…but I’m a technophobe!

King Edward I - Torbay Express - 30th August 2009

One of the issues with embedding technology into teaching and learning is the resistance to the embedding by practitioners.

Many factors are discussed for the reasons, from fear of technology, to a lack of time. These discussions fail to recognise that there are many practitioners for whom embedding technology is something they can do in the same time as everyone else. Can time really be the issue, isn’t it much more about priorities than a lack of time?

As for the fear, I am sure there are some real technophobes out there, those for whom technology is a really scary thing that needs to be feared (like dragons) and should never be used. These people probably don’t have a television, a microwave, nor a phone (let alone a mobile phone). These true technophobes do exist I am sure, but as a proportion of practitioners in education, they must be a very small minority, less than 1% for sure and probably a lot less.

So what of the others? Those that say they are fearful of technology?

Well I suspect that these use technology on a day to day basis and probably don’t actually consider it technology. I recall one practitioner been quite proud of the fact that she was a technophobe, however when questioned further she not only used the internet, but used IM and Skype on a regular basis to talk to her daughter in Australia! What is apparent talking to many practitioners who don’t see the need or feel they can use technology for learning, in their day to day life use technology all the time for their own needs and in their non-work life.

One issue that appears to be a barrier is that these practitioners have issues in transferring skills they have built up in their day to day life to using these skills to support teaching and importantly learning.

The same can be said with learners and a recognition that learners who use technology all the time, don’t necessarily know how to use technology to support their learning.

So how do we get teachers who use technology on a daily basis to be able to transfer their skills into the effective use of technology in the classroom?

That is a question that may take a little longer to answer.

2 thoughts on “…but I’m a technophobe!”

  1. The technophobe teacher probably:
    – Immediately saw the value of Skype
    – Was shown how to use it by a friend outside of work
    – Saw it as simple – so not ‘technical’
    – Doesn’t worry about potential technical glitches while talking to her daughter
    – May have a supportive family member at home to help her with the technology

    While at work she:
    – Does not see a value/benefit of ‘educational’ technologies’
    – Is worried about making mistakes in front of a class
    – May not have any support if things go wrong

    On a personal I have recenntly taught 2 synchronous virtual classes. In one I had a technical support in the room to sort out issues such as login, audio problems etc. In the other I had to deal with these issues while also teaching the class. Guess which went smoother … and was a better experience for the learners?

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