An individual’s personal barrier---at what point is this a way of being?
Time to be comfortable is important. There are so many different things to implement. One might have the passion, but not the time….how do I get this into my classroom and still teach what I need to teach?
There may be people with less passion…..without a strong support system, I might feel deflated.
It is not that the desire isn’t there, or that you are hearing these tools are good for kids….I need to be able to talk it through with somebody else. Where is the f2f opportunity….then I am able to venture beyond that with whatever means I choose to explore.
District or organization level: if I am a classroom teacher, I’m far more comfortable taking the risk, and the closer you get to the top, the less likely you are to run into people who are willing to take that risk.
Fear of litigation…framing it as “it is for the good of the organization…” Instead, they need to accept that it is worth the risk and for the good of the kids. i.e. rules about kid’s pictures, acceptable use…symptomatic of larger issue
Lots of teachers are willing to take the steps, lack of understanding on a senior administrative level, and how secure technology is; reprimanded by administration for exploring tech. in Kind. class.
Yearbook class asking permission to use Facebook related to the class, but denied after going all the way up the food chain (to Communications Director)
Not convinced that all classroom teachers are comfortable, especially moving towards student directed learning, knowing that they have a curriculum to adhere to…. Not knowing how to reconcile the direction it may go according to the students. “Covering is concealing”…., but still a barrier.
Access to the technology…there just isn’t enough time, there aren’t enough machines, fear of something not working
Time, time, time….to learn, implement, be comfortable, f2f, online with others….it overrides so many other things.
Not having access…discrepancy between what I want to do and what I CAN do. I don’t have to book a desk, pencil sharpener, etc, so why should I have to “book” the computers? We need to use the technologies because kids are using it, but while many are using it, they aren’t using it for learning, but for social uses only. So, another obstacle is to demonstrate the right balance between using their natural energy and classroom purposes.
Access, access, access! Many don’t have access to the computers, for many and is a barrier to those who we feel should be doing more….whether it is allowing kids to bring what they need to in to school….the question is then what do we do in these 5 years?
Resistance by federation or unions
Readiness for change ----is the teacher ready for the children who bring the various devices? What do they do then?
Barriers and Constraints:

  • Not all the teachers are buying into this = haves and have-nots
  • Too much PD focused around tech itself, not classroom learning
  • Don’t have time
  • Binders are already organized, plans are already made: not adding more
  • No monitoring process in place that makes staff accountable for doing something like this
  • IT dept has locked things down
  • Money: who decides what it is spent on; need to have more spent on tech integration, from all depts
  • Unions “supporting” teachers when it comes to unreasonable mandates; think this is something that shouldn’t be forced
  • Parents not on board with tech and don’t know how to support = resistance
  • Administration has to be on board and isn’t always
  • Teachers panicked about amount of curriculum they have to teach already
  • Teachers worried about “how to mark it”
  • Students not having the etiquette needed to use tech appropriately; teachers fear that kids will do something they shouldn’t; digital citizenship doesn’t exist the way it should first
  • The “decision makers” need to make sure they put the support into this kind of learning; need to make tech a priority initiative: too many competing interests: lack of a shared vision; need to all have the same agenda
  • This too shall pass: what happens when the vision changes because of someone else’s agenda/vision?
  • If I’m making sure that I have literacy embedded in my classroom environment, how am I supposed to fit tech in too?
What barriers or constraints are keeping this from happening in your school district, school, or organization?
· “The biggest barrier is the infrastructure.” Not enough plugs, cords, hookups, working technology, etc.
· The technology and the time to access that technology.
· The language – “what does it really mean to engage kids in a way that is more inquiry based?”
· The naysayers – when you try to replace the teacher/methods, the federation (union) is upset.
· Blocker/Filter – unable to bring in tools that are able to be used in classes
· “One of the barriers I see with bringing teachers on board [to the Ning] is their time.”
o “At the end of their school day, they’re spent.”
