Integrating technology into the high school English curriculum can be tough, especially if the instructor does not feel comfortable with it, or she lacks the skills necessary to integrate it successfully. According to Conley (2010) “even when the proper resources are present, teachers often struggle with an inadequate knowledge of specific technology, technology-supported pedagogy, and technology-related-classroom management. For many educators, particularly those who did not grow up with computers or the internet, technology can be a frightening concept. It may be easier to pass up the use of a tool rather than admit to inadequate knowledge. Therefore, this can serve as a significant barrier.” In order to begin to bridge this gap or fear of the unknown, teachers need to collaborate and explore best practices when using technology. Department Chairs can set up professional development aimed at pairing teachers up based on technological skill levels. These pairs can mentor each other; while one may have more technological skills, both will have knowlegde of the contennt area to share. As teachers become familiar with technology tools that can enhance instruction, they will be more likely to delve into using them.
Another major obstacle of integrating technology into a content area such as English exists when the instructor does not begin with the end in mind. In other words, the instructor has to ask the following: what is the desired learner outcome? Effective teaching and effective technology integration go hand-in-hand; the learner must be engaged or actively involved in the learning process, and the instructor must realize that technology is only effective if it has a purpose to further the learning experience. Thus, the preparation of the leaning environment must be explored and integration strategies designed that will assist all stages of learning.
Conley, L. (2010). Barriers to integrating technology. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/thedigitallibrarian/barriers-to-integrating-technology