Technology must fit well with the teacher to be a good fit for the classroom.
Unfortunately, many adults may lack the basic technological experience that’s often taken for granted today, thus leading to problems of integration of that technology in these teachers’ classrooms. In 2002, Bitner & Bitner at Southeastern Louisiana University put forth eight factors that they claim contribute significantly to the successful integration of technology into a
curriculum: fear of change, training in basics, personal use, teaching models, learning based, climate, motivation, and support.
The first of these, fear of change, manifests both on the personal and structural
levels. Teachers may be anxious or hesitant when it comes to new and unfamiliar
technology, which may also affect classroom plans and procedures. The second factor, training, also concerns the ability for teachers to feel comfortable with new technology. The authors caution against assumptions that teachers will be proficient with basic applications, and advise in favor of attentive training strategies to be sure that hardware and software are explained sufficiently prior to their implementation. Likewise, a climate welcome to technological experimentation must be created for teachers to adapt and learn within. This requires the alleviation of both the fear of damaging equipment and losing therespect of students and colleagues. Personal use will also play a role in the teacher’s successful adoption of technology. As they come to be more familiar with basic programs like Microsoft Office they will grow more appreciative of the value that these programs add in terms of efficiency and convenience. Similarly, on the student end, teaching models are suggested as helpful additions for teachers to be able to see how students will interact with and learn from thetechnology like Microsoft PowerPoint. Furthermore, programs that foster discussion and problem solving, such as MathBlasters, are worth considering as well. Some areas of consideration are more general. Learning, for instance, is a changing dynamic. The environment today is shifting away from the unidirectional teacher-to- student model. Instead, the authors claim, technology is allowing students and teachers to “become partners.”
Lastly, motivation and support cannot be overlooked. Motivating factors including
pay raises and non-monetary support need to be considered by the administration. Onsite support must be readily available and consistent, in order to address any problems with hardware and software in the classroom.
These are not easy factors to implement without an investment of time and money in the schools. If technology is going to be successfully incorporated into the classroom, it will first have to be successfully adopted by teachers. In order to foster this process, administrations can build strong foundations by giving attention to these eight areas of concern.