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The Key to Popularizing Technology in Education

by Kelly Walsh on June 27, 2010

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Meeting these requirements can position any education technology implementation effort for success.

I’m delighted to post this guest post, contributed by Anna Miller, who writes on the topic of online degrees . Many readers of this column appreciate the challenges that educational institutions face in their efforts to leverage the many technological tools available to today’s educators. In this article, Anna highlights some of the key issues that can limit, or facilitate, adoption of these technologies.

While you can’t doubt the fact that technology brings many benefits to the field of education, it’s not something that everybody has embraced with open arms. The reasons why people are hesitant to accept and adopt technology are varied. And even though our world revolves around technological innovations like the Internet, we are yet to see parallel leaps and bounds in the use of technology in classrooms all around the world.

4 Factors for Education Technology SuccessOne of the biggest reasons for this anomaly is cost – unless schools are able to justify the expense spent on the infrastructure, they’re not likely to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on technology. Also, if educational institutions are not sure about making full use of the technology, they’re not going to be in favor of it. So the keys to popularizing technology in education, especially at the school level, are:

  • Cost-effectiveness: Technology needn’t be dirt cheap for it to be welcomed by school boards and teachers; all it needs to do is offer a good return on investment. If schools feel that they stand to gain by spending money on technology and that it will benefit their students immensely, they don’t hesitate to try it out.
  • Ease of use: It may be technology, but if it is not simple enough to use even by those who are not tech savvy, it’s of no use in any school. If it is to be adopted and used comprehensively and usefully, technology must be simple and easily understood by all those who use it, from the staff to the students.
  • Acceptability: Many teachers shun technology because they want to avoid looking like they don’t know how to use it properly. In order to address this issue, schools and technology providers must ensure that teachers accept technology first before it is introduced into the school. And to make this happen, they must be made comfortable using it through training sessions and other similar methods. Only when the technology is accepted will it prove to be valuable in the long term.
  • Safety and reliability: And finally, as with any good thing, technology is a double-edged sword that can cut deeply and leave scars if it is not used wisely. When misused, it has the potential to cause personal harm to both those who abuse it and innocent bystanders. So unless schools are assured that the technology is harmless and that safeguards can be installed to protect students from abusing it, they are not going to be too eager to adopt it.
     

With newer forms of delivery being discovered by the day, it has become easier to bring technology to the classroom and make it a valuable educative tool. But no matter how creative education technology becomes, it will only become popular if the above aspects are addressed.

This guest post is contributed by Anna Miller, who writes on the topic of online degrees . We welcome comments, questions, and feedback – please comment below. Anna can also be reached directly at: anna.miller009@gmail.com.

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Let’s stop misspending education technology dollars

5 Reasons Why Educators Need To Embrace Internet Technologies
Great Education Technology Story: CPS Student Response System helps to improve FCAT scores
30 Posts About Free Education Technology Tools & Resources

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer and a faculty member at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of EmergingEdTech.com. As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, periodically running Flipped Class Workshops online. His latest eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book was published in September, 2013 and is available here. In his spare time Walsh also writes, records, and performs original (and cover) songs (look for "K. Walsh" on iTunes or Amazon.com or check out his original song videos on here on YouTube ).

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