Friday, June 11, 2010

Common Misconception #5 - Technology Integration Takes too Much Time

In continuation of the series on the 8 Common Misconceptions about Technology Integration in Education I bring you reason #5, which is one we all have heard.  There was even a time in my teaching where I said this before I realized there was more available to my students then a Power Point Presentation/Project.

Common Misconception #5 - I Don't Have Time to Integrate Technology in my Classroom

I have said and heard this statement many times through my short tenure in teaching and involvement in technology integration.  I realized that it is not about HAVING time, it is about MAKING time.  What is important for educators to understand is that our students have time and make time for technology in their lives and it is important that as educators, we do the same so that we can relate better with our students.

What I have seen and heard in my few years of teaching helps me to know that teachers do have time.  We/They just choose to do other things with their time.  For example, sitting and chatting during planning, going for a walk during planning, surfing the Internet for things that have nothing to do with teaching, all things that I myself have once done.  All this time could be better spent learning how to use technology, something I learned myself and am working to pass along to other teachers.

It is important that we help those teachers who don't use time wisely or use time as an excuse not to integrate technology that in the long run understand that it will actually help with time management in their classroom.  There are several uses of technology that will help reduce the amount of time that teachers put into grading assignments and creating activities.

It is a lot easier to grade a Glog after a presentation then to grade a poster board the student created.  It will take less time to read and grade a research paper if a student turned it into a web page instead.  Take those questions from a book and have students respond to them on a site like Wallwisher and then display that wall in front of the class and discuss the answers provided by students.  What is great is that as a teacher, the average setup time for all those sites is fewer than 30 minutes.

If there is one thing that all educators know it is that technology changes, and it changes at a rapid pace.  More and more technology is going to start being integrated into schools.  For teachers to keep pace with these changes they are going to have to dedicate time to learning how to integrate it into the classroom.  Next teachers meeting ask your teachers the following question: "What if our district decided to go to 1:1 classrooms next year and reduced the funds for paper and printer ink, would you make time to learn about integrating technology in your classroom?"

Not having time to integrate technology for some teachers is the excuse for other fears they might have.  Teachers need to be shown that time is not the real issue.  For many teachers, time is only covering up a real fear that they have about integrating technology.  That is why we hear time so much.

Teachers must get over that beginning fear of giving up their time to integrating technology.  They have realized that in the long run integrating technology has really helped provide them more time for other things.  Remember the time it took to create Power Points for the first time, you never had to create them again.  Or remember the time you wrote lecture notes the first time, you never had to write them again.  Technology integration works the same way.  Integrate it once and you know what to do and how to do it in the future.

What made you start spending your time learning about technology?