Barriers to the successful Integration of ICT in Teaching and Learning Environments: A Review of the Literature.

This article addresses the barriers of integrating Information Communication Technologies into education but in the introduction, it addressed several important points about ICT.

As documented in the report the work force is very influential to what we teach. ICT skills are becoming a large component of what employers want. Technologies also can play a role in student skills, motivation and knowledge (Grabe & Grab, 2007). Pickersgill (2003) said that ICT in the classroom increases the students’ awareness of the world around them, as they have access to a large amount of information.

ICT and the skills it develops are what future employers need and want. What is stopping the community and us as teachers from embedding it into every classroom?

 Bingimlas (2009) comments on two different types of barriers that is stopping us from using ICT in the classrooms daily, they are Extrinsic and Intrinsic barriers. Extrinsic barriers being issues such as time, support and resources. The other, intrinsic barriers being the influences that teachers, administrators and individuals may have on the integration. Bingimlas (2009) then categorizes the barriers into teacher- level barriers and school-level barriers.

School- level barriers are broken into three elements. They are a lack of time, lack of effective training and a lack of accessibility.

Lack of time- Results from current studies have shown that teachers do not use ICT in their classrooms as it takes too much time to set equipment, to use the equipment and to learn how to use it.

Lack of effective training- Pelgrum (2001) found that there are not enough training opportunities for teachers in the use of ICT in classroom environments. Although I believe, there has been a large development in this area as we as pre-service teachers are undertaking units about ICT programs.

Lack of accessibility- This is a common barrier that as shown in the Digital Divide research. This barrier (not having access to the ICT systems) this discourages teachers from integrating into their classrooms.

I believe that these barriers can be minimised with time, money and resources. The barriers that are keeping school- level barriers stable are the teacher- level barriers.

Teacher-level barriers are divided into four elements. They include factors such as lack of teacher’s confidence, lack of teacher competence, resistance to change and negative attitudes towards ICT.

Lack of Teacher’s confidence- In most studies that I have read about the integration, they state that the teacher’s feelings towards ICT programs are negative, mainly with teachers that have been practising within a classroom for more than a year, a rising number of teachers that are pushing for the integration. This could be because they are stressed about the classroom structure if we were to integrate ICT into classrooms or they are not confident, as they do not possess the skills necessary.

Lack of Teacher Competence- This is referring to the capability of the Teachers.  A number of teachers those are not aware of all the beneficial ICT programs available to them. Australian research they found that many teachers do not have the knowledge and skills to use computers and were not enthusiastic about the integration (Bingimlas, 2009).

Resistance to change and negative attitudes- Several researchers have commented on the barrier saying that this is one of the main obstacles that is stopping the integration as it influences all other barriers. Many teachers that are already practising believe that is too hard, will take to much time or it is not necessary to use the technology. Others believe that the classroom dynamitic will change, as they cannot control all aspects of the learning.

 The report then continues on to discuss an important aspect of the barriers that being we may not be able to change due to lack of funds or resources. The main barrier being accessibility, I believe this is an important aspect as not all of the barriers can be controlled straight away. I do think, however, that it is an important to act upon these new technologies because although they are scary and may change aspects of the career of Teaching, this is a part of the job.

Bingimlas, K. (2009). Barriers to the successful integration of ICT in Teaching and Learning Environments: A Review of the Literature. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 5 (3), 235-245. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.

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