Why Don’t Teachers Use Technology?!

It’s time to vent, rant, and rave! I just don’t get it and maybe I never will. Why is it so many teachers are opposed to using any sort of technology in relation to their teaching and running of the classroom? There are many examples of good education websites that promote self-learning yet teachers don’t always see the value of it.

I recently talked with Emily, a test developer for a website named Covcell GED Prep that has many online lessons and practice tests that students can use to get all set for the U.S. and Canadian High School Equivalency Test. She asked how to make teachers aware of this website. Because they have a lot of practice tests and lessons, this seems to be a perfect combination in combination with offline GED teaching. Yet she has problems with reaching out to teachers.

I am not surprised at all. This year our school managed to acquire laptops for all teachers. Each classroom has Internet access as well as at least for desktop computers for the students to use. I can say that we are up to date with technology in our school. The only problem, very little of it is being used. My question is “Why”?

During a faculty meeting the other day (fyi – we are year round so we have been in session since July) a teacher suggested that the administration, coaches, and the like begin using email to disseminate information to the staff to help curtail the amount of paper clogging our boxes (i.e. our weekly bulletins, notices about meetings and so on). I was completely taken aback at the response of a majority of the faculty! Excuses ranged from “I don’t know my email address and password” (we all have district issued email addresses so that we can post scores from various district wide assessments), to “I don’t have the time to be bothered with checking email each day.” My favorite though was “I don’t have any interest in learning how to use it.” I just don’t get it. Even as I tried to explain to my group that the laptop can be set up to automatically check your email for you and all you have to do is read it, I was met with a wall of resistance. One first grade teacher admitted, proudly I might add, that she has never taken the laptop out of its case in the two years she had it in her possession.

One of the things I despise most in a teacher, especially at the elementary level, is the lack of interest in learning for themselves. I know of one teacher who never reads anything more than the morning surf report and considers himself a “very knowledgeable teacher”. So to complain, as a teacher, about having to learn something new is tantamount to treason of your position as a teacher. I am not one to blame teachers out there for all of our education ills but when this type of thinking rears its head I’ve got to wonder about the quality of teaching taking place in the classroom. Ok, so I got a little off topic there…

After this little tirade I am still left with the question, “How to get teachers to use the tech resources available and in their hands more effectively (or even using some of them at all). Your thoughts and ideas are welcome!