“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important” – Bill Gates
The role of the teacher has evolved just like the technology that is supplementing them. Classrooms that were once teacher-centered have now evolved into student-centered learning environments that constantly integrate new technology.
According to Roblyer and Doering, using technology in the classroom can help motivate students to learn, can optimize scarce personnel and material resources, can remove logistical hurdles to learning, and can help develop information literacy and visual literacy skills.
The teacher is the lone constant in the ever-changing classroom environment. Curriculum, resources, support, and technology are constantly changing. If the teacher is the most important tool in the classroom, it is imperative that we give teachers the tools they need in order to be successful.
As the role of technology in the classroom continues to develop, it is important to remember the teacher is also developing in their new role as facilitator rather than the source of learning. In order for the teacher to be a successful facilitator, they need to be properly equipped with the training needed for this implementation.In the New Media Consortium Horizon Report, they list ongoing professional development as the number one ranked significant challenge that schools face when adopting new technology. Teachers are required to integrate technology into the classroom, yet they are not receiving adequate training in order to successfully do so. According to Roblyer and Doering, “knowledgeable people are as important to a technology plan as up-to-date technology resources.” If we are going to expect successful integration of technology into the classroom, we must give teachers the time, support, and resources needed in order to facilitate this integration.
Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012).NMC Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium
Roblyer, M.D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th ed.). Boston, USA: Pearson Education.