected, as predicted in your statistics.

Happy Thanksgivign all.

Jim :-)