Everyone has their own approach to using technology in the classroom. Some prefer to go all-in, while others blend paper with digital learning. Before a teacher can discover their own technology sweetspot in the classroom, common hurdles must be overcome to realize better learning outcomes. Teachers and administrators have identified the following five common obstacles that new educators face when learning how to use tech to their advantage.
Lack of Experience
For experienced teachers, there’s enough familiarity with the profession to feel confident in one’s abilities to make room for onboarding a new technology resource. New teachers face challenges from every direction. The steep learning curve that comes along with the first year in the classroom has the power to make or break a new teacher’s career. When there’s thorough training and long-term support, technology lifts up new teachers rather than weighing them down. But it’s not just new teachers. A 2021 survey of 900 K-12 educators found that 40% admit to feeling unprepared for the new way of doing things. Teachers are on the frontlines of the technology revolution in education, and patience goes a long way towards supporting them in this dynamic time.
As of 2021, just 59% of American schools are fully 1:1 with technology devices for students. Even more concerning is that between 9 million and 12 million U.S. students still don’t have internet access at home. If our kids don’t have equal access to devices, technology will remain on the periphery of the learning experience. But the American Rescue Plan has committed $130 billion for technology upgrades over the coming three years, so the future is looking up.
Starting From Scratch
A 2016 study found that the number one obstacle to technology integration in the classroom was a lack of appropriate training. Teachers view the current state of online learning more as a constant drill in crisis management than enriched learning. Without proper support and intuitively-designed resources, technology becomes a burden rather than a savior. New teachers have a lot on their plate. Pairing new teachers with veteran mentors builds partnerships and a support system for the many hurdles of that first year.
Over 90% of teachers surveyed report that before the pandemic, technology was supplemental. That’s no longer the case. When teachers are presented with new tech to incorporate, a botched rollout all but guarantees a sense of technology overload. Decision-makers can take preventative steps to discourage a sense of overload by conveying the purpose of the new tools, implementing them gradually and providing adequate training followed by support services.
Over 12 million K-12 students are educated in the ten states and territories that have not adopted the common core standards. New teachers in these states have the added responsibility of ensuring that digital materials are aligned with their respective state standards. In fact, teachers in the rest of the nation have to be careful where they get their online materials from. For example, a teacher from California might go online and purchase an assignment made by a teacher in Texas, inadvertently using classroom materials that are aligned to different standards.
Overcome Common Hurdles With Boardworks
Expertly-aligned turnkey resources are the most direct path to successfully leveraging technology in the classroom. Boardworks was founded with the goal of empowering teachers, engaging students and enhancing learning. New teachers are more likely to have long-lasting, fulfilling careers when they have access to top-notch curriculum tools. Our vast library of classroom and remote-ready materials are fully-customizable and aligned with the content standards. And most importantly for new teachers, they’re ready-made for use on day one. Schedule your demo today to see how Boardworks empowers teachers and engages students.
Download our white paper, How to Leverage Existing Technology Investments to Address Education Challenges to learn more about how Boardworks helps address these challenges both in the classroom and remotely.