Schools Fail at Purchasing Tech

Schools Fail at Purchasing Tech is the outcome from the recent study by Digital Promise and the Education Industry Association. Their findings showed that the present day purchasing system in place in schools today is based on buying text books, not technology. How can schools implement learning technology successfully when they are faced with the bureaucratic red tape of dealing with the existing structure of purchasing practices? Apparently, not well. Think how quickly the digital landscape is changing and what’s innovative today is démodé within a matter of months. The reality is, teachers don’t have the training to learn the tech let alone teach with it.

Schools also Fail at Implementing Tech. Some time ago, I wrote a blog about this very topic: I Know My Way Around an iPad… “Knowing how to use an iPad and knowing how to teach lessons to a class of students with an iPad, are two very different scenarios.” Management is a critical component in every classroom and this will be even more paramount when tech is deployed. I can’t emphasize enough how critical it is that schools start first with teacher training and continue that teacher training with ongoing and robust programs. It would be ideal if some of the more tech savvy educators could step up and help those teachers that are struggling with tech. However, those teachers that are trying to take themselves to the next level, without compensation, and with all their other draconian responsibilities, it is not going to happen.

I have first hand experience in this dilemma. The school I taught in made the decision to employ a 1:1 iPad initiative for grades 6,7,8. Teachers were given marginal training prior to deployment on the basics of using an iPad and no training in how to teach a class of 20 – 25 students who each had their own device. I saw more iPads sit in drawers or what we called “the guilt bag,” essentially, your modern day briefcase that is toted back and forth everyday from work to home and back again.

To read the rest of this article, published in Teachers With Apps, please click here.