· Belief system – “It’s different from the way we were taught.” We are asking them to bring in something that is totally different from who they were as a learner.
o Fear Factor: “resistance to teach different than the way we were taught.”
· “If you can show them how it will fit, they will make the time.”
· Infrastructure – “kids jump into this sea of new technology” while we are just getting into nearly outdated tech.
o Lack of Support, Lack of time learning how to use the materials, Lack of Opportunity.
· Teachers have, “fear of letting go, to let students direct their own learning.”
o “Why are we not letting them use word processers for testing?” If we have the technology, why save it for IEP students only?
· Ministry/District needs to buy in so that we have money going to it.
o “These are the golden days,” we have more money going to tech than ever before.
· Not only do we have that belief system in teachers, but in senior administrators and department heads. (People that aren’t at the Professional Development meeting to get the information)
· I don’t think we can wait – we have to forge ahead or we’ll be left behind again.
· “As long as we have losers and winners, we have a problem” – Need to make things right/accessible for all kids.
· For smart board use – Has anything changed, or are we just using a new tool to do the old thing?
What is keeping this from happening:
Time; so many initiatives, data driven= scores. Teachers have not created need for tech because they are overwhelmed and don’t have the time. If there was more time available.
Prep and PD issue
Control- all levels, admin want to control and not relinquish control to teachers. Teachers don’t believe that this is what parents want to see and it would be chaos. Fear/Culture-based
New enough and this isn’t the way others were taught. Framed in with what they have known. Good news; over time these kids are going to be the teacher.
Report cards; how to show; limited to comments they pick, etc.
Time; as teacher and as a parent- the life side. If you don’t own it you can’t teach it; motto. Looking for some small things to do and try due to time but understanding the need to try; but still hard to own it.
Lack of infrastructure within schools.
Priority; ministry drives everything and it is literacy and numeracy. That is it. Have to fight for any representation. Focus issue; should be more encompassing. DI should be the place where it happens. DYFJ;” do your f-in job”
DI; is it really different from what I do anyway and should I change?
Xenophobia on behalf of teachers, parents, admin; exhaustion in all forms; you have to convince me; need to see the relevance. Not putting emotional energy into this that isn’t going to be an improvement. Must be easy to take into you life.
Common assessments; time and money and how do you assess this.
The no power day example. Surprised how much the kids loved it- culture shift. Students still really resistant; hearing things from home. (Back to the parent experience thing and environment)
Time: Sit down and do it and plan this is overwhelming. Also technology availability. It is limited.
Got to get through the curriculum; expectations of board and reporting due to data driven dependency.

What barriers/constraints are keeping this from happening in district, school, org’n?
- teacher reluctance
- teachers with 25+ years of experience
- restrictions on availability of tech in classrooms
- SmartBoards are there; but are they being used as more than an overhead?
- teachers need PD to support their use
- Director of IT: “I may be one of the biggest barriers”
- balancing curriculum vs. safety; IT is dual role
- fiscal responsibility: purchasing and support
- “strong arguments are not being presented to the right people”
- unequal distribution of resources
- student reluctance: I already know how to do the traditional things that we do in schools
- administrative buy-in; making it a priority
- teacher fear of inappropriate computer use
- teachers so focused on EQAO (standardized testing)
- “teachers are afraid when the kids know more than they do”
- worry that kids are going to “get in trouble”
- system POV: strategic plan about using computer as a tool
- some principals invest in this for their schools; other’s don’t
- providing time for teachers during work-time
- not working as teams
- curriculum connections: how do teachers embed their curriculum into technology
- numbers game: new teachers aren’t getting into the profession
- attitudes of teachers/administrators to tech leaders within their schools: are they celebrated or frowned upon?
- differentiating instruction at PD
- perception that “I don’t teach” if I use technology; “you are a lazy teacher”
- students are sometimes scared to be creative because of past experiences in schools
- parents’ concerns and worries/lack of understanding
- using technology in elementary school; and then getting to secondary school and the teachers are using it