According to a 2015 survey, The Problems with Educational Technology are not limited to educational software. Education leaders also report that technology in the classroom is not always reliable. These findings paint a picture of a state-of-change for education. Technology is advancing, but educators are playing catch-up. A survey of education leaders suggests that the use of technology in the classroom should be more targeted. However, there are several issues that need to be addressed before schools can fully reap the benefits of educational technology.
Unlike in the United States, Egypt is not the only country facing the same problem. Developing nations are lagging behind underdeveloped countries in educational technology. Although the United States has spent more money on educational computing, it is still far behind Egypt in getting it right. The learning curve for effective use of educational technology is steep and long. Despite this, the Egyptian example can provide insight into the social context in which educational technology is hindered.
Integration of educational technology may worsen existing socioeconomic divides in education. Some students may not have access to free Wi-Fi at home. Others may lack access to digital tools. These factors make some students likely to benefit more from technological tools than others. In such cases, schools may be forced to provide them with laptops or tablets. For these reasons, the benefits of technological integration in the classroom should be considered carefully. And if all these factors are addressed, then the benefits of educational technology will be clear.
While the government is eager to use educational technology to promote innovation, the government’s focus on ITC is often limited. Governments tend to emphasize computer use in secondary schools, which are located in the urban areas, where many people never get the chance to attend school. Therefore, an effort to provide computers to university students is laudable on paper, but will only benefit the wealthiest. Furthermore, governmental capitals have largely relegated school-based teacher-training programs to expensive videoconference centers.
Despite its potential, technological advancements in the classroom have been slow to impact education. Most teachers who wish to incorporate technology into their classrooms face resistance from their school communities. But if they can prove that technology can improve their teaching and students’ learning, then they can confidently embrace technological innovation. And, the potential of educational technology is too great to ignore. It must be part of the organization’s strategy. The benefits of educational technology should be measured carefully before introducing technology.
A skewed perspective on educational technology is a major problem. Reports often focus on best practices, but fail to account for differences in conditions and culture. Educators in developing countries may end up replicating the practices of developed countries without taking local conditions into consideration. And this lack of analysis makes problems even worse. Moreover, a lack of a critical analysis of educational technology is often exacerbated by fears of being left behind in the information revolution.