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The Childcare Management Blog

The Biggest Technology Challenges Facing Teachers

Posted by Jeffrey Thomas on Dec 20, 2017 7:00:00 AM
Jeffrey Thomas is the President of ThomasKelly Software Associates - specializing in cloud-based products ​for education and social services domains.
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technology challenges for teachers

It's been over 25 years since then-President Bill Clinton worked to promote internet access to lower-income families and schools. Ever since, technology for the classroom has been a key component in the promises made to parents about the quality of education their children receive.

The fact that the technology exists, however, does not mean it is being utilized effectively. Teachers have been left out of the technology equation, left to languish on the sidelines or hustle to keep up with the technological improvements their school boards insist on providing.

Here are the biggest technology challenges teachers face today and how they can be met with the appropriate childcare software solution.

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#1 Lack of Professional Development

How much training do your teachers receive when new equipment and software is introduced into your school? Does it go any further than how to use the basic parts of the program?

 

Teachers need the opportunity to learn about more than the right box to click. They need help integrating these new tools into the curriculum in ways that will improve, not just replace, the tools they were using before.

Like the general population, you will have teachers who pick up on the latest technology and run with it and others who continue to resist learning anything new. In between are the majority, who need guidance in integrating technology into their classroom.

How Childcare Software Can Help

When selecting a software solution, make sure to obtain input from your teachers about the types of tools they feel work best in their individual classrooms.

  • Bring them into the buying process, so they have a say in the types of solutions you consider.
  • Create a short list of solutions with intuitive controls that work similarly to other software the teachers are already comfortable with.
  • Provide more training than a short session at launch; have training sessions throughout the year to enhance lessons already learned and to encourage teachers to share best practices and discoveries with each other.

Continuing education and training are key to getting the most value out of educational technology.

#2 The Failure of Personalized Learning

Educational technology was supposed to make it easy to determine each student’s learning style and speed then match it with the appropriate content. The unfortunate truth is that many teachers are not receiving the right tools to accomplish that vision. Those who do have access to the tools may not be using them effectively (See Challenge #1).

Moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching requires a change in perception and practice. A computer monitor or tablet also makes a student’s work more visible than when it is written on paper, inviting intervention when the best plan may be to allow the student to explore, problem-solve, and work at learning. 

How Childcare Software Can Help

Software that can be configured with the right options can be set to guide students as they puzzle through a problem without limiting the method of learning. Also, the software can provide timely notifications to the teacher when a student gets too far off the path.

If the teacher is shown the educational value of not interfering until absolutely needed, the notification feature can help guide the timing of than intervention.

#3 Lack of Content Knowledge

To use any knowledge tool effectively, one must have a deep understanding of the topic at hand. Teachers must know the subject matter of their class, act as a leader and manager of learners, and take time to plan and prepare throughout the year. If they don't, there is no pathway for applying a tool to enhance the educational experience. 

Teachers must also understand learning styles and how knowledge is conveyed, understood, and retained. A computer screen will not work any better than a blackboard if the teacher cannot learn to present information more intelligently.

How Childcare Software Can Help

Software developed by people who have deep content knowledge of the subject matter and the psychology of learning will contain not just content but guidance to presenting it so it can be soaked up by young minds. 

A software solution can provide step-wise curriculum guidance and examples of unique ways to present ideas so that visual, audio, and tactile learners each have a chance to learn using the best method for them. Also, software and technology make it possible for this to happen simultaneously rather than sequentially.

Less classroom time is taken up offering the content in three or four different ways to accommodate everyone. Students receive their education in a method that matches their learning style without the need to sit through multiple presentations or attempting to learn the subject matter in a way that doesn’t work for them.

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#4 Security Benefits of Childcare Software

Data breaches, hacking, and malware are not just the ills of the business world. As classrooms move toward allowing students to bring their own devices, access the internet on school-owned equipment, or use portable media such as flash drives between devices at school and home, the chance of problems increases.

Malware could be spread to a school computer from a student flash drive. A student’s device might open the school network to hackers who can steal information or maliciously destroy the educational environment. You must protect your student’s information.

How Childcare Software Can Help

Software can be vulnerable. It can also be smart. Security software and firewalls are essential tools for everyone who uses technology. In a place where multiple people access the school network using every device under the sun, teachers must ensure that students will not be shown inappropriate material nor spread a virus throughout the system.

Cloud-based childcare solutions can be made just as secure as a program residing on a private server. Cloud-solution companies are extremely attentive to keeping data secure because a security breach can destroy a company’s reputation. Safety is an essential part of selling cloud-based software, and these companies know it. 

Lack of professional development, the failure of personalized learning, and the need for deep subject matter knowledge and high security are four of the biggest challenges teachers face in the classroom.

From training in using the technology and integrating it into the curriculum, teachers need an educational hand themselves to be effective.

Software security awareness is another area where teachers need assistance in understanding how security breaches occur and how to report and prevent problems.

The more teachers can learn about the capabilities of their technology, the better they can design new ways of teaching their material. With timely assistance, they can integrate their ideas into the classrooms using the right software to open the doors to new learning.

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