Recently, we facilitated a four-day technology integration training session at our learning organization. It was an intensive training session as each instructor was challenged with taking in education technology integration models/frameworks and teaching three mini-lessons over four days. Following are the takeaways that the trainers observed during and after the session.
1) The teachers did not follow the suggested frameworks when selecting technologies for their lessons. They followed their intuition to choose apps in spite of being guided through app selection structures.
2) A unanimous criticism of technology in education was the inordinate amount of time it takes to sift through different apps, then planning their lessons. This included locating, signing up, trying them out and making them work with their lesson outcomes.
3) Something that surprised some of the teachers was the behavior of some of the apps. Some apps did not function the same across operating systems and browsers. Variations were in layout/presentation, options available and functionality.
4) The implementation of apps in educational situations do not always perform as planned as reality can throw things off. These obstacles include dead batteries, operating system variations, student buy-in and undependable Wi-Fi.
5) Administrators do not often support app purchases or app subscriptions for students. The limitations on apps outside of paywall devalue the potential for engaging learning opportunities.
6) App interfaces and features change without notice, resulting in confusion for students and teachers. These changes also make help resources, whether in-house or posted online, inaccurate.
7) The trainees appreciate learning about applications of technology in education by sharing lessons with other instructors.
8) They feel that they are less intimidated and will be exploring new technologies in the future.
9) After experiencing technology integration both as learners and teachers, they now appreciate why an e-policy is important for an educational institution.
10) They want strategies to keep students focused with mobile technology in the mix.
As teacher trainers and education technology practitioners, we are going to shape our future training session with some of these issues in mind. I hope our observations and experience may assist you with your “edtech” integration.
The technologies this cohort encountered and explored can be viewed from this Symbaloo webmix. https://www.symbaloo.com/mix/isw202019