Educational Technology Issues

Introduction

The educational field has transformed over the years from apprenticeship to a more inclusive universal model. Together with these changes, policies applied by government officials evolved to correspond to the contemporary setting. However, some strategies fail to provide teachers with means for their execution, which leads to additional stress and adverse learning outcomes for students. This paper aims to determine literature and determine the influence of emerging technology usage policy on teachers.

Preceding Policies

To understand the emerging technology policy correctly, one should examine procedures and research that preceded it. Rotolo, Hicks, and Martin (2015) state that policymakers have shown significant interest in emerging technology over the last decades.

The authors emphasize that there is a knowledge gap among scholars because no clear definition of emerging technology is in place. Rotolo et al. (2015) define the notion as such that has attributes of “radical novelty, relatively fast growth, coherence, prominent impact, and uncertainty” (p. 1827). Thus, it can be argued that a flexible policy that would allow the straightforward implementation of new guidelines for teachers is required to correspond with new technological advancements.

Understanding information that government officials use as a basis for a policy can help analyze it. According to the Office of Educational Technology (2017), since 2010, the focus of government officials shifted from the question of whether technology should be applied in classrooms to a discussion aimed at identifying means of its application. The current policies are based on empirical research that helps identify effective methods of teaching.

However, Kirkwood and Price (2013) and Jones, Buntting, and de Vries (2013) state that it is crucial to appraise emerging technology before implementing it into education and consider future prospects of the issue. The authors identify a variety of limitations that present various issues with researchers of technology usage in schools.

An essential aspect of any policy is its effectiveness and ability to fulfill identified goals. Lim, Zhao, Tondeur, Chai, and Tsai (2013) focus their research on investigating two primary aspects of emerging technology in schools, the usage gap and outcomes. The study implies that schools do not apply emerging technology effectively. Thus, the investments that are made for the cause do not present a similar return when compared to businesses that utilize technology in their operations.

Impact of Policy on Teachers

The new emerging technology policy requires additional time for adjustment and preparation. According to Kay and Lauricella (2018), teachers who use apps in their lessons on average have to take an extra ten minutes to prepare for them. However, in this study, the participants were provided with additional learning materials created by companies that sold these applications. Kay and Laurciella (2018) identified “difficulty level, technical issues, time, and clarity of explanations” as primary issues of the approach (p. 2057). The engagement of students has increased, supporting the claim that emerging technology can enhance learning outcomes.

Identifying components that ensure the efficient application of the approach in question is crucial. Petko, Prasse, and Cantieni (2018) state that several factors affect the outcomes of technology policy implementation in schools. The primary focus is on the readiness of teachers because the component influences a school’s willingness to utilize emerging technology in classrooms. Additionally, it is essential to understand the perceived skill level and personal beliefs of teachers in regards to technology application.

Moreover, support from headmasters is as important as the school’s readiness regarding classroom resources. According to Khalif (2018), “teachers’ attitudes are an important factor in accepting or rejecting tablet use in classrooms” (p. 47). These include personal views as well as technical support, that individuals are able to receive. Instructional assistance is cited as a crucial factor that enables teachers to use emerging technology in their lessons.

An assessment of teachers’ opinions can provide vital insight into the matter. O’Neil, Gibson, and Cotton (2017) state that although many teachers see benefits in technology usage at schools, they require additional guidance in the question. Participants of the study stated that technology is a valuable tool for both teaching and learning. However, they were unsure of the ways in which it can be appropriately integrated.

Possible Solutions

Proper guidance and preparation can support teachers in adjusting to a new policy. Francom and Moon (2018) dedicate their research to design a program, which would aid elementary school teachers to prepare for using emerging technology in their classes. The participants of the study reported that the program assisted them in understanding the usage of technology better; thus, they were able to carry out the requirement of emerging technology usage into their practice. Additional benefits of the approach are the enhancement of “educational technology confidence and providing extra help” (Francom, & Moon, 2018, p. 423). The article suggests that teachers should be involved in additional activities connected to technology understanding that would assist them in their work.

Conclusion

Overall, the conducted literature review indicates that the application of emerging technology in schools is a practical approach to teaching and learning. However, several factors influence policy implementation in practice because people may experience difficulties with technology usage. Teachers’ personal believes and attitudes, as well as their familiarity with technology, are among crucial components for the proper execution of the strategy. In addition, support from school officials can have a beneficial impact on emerging technology applications.

References

Francom, G., & Moon, A. (2018). Enhancing educational technology confidence among teacher candidates: Benefits of and lessons learned from a 1:1 device university-elementary school partnership. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 17(1), 423-440.

Jones, A., Buntting, C., & de Vries, M. (2013). The developing field of technology education: A review to look forward. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 23(2), 191-212. Web.

Kay, R., & Lauricella, S. (2018). Investigating elementary school teachers’ attitudes toward and use of STEM-based apps. In T. Bastiaens, J. van Braak, M. Brown, L. Cantoni, M. Castro, R. Christensen, … O. Zawacki-Richter (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 2057-2061). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Khalif, Z. (2018). Teachers’ perceptions of factors affecting their adoption and acceptance of mobile technology in K-12 settings. Computers in the Schools, 35(1), 49-67. Web.

Kirkwood, A., & Price, L. (2013). Examining some assumptions and limitations of research on the effects of emerging technologies for teaching and learning in higher education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(4) pp. 536–543. Web.

Lim, C. P., Zhao, Y., Tondeur, J., Chai, C. S., & Tsai, C. C. (2013). Bridging the gap: Technology trends and use of technology in schools. Educational Technology & Society, 16 (2), 59–68.

Office of Educational Technology. (2017). Reimagining the role of technology in education: 2017 national education technology plan update. Web.

O’Neil, L. J., Gibson, P., & Cotton, S. R. (2017). Elementary school teachers’ beliefs about the role of technology in 21st-century teaching and learning. Computers in the Schools, 34(3), 192-206. Web.

Petko, D., Prasse, D., & Cantieni, A. (2018). The interplay of school readiness and teacher readiness for educational technology integration: A structural equation model. Journal of Education for Teaching 44(3), 252-257.

Rotolo, D., Hicks, D., & Martin, B. (2015). What is an emerging technology? Research Policy, 44(10), 1827-1847. Web.