There are many reasons for schools to hesitate in employing educational technology into the classroom, especially when there are barriers preventing teachers from getting on board with technology integration. Brush and Hew, in their academic paper “Integrating technology into k-12 teaching and learning: current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research” outline various reasons why K-12 schools are often unwilling to adopt the latest technological tools. For example, they list resources, culture, knowledge and skills as some of the potential barriers. Then, they identify certain strategies for technology integration along with recommendations for future research. Like most researchers, they mention that there is no clear standard definition for technology integration due to all that “technology” has come to encompass. The article also mentioned that in the United States, school districts reportedly spent “7.87 billion on technology equipment during the 2003-2004 school year.” That was a decade ago. Peggy Johnson, the author of the post “Now Is the Time for Digital Tech to Transform K-12 Learning,” writes that technology is even more crucial now to advancing the learning of students in the classroom.
One of the primary reasons for advocating the use of technology in the classroom is that it is a 21st century skill that will be extremely relevant to students in their futures no matter what career paths they choose. Furthermore, technology helps students collaborate, gain problem solving skills, see different perspectives, and understand how their actions have both local and global implications. The K-12 landscape is constantly undergoing changes, as educators are coming to reimagine education given all that new technology offers to the learning potential of students. Johnson, as a self-proclaimed “engineer-turned-tech evangelist” argues that “in many ways, mobile is a democratizing force. It empowers us. It inspires us. It extends our reach.” Education programs must equip students with key skills and one of those include media literacy and the ability to make sense of all the knowledge at our disposal.
Hew, K. F., & Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into k-12 teaching and learning: current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research. Springer, 55(3), 223-252. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11423-006-9022-5