Friday, December 4, 2015

Factors Impacting Effective Technology Use: Teacher Support

Where or from whom do teachers most often seek support for using digital resources in the classroom? From my experience, most teachers are like submarine captains when it comes to using digital resources in that they (1) make split-second decisions impacting the outcome of their work environment and (2) possess an elevated sense of urgency to make things happen autonomously and correctly.

Try coaching a frustrated teacher who spends hours planning a lesson using his or her classroom mobile devices only to find out that the Internet has gone down prior to the morning bell ringing. Fortunately, the vast majority of educators have contingency plans built into their instructional curriculum that provide viable options should the use of digital tools malfunction at the last minute. Yet, the frustration that follows continued technology meltdowns does not bode well for classroom teachers who don’t know where to turn for assistance. They often end up replacing digitally-charged activities with paper versions that limit student options in the classroom.

Knowing where (e.g., Teaching Channel, YouTube, Kahn Academy) or whom (e.g., student, campus technology specialist, academic coach, grade level teacher, curriculum coordinator) to turn to in cases of short term fixes (e.g., logins, technology glitches) or long term solutions (e.g., migrating to a one-to-one learning environment) is vital to the success of moving teachers to higher levels of technology integration regardless of the measuring stick used (e.g., LoTi, SAMR, ISTE Standards). The 20th Anniversary edition of the LoTi Digital Age Survey will attempt to find correlations between teachers who know their “go-to” person or site for assistance and how they execute technology use in their classrooms.

This blog post is the eighth in a series of fourteen online entries highlighting factors that impact the effective use of technology in today's classrooms. This series focuses on each of the research variables used to conduct comparative analyses as part of the 20th Anniversary Edition of the LoTi Digital Age Survey.