Log in

Barriers to learning with technology

  • Public
Started by Melissa Clark 27 Aug 2013 8:46am () Replies (9)

What have you found to be the major barriers to learning with technologies in schools?


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 27 Aug 2013 5:35pm ()

    This is a great question Melissa, thank you for posting. It can be a real challenge to be an e-learning leader/mentor/champion in your own school. 

    imageI'd love to know what some of those barriers are - that teachers face in schools.

    EG: like losing a log-in to the VLN. Apparently lost log-in's, usernames and passwords can be a common issue...Has anyone else found this?

    Image sourced from Creative Commons

  • Kathryn Munro (View all users posts) 05 Sep 2013 9:27am ()

    Yes I too have had VLN login issues. Have been a member for a while now and just had to re-register this morning. 

  • Julie Carle (View all users posts) 28 Aug 2013 8:49am ()

    In my experience as eLearning Advisor-Trainer in the Tertiary sector one of the main barriers has been the gap of ICT knowledge that the tutors have. While they are expert in their disciplines they often lack the knowledge of how to effectively incorporate ICT so that their teaching is not distracted by IT tools, rather supported by them. It is really important that there is strong support and guidance by the elearning/blended learning specialists which has the support of management so that tutors don't lose face through using inappropriate technology. Where this has worked well and champions evolve, then other tutors are more willing to embed good use of technology in their teaching. One of my concerns at the tertiary level is that we need to keep up with the strong movement from primary and secondary schools, and the expectations of our forthcoming students.

  • Rick (View all users posts) 29 Aug 2013 11:11am ()

    Hi Melissa

    Great question and one that we really need to think about when we are trying to implemet ICT throughout the school. I have a shared a couple of sites with articles that show and explore some of the barrieirs and strategies that may be used to overcome these.These readings also remind us that it is a global problem and one that we are all aware of and trying to overcome in our schools and institutions.Laughing



  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 04 Sep 2013 3:38pm ()

    Thanks for sharing this PDF article Rick, in some ways it’s comforting to read, “The major barriers are lack of confidence, lack of competence and accessibility…”  And then again, it can get more complex…

    “The cause of resistance to technology is often misinterpreted …people do not resist the technology itself. People resist what the technology may represent – change, confusion, loss of control, inpersonalisation. As long as these concerns remain unaddressed, technology adoption in any organisation will be an uphill battle.” http://www.elearnspace.org/starting/integratingtechlearning.htm 

    Reluctance is also linked to capability, understanding and adoption at the user level, therefore it is important to tease this out some more. 

    I've used this quote in several different places, so don't be surprised if you see it again :-)

    Having a framework like the e-Learning Planning Framework is useful, because it's based on research -based frameworks, such CBAM and LOTI http://www.rmcdenver.com/useguide/cbam.htm -  both give a little insight into varying levels of teachers’ knowledge, skill (capability and confidence) and understanding.

    On top of this, things also get tricky at the infrastructure level (limited access, unreliable/outdated equipment)…and there’s always the notion, that when attempting to lead other colleagues…“You’re never a prophet in your own country”…so many challenges...many of have experienced, no doubt.

    I'm intertested in how people are addressing these issues? What are some of the first steps?



    You might also be interested in other conversations in the VLN on this topic as well:


    10 Ways to Change the Minds of Tech-Reluctant Staff - 21st Century Fluency Project

    How Teachers Learn Technology Best - Jamie McKenzie

    Teachers Resistance to Technology - Jamie McKenzie

  • Kathryn Munro (View all users posts) 05 Sep 2013 9:33am ()

    Barriers to learning with technologies in primary schools include:

    lack of technical support in rural areas - esp when things go wrong - this would be number one;

    lack of quality advice - I'm sure we've all fallen victim to the latest "guru" about what we should do/purchase to meet our needs. In reality we justing meeting the needs of their bank account;

    lack of teacher knowledge - with every teacher in the school having to teach every curriculum area it can be a bit overwhelming staying current in every area;

    lack of time - to stay up to date;

    lack of quality equipment, as always budgets have to go a long way;

    I know this all sounds a bit negative, but despite all this quality teaching/learning is happening. We just learn to cope and adjust, which is probably what makes us and our kids good problem solvers.

  • Leigh Hynes (View all users posts) 05 Sep 2013 10:12am ()

    Hope your journey will be a bit easier from now on, Kathryn!!

  • mary jamieson (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2013 10:10am ()

    Barriers to learning with technologies I have seen include:

    rural areas with poor infrastructure- slow almost dead wireless!

    selecting devices before learning about pedagogy

    working in a generic fashion rather than looking at the individuals in front of you

    lack of senior leadership support/drive

    lack of equipment, or sufficient equipment but a poor system for sharing it

    a lack of understanding and professional learning around benefits of elearning, what does success look like

    teachers not having a clear inquriy cycle to follow, no experience with teaching as inquiry etc


    This being said, they are not insurmountable barriers.  It's about tackling each one as a problem to be solved not a barrier that ends exploration.

Join this group to contribute to discussions.