Nov 23 2015

The 7 Greatest Challenges Facing Education Technology

Tight budgets and a lack of professional development are top challenges for education leaders.

Education Dive’s 2015 State of Education Technology survey polled more than 150 education leaders and teachers to learn how technology is being used in school districts across the country and what challenges to access they face. What they learned was that schools are underfunded and teachers are undertrained, facing environments where the technologies they use aren’t always reliable. 

The survey’s results paint a picture of education in flux. As schools continue to transition toward more digital learning efforts, many educators are playing catch-up, learning how to incorporate these new tools within their curriculum.

Respondents were asked to name the three greatest challenges they face in providing access to education technology in their district. The following are the eight top issues they cited:

  • 75.9% — Budget limits
  • 53.9% — Inadequate professional training
  • 41.4% — Teachers resistant to change
  • 38.2% — Inadequate network infrastructure
  • 30.9% — Unreliable device/software options
  • 29.6% — No systems to use technology for curriculum
  • 17.8% — Other
  • 13.2% — District doesn't see immediate need for more technology

On the brighter side of things, the survey narrowed down the top three technologies that have impacted learning: notebooks (62.1 percent), interactive white boards (54.8 percent) and tablets (50 percent).

Other survey results showed that education leaders are beginning to grapple with the gap between available technology and educators' mastery of it. Slightly over 86 percent of respondents said they agreed that teachers in their district need more training in education technology. And nearly three-quarters of respondents (74.3 percent) selected professional development as the top priority for educators as they prepare for 2016.

The notion of professional development being in greater need was reinforced by a recent ConnectIT blog from CDW•G’s Eric Patnoudes.

“If there is one thing in this world I know to be true, it is that all of those technologies will have little to no impact on learning if teachers are not also provided with training and professional development to help them evolve from the conventional teaching practices of the 20th century,” writes Patnoudes.

The complete survey can be downloaded from Education Dive’s website

Patrick Ryan/Thinkstock

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