Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Leadership is still a barrier to "Integration."

I believe the biggest barrier to teachers' use of technology is not their oft' bemoaned inability or unwillingness.

I think it is the inability of the leadership, to:
1. Provide solid, reliable, technology with support levels that don't leave teachers hanging for days with a problem.
2. Show the teachers clearly what they are expected to do with the technology provided.
3. Have an accountability structure, to make sure they do it.

I believe it's fundamentally a challenge for leadership. This includes state agencies, superintendents, principals, school boards, politicians, etc. We should stop blaming "reluctant teachers." Where are their supervisors? Step #1 above is not cheap, and most leaders would say we are already spending sufficient funds. We aren't. Also, many school leaders would say the technology works, yet they almost never assess whether it works. Is 90% up time OK? Many public schools don't even have that. Most schools lack support levels that industry takes for granted. There aren't many Bartlebies at L.L. Bean who "prefer not to" use the technology. Industry gets tech done (at a much higher cost than K-12) or fails. We have trouble getting it done, because if we don't, everyone keeps showing up and paying for it. At least for now.

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