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Insights: How America is overcoming digital learning challenges

Insights: How America is overcoming digital learning challenges

Originally posted by Matthew Lynch @ thetechedvocate.org

Digital learning is becoming almost commonplace in classrooms across America; however, you will still come across opposition. While studies suggest digital learning is changing education for the better, it does not mean that digital learning is without problems. Ask any teacher who has ever attempted to use technology or digital resources in his or her classroom, and you will be told about a time when technology let them down.

And, yet, even with the digital learning challenges teachers face, most are willing to deal with them to make their classroom a digital learning environment. Today, let’s take some time to look at some of the more common digital learning challenges and discuss ways to overcome them.

1. The school community resists change

There are still many in education who are resistance to change. For instance, it is hard to change the way you teach when you have been using the same tools for your entire teaching career. Therefore, it is important to provide plenty of information, statistics, and examples to show the community why these tools should be implemented in the classroom.

2. Lack of IT support

As your school uses more technology, you will need to increase your IT department. More use of technology means stress on the IT department; hence, you should not expect one person to handle the added responsibility.

3. Technology continuously changing

Unfortunately, technology is always changing, so you should not expect to be using the same tools forever. Instead, you should have a plan and budget in place for upgrading technology.

4. Lack of quality content

With the amount of digital content, it is overwhelming to curate a collection of high quality digital learning materials independently. Instead, your school administrators and teachers should work side-by-side with the school librarian to develop a solid collection of content.

5. Not a substitute for human interaction

Even as humans begin to use virtual assistants more regularly, they are still no replacement for human interaction. Teachers should not step aside and let the digital tools “take over.” Instead, teachers should use digital resources as supplemental and complementary tools for the classroom.

6. High costs

Technology and digital resources are expensive. Therefore, teachers and schools should be prepared to seek grants and community support for funding.

7. Unequal access for all students in and out of school

Even if your school has WIFI and a great collection of digital tools, it does not mean the student population has these devices (or WIFI) when they go home. To overcome this challenge, some schools are providing students with laptops or tablets.

8. Software is not optimized for mobile devices

Many students do not have internet access at home, so they use their cell phones (and data) for internet access. Therefore, it is important to make sure all your digital resources are optimized for mobile devices.

9. Security issues

More activity online also leads to more security issues. To combat security issues, your school should invest in security. Additionally, students and teachers need to be taught the basics about internet safety.

10. Lack of training for teachers

Finally, teachers are busy enough, so it can be difficult for them to add one more thing to their schedules. However, if you want your digital learning environments to be successful, you must find time to train teachers on how to use various digital tools.

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