Instructor Knowledge in Technological Learning

When we think of teachers and technology, our minds tend to envision a group of elderly men and women huddled around a Chromebook, poking at it with a stick as they hang on tightly to some dusty old textbooks. In previous posts I’ve mentioned whether or not students are ready to learn with certain technological devices and mediums, but that was all overlooking a key issue: Are instructors well-versed enough to handle technological means of teaching?

Well first thing’s first, if we refer to Benjamin Herold’s blog post concerning instructors and technology, he mentions that contrary to popular beliefs, instructors were found to actually bare more extensive knowledge on technology than even their students. That being said, the ways to implement that technology into their teaching field was limited to many degrees.

This is what brings about the misconception of teachers having no clue how technology works. It isn’t so much as they simply do not understand the material, but rather the fact that implementing the technology correctly is so incredibly difficult. And this was the purpose of my previous posts, offering the ideas of 3D printing and games to assist in the learning process, but obviously this isn’t enough.

Now we need the help of “Teachers’ Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Learning Activity Types: Curriculum-based Technology Integration Reframed” a detailed report regarding this exact issue. The report puts it bluntly; for instructors to better implement technology into their different respective fields, they need to be briefed on just what is available. Just like how they had to be taught how to teach kids via books, notes, homework, and reading; instructors now need to be taught about just how many incredible options are available once technology is introduced.

The report; “Teachers in a World of Change: Teachers’ Knowledge and Attitudes towards the Implementation of Innovative Technologies in Schools” immediately identifies the problem; instructors are entering a world of change, one in which they must implement technological skills not only in their personal lives, but also in their academic roles. This creates a heavy burden on instructors, giving them more to worry about, more to focus on, and more to learn. But despite this difficulty, instructors cannot continue to hide under their heavy textbooks and stacks of paper, they need to be exposed to technology in the school environment, taught how it works and how it can help in education. Only then can we see a true rise in technology’s positive effects on students.


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