Challenges in Using Technology in Schools

The challenge of meeting the needs of personalized learning is a common occurrence not only in K-12 grades but in higher education as well. I am a huge proponent of personalized learning. Having gone through school with the ability to study minimally and still get A’s and B’s, I did not learn the material enough to retain it for years afterwards. My biggest regret was not immersing myself in the subjects enough to get the information to stick around. I would memorize the information that was taught from a book or given to me in worksheets just enough to pass the tests and do the homework. The only subject I remember really being involved with was psychology. I loved it. I remember soaking it up and not being able to get enough of it. This happened for two reasons; I was genuinely interested in the subject and I had a teacher who was enthusiastic and taught us in nonconventional ways. This was my first insight into the positives of teaching students in all different ways to meet their individual needs.

I have watched many students struggle with the same experience described above. I have also seen many students thrive in environments where they are learning in ways that fit their own needs. Technology is an incredible tool that provides the student with learner choice and control. I believe that, like myself, many educators want to provide their students with the correct technology for them to achieve a positive personalized learning experience, but they are not provided with the funds or tools to gain access to the proper technology. They are also not provided with the correct training for effective use of this technology.

To begin to solve these issues, I propose school funded, hands-on workshops. Fund raisers could be held throughout the year by holding bake sales and such. The money acquired would go towards sending teachers to these workshops. The teachers can then get a feel for the gear and decide if it would be suitable to the learning environment they are trying to achieve in their classroom. There are many workshops available that allow you to buy the gear or use the gear when you are at the workshop. The day is then spent learning how to set-up, integrate, and make the most out of the technology in the classroom. For example, an iPad workshop is being held in San Diego at National University on April 13. The description states, “This workshop will cover the initial setup of the iPad, how to add content to the iPad, how to make the most of iTunes U, and how to find the best educational Apps available – including Apps for creating content and media on the iPad.” There are many workshops held throughout the year all over the country that allow the teachers to get professional, hands-on training. This would be extremely beneficial to educators and learners alike.

Below is the video I created, using xtranormal, explaining this challenge and how I propose to solve it.

This assignment utilized AECT standard 2.2 “Audiovisual Technologies” because it allowed us to use our computer to create an audio and visual presentation of the material we were trying to convey.

Source:

SDCUE. (2013). iPad Workshop Back by Popular Demand April 13 @ National University. Retrieved from http://sdcue.org/?p=5689

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6 thoughts on “Challenges in Using Technology in Schools

  1. Emily, I like your idea of sending teachers to workshops to understand technology that can allow students to have a more personalized learning experience. I think just about every teacher really wants to give their students that type of experience but lack the knowledge and tools to do so and are often scared of the changes and feel left behind. It’s a pity we have to resort to bake sales but at least we do have that as an option, I guess. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that kind of training were provided with the job.

    • Thanks, Amanda! I agree; a bake sale seems like a last resort. With the budget cuts though, we might not have many other options for awhile. I would do anything to get myself and other teachers to workshops like these though. They would be very informative.

  2. Hi Emily,

    I feel the exact same way as I have gone through school and easily passed courses because I would cram for tests to get through them. I may have passed with an A or B but I know for a fact that I didn’t retain much because I wasn’t interested in the material because my teachers didn’t make it interesting. I too wish that I emerged myself more within the material as sometime I feel like a fool not knowing certain things that I should. Fundraisers to obtain funds to go to workshops that would generally be too expensive for some district staff to go to is a great idea. District administrators almost cannot say no to such a proposal as it is saving them money by not paying for such training or it is at least offsetting the cost because for a teacher to go to such a training the district would only be responsible for the cost associated with hiring a sub for the days needed off. Great idea and video Emily!

  3. Emily,

    You have chosen an excellent topic to address in this assignment. I never really experienced personalized learning until I started in this program. The idea of choice and self-paced learning were foreign concepts up to this point. As a result, I have found a new passion for learning because I feel I have some control over what and how I produce/demonstrate learning. This goes to the heart of what you are saying in this reflection. Great ideas and wonderful goal of personalized learning. I have a follow up question for thought or reply: What are some incentives that can be offered to teachers who take these workshops during summer break? (I ask because my district is debating this right now).

  4. Hello Emily,
    Personalized instruction is so important and having teachers with enthusiasm is important too. I believe anything can be fun to learn if taught with the right materials and with the right attitude. Technology is just another tool for teachers to achieve this lofty goal of personalizing education, and an important one at that because new tools may lead to more enthused teachers!

  5. Interestingly, the first time I heard the phrase ‘personalized learning’ I understood the theory of it but wondered what a few examples would be to define exactly what personalized learning actually could be defined as. It is one of those terms that could have a variety of meanings depending on the person. Great job on your movie. It was clear and concise.

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