The Biggest Obstacles In Our Lives Is The Barriers Our Mind Creates

As my teaching partner, Chantelle Davies and I have begun to implement technology in the classroom we have reflected on some of barriers that we have overcome.  Some of these barriers include time, expertise, access and resources. As I explored other blogs such as The Digital Library these barriers seemed to be fairly common.

Time: Integrating technology into the classroom is time consuming.  There is a great deal of research and planning required by teachers before they can introduce technology into the classroom if it is to be an effective learning tool.  Then next step is to find time in class to teach students how to use technology effectively.  Teachers need to cover and great deal of curriculum and as a result spending time on technology may take a backseat.

Access and Resources:  For a variety of reasons schools may have limited access to technology.  In cases where schools have computer labs access is limited to availability.  In other cases, schools and teachers may have limited access because of lack of funding.  It is difficult to integrate technology on a regular basis if resources are not available.  I find that this is the case in our school.  Many teachers do not consider integrating technology into the class because it is difficult to co-ordinate access to resources.

Expertise:  For a teacher to use technology in the classroom they must be comfortable using it.  If this comfort level is missing then the teacher may be overwhelmed and use teaching practices that they are more comfortable with such as pen and paper activities.  Even when a teacher is comfortable using technology it is challenging to develop ways to incorporate it into the classroom.

There are a number of ways to overcome the  challenges of time, access and resources and expertise, (The Digital Library - Overcoming Obstacles), however the most challenging obstacle is personal attitude.  Many teachers find it difficult to change there teaching practice and therefore resist accepting new ways.  The resistance be be because of lack of information about how and what to change, personal attitudes towards technology and the feeling of isolation.

Using media and networking helps everyone overcome barriers.  Using Personal Learning Networks, is a great way to begin to remove barriers.  PLNs allow to take control of their own professional development through sharing, communicating and collaborating with others who have similar interests.  By getting together and networking with others online teachers can have discussions and begin to problem solve with a great number of individuals.  By engaging in conversations and sharing ideas the teacher becomes more knowledgeable.  As knowledge is gained barriers are removed and leaders are created.  

How might collaboration on social network help you overcome your barriers for integrating technology into your classroom?

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