No matter how excited, however, I right away thought about the challenges and obstacles that may preclude teachers from using technologies overall, and mobile apps in particular, in teaching and learning.
Solution: Teachers can give surveys at the beginning of each semester/term/session in order to find out which devices are accessible to their students. In addition, some universities provide devices that support the apps accessible through iTunes.
Solution: According to Roblyer and Doering (2012), various technologies are now available for ELL and EFL teachers to support their content and pedagogical needs. ELL teachers need to be able to use websites, software, and mobile devices in order to facilitate learning.
“To implement technology-enabled teaching strategies, teachers will have to learn a number of technologies that may be new to them. They will hear about these resources from their professional magazines and journals and from other teachers they encounter in person and online. But the expertise they need to use these tools themselves must come from hands-on professional development provided by their districts and by state and local professional organizations. They will have to search for workshops and conferences that focus on those tools and take advantage of their expertise of teachers they know who have already begun using these tools” (Roblyer and Doering, p.302.)
3. Finally, according to Edutopia, integrating technology into classroom means much more than taking students to the computer lab and teaching them basic computer skills. In fact, in order to be successful, technology integration must happen across the curriculum and be grounded in research based practices. That is, “it must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts.” (Edutopia.) It is my observation, however, that even when technology is used in the classroom, it oftentimes involves the teacher only – he/she has access to the class computer, prepares presentations, uses it to play/show audio and video, etc., while the students continue working with paper and pencils. Therefore, it is the teacher, and not the students, who are learning with technology.
Solution:Using WISE - the Smart Solution for Technology Integration Support (Sommer, 2002.) Oftentimes, teachers are offered professional development on various computer/software skills, yet not on how to effectively INTEGRATE them into curriculum. WISE offers steps and strategies for instruction-driven, whole context approach to technology integration into the classroom.
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.
Sommer, L. I. (January 01, 2002). WISE: The Smart Solution for Technology Integration Support. Educause Quarterly, 25, 3, 35-43.
Edutopia: Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many. Retrieved from: http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction