The 7 Greatest Challenges Facing Education Technology Today
Education technology is a major part of the 21st-century learning experience. When incorporated properly in the classroom, tools such as computers, video conferencing, and even artificial intelligence can be used to supplement children’s education, provide support to students with disabilities, and have a wide variety of additional applications and benefits.
However, implementing education technology in the classroom is not always done smoothly or successfully. Many teachers and administrators face obstacles that prevent them from sourcing, installing, and using technology that they can use to enrich their students’ educations. Read on to learn about the top seven challenges facing the adoption and use of education technology today.
1. Budget Limitations
By far the greatest factor limiting the efforts of teachers and administrators to provide education technology to students, budget cuts and limitations are a major hurdle that proponents of education technology must overcome in order to successfully introduce tech into their classrooms. A recent study even demonstrated that 75.9% of respondents saw budget restrictions as the biggest challenge preventing them from embracing education technology.
Budget limitations are especially challenging to overcome because great education tech tools don’t come cheap: while tools like Google Cloud can be a powerful tool for education, simply adopting that one tool also requires schools to provide Chromebooks to students and fund training sessions for teachers, which strained budgets simply can’t handle. Finding the funds to implement and sustain technology in the classroom can be a major barrier to its adoption in cash-strapped schools.
2. Lack Of Professional Training
Increasingly new and advanced education technology appears every day. Teachers need to be able to know not only how to get the most out of each new tool themselves, but also how to train their students in its use. Providing classrooms with a shiny new tool that neither teacher nor student can use is unlikely to make an impact in any child’s educational experience, and requiring busy teachers to teach themselves how to use a new tool can be frustrating and time-consuming. Although professionally training teachers, faculty, and staff may require time and money, it’s necessary if students are expected to get the desired effects out of their technological experience.
3. Poor Network Infrastructure
Simply handing a room full of students a box of laptops or notebooks won’t have any beneficial effects if the school doesn’t have the network infrastructure it needs to support them. A strong network infrastructure requires fast, high-quality WiFi at school and at home, as well as data privacy and security, access to digital resources, and much more. Designing, building, and supporting a strong network infrastructure must be done with a great amount of care and forethought, as it is necessary for the effective and responsible continued use of technology in education.
4. Resistance To Change
Many teachers have demonstrated a resistance to change and unwillingness to adopt education technology. However, studies have shown that this resistance is not because teachers dislike technology. Rather, it’s partly because teachers view learning a new teaching tool as a risky approach for which they’re not adequately trained. It’s also partly because their school administrators don’t present a united front by highlighting which specific tools can have positive outcomes for their students. Although this resistance to change can be difficult to overcome, working with teachers to support them in adopting new education technology can help make them more likely to embrace it.
5. No Systems In Place To Utilize Technology In Curriculum
Although granting teachers access to tablets and smartboards may help boost their comfort with education technology, many teachers simply have not thought about how they can best utilize technology in their curriculum. Indeed, the way a history teacher utilizes laptops in the classroom may be very different than the way a math teacher utilizes a smartboard. Both likely require plenty of time for trial, error, and experimentation to bring their lesson plans up to date. A major challenge in the adoption of new tools is not providing teachers with the guidance they need to make education technology work for them in their specific classroom.
6. Unreliable Devices And Software
The lack of a strong infrastructure can also be compounded by a lack of reliable devices and software, all of which can present major barriers to the adoption of education technology. An unreliable device can simply be a notebook that doesn’t function properly, or it could be a bug causing students to have trouble accessing tests or staying logged in at school. In more extreme cases, Common Core test disruptions in 2015 and other test-based technical glitches represented an unforeseen challenge associated with using education technology to administer testing. Although education technology can be a powerful tool, devices and software need to be consistent and reliable for it to remain a viable option in the future.
7. Administrators Don’t See The Need For More Technology
Finally, another challenge facing technology in education is the fact that many administrators are simply unwilling to immediately adopt it. The reasons for this vary but are likely due to budget considerations as well as the fact that the benefits of education technology are not yet well-defined. This makes it challenging to pinpoint specific areas in which this technology could help raise test scores or boost other metrics. However, with distance learning on the rise and education technology becoming increasingly widespread, it seems likely that administrators’ resistance to adopting technology will soon become a thing of the past.
Learn How To Embrace Education Technology With Our Experts
Education technology is a new field that continues to evolve every day. At WPG Consulting, we provide technical support and top-notch professional guidance for a variety of IT systems. From Cloud Computing to IT Consulting & Product Management, our dedicated and experienced staff has the skills and dedication to help you learn more about education technology and how to avoid common pitfalls in its implementation and maintenance.
If you’re interested in learning more about how our friendly and qualified staff can help provide you with high-quality service, don’t hesitate to contact us or give us a call at (646) 868-9800 today.