Still in its box: the inactive whiteboard (sic)
How much does the technology get used here, in this school? The question came up in the CELTA session we had Tuesday last week. I suggested that it (classroom computers, interactive whiteboards, a computer room with 15 PCs, video camera, digital camera…) is underused and someone asked "Why?"
For many reasons, I would suggest, most likely a combination of some or all of the following:
- Doubt whether or not using technology will actually lead to language learning
- Lack of ICT training
- Unwillingness to try something new, to see if it works
- Fear that it might not work if they took it into the classroom, that something might go wrong with the technology
- Not actually having a computer in their own classroom (and therefore having to arrange to move to another)
The first I think valid and is a question I always ask myself: will my intended use of technology lead to more, better language learning? The last, to judge from feedback I took from staff at a recent workshop, would appear to be the biggest barrier at the school where I work, where only 25% of the 40 classrooms have a permanent, fixed PC and projector (the rest have to have the technology wheeled in, or else the class needs to go to the computer room).
The other reasons in the above list, which I fully understand and sympathise with are, I would suggest, things that as teachers we need somehow to overcome…