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by Bryson
Rated: · Other · Other · #1358350
discusses teachers and their resistance to tech. (or not)

Are teachers the real barrier to technology integration in schools?
Stephanie Maynard
Northern Arizona University
Department of Educational Technology

Are teachers the real barrier to technology integration in schools?
There are many barriers to integrating technology into schools.  Some of them are: insufficient number of computers, difficulty of integrating instruction, lack of funds, lack of support, and poor staff development, but the one that stands out the most in research is the pedagogical belief of the teachers. There have been numerous studies on this issue, including whether first or second order barriers are affecting these beliefs, which we will discuss further. (Demetriadis et al., 2003)
According to Peggy Ertmer in the article titled Teacher Pedagogical Beliefs, “all the conditions for successful technology integration finally appear to be in place; including ready access to technology….high-level technology use is still surprisingly low.  This suggests that additional barriers may be at work….”  First order changes can be classified as those that help adjust current practices in step-by-step fashion without necessarily changing beliefs.  Second order changes require new ways of looking at things and new ways of completing them as well.  It has been found that first order changes can be reversed, but second order changes are not necessarily able to be changed.  In other words, once you head in a certain direction it is almost impossible to go back to previous habits.  Teachers appear to feel that this type of change is riskier and difficult to achieve.  School staff is also unable to assist teachers in this area of change because they aren’t familiar with it. (Ertmer, 2005)
“Becker classified exemplary technology users based on standards that “suggest a classroom environment in which computers were both prominent in the experience of students and employed in order that students grow intellectually and not merely develop isolated skills.”…low level technology uses tend to be associated with teacher-centered practices while high-level uses tend to be associated with student-centered, or constructivist, practices.” (Ertmer, 2005) Studies are finding that low-level use is necessary before a teacher can move on to higher levels of uses and that can occur over a 5 year period due to the time it takes to achieve expertise in technology usage.  In another study, three major issues were found to be important for teachers to be willing to introduce technology into the classroom: a feeling of control, the number of computers available, and dissatisfaction with the way things are currently. (Demetriadis et al., 2003) Therefore, technology should ideally be introduced as a friend or a tool to be valued in the classroom.
In conclusion, there are several ways to change the beliefs of teachers and enable them to accept the use of technology as a benefit to them and their students.  By examining teachers’ core beliefs about teaching, learning, and technology, the technology instructors can discover how best to approach the changes in classroom teaching practices. These beliefs often contain personal experiences, vicarious experiences, and social-cultural influences. The first step is to help teachers adopt practices that are successful so that they will continue to believe that they can flourish as they begin utilizing other new practices.  The second step would be to have them observe other teachers modeling the higher uses of technology in their classrooms whether through video, DVD, or the web itself. This also allows them to build successful self-efficacy beliefs about implementing technology in their classrooms.  The last step is the participation in professional communities.  By discussing new materials, methods, and strategies with others who have successfully integrated them into their classrooms, teachers are more likely to adopt them.  This helps teachers receive the necessary support while learning new technologies and allows them to feel part of the process giving them some control over the resources implemented in the classroom.

Demetriadis, S., Barbasab, A., Molohidesb, A., Palaigeorgioua, G., Psillosb, D., & Vlahavasa, I., et al. (2003). "Cultures in negotiation": Teachers' acceptance/resistance attitudes considering the infusion of technology into schools. [Electronic version]. Computers & Education, 41(1), 19-37. Retrieved February 10, 2007,
Ertmer, P. A. (2005). Teacher pedagogical beliefs:  The final frontier in our quest for technology integration? [Electronic version]. Educational Technology Research & Development, 53(4), 25-39. Retrieved February 10, 2007,

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