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Technology Integration Into Classrooms Requires Upkeep

Obviously, if you are in a classroom setting, having a cell phone ringing in the middle of a lesson distracts the train of thought for both the instructor and the student. Critics who are against confiscating cell phones, iPods, and other electronics that many elementary and secondary students carry with them to school cite examples of using technology to enhance the process; however, the lack of funding and training for students and teachers to use the technology poses problems in implementing the use of technology in the classroom.

What is the point of having computers if teachers do not know how to use them and there are no instructors to teach the students how to use the software? Would it make sense to provide schools with brand new iMacs preinstalled with Photoshop if there was no funding to hire instructors who know how to use and teach Photoshop? Should school districts spend money on providing every school with a cartful of software and computer accessories if there is no funding to have IT technicians doing routine maintenance to prevent virus infections and to improve performance regularly on computer labs?

This is the problem with many school districts that are struggling during the recession: oftentimes, there are a small number of bureaucrats who decide that certain policies should be implemented into all schools within the district without any evidence that the policies would effectively improve academic performance and school efficiency. I will not name schools or names of school districts, but if you have been paying attention to the news lately, you would have noticed that reports have surfaced about certain districts wasting thousands of dollars on technology that employees don't use. Yet some politician or administrator decided that it was a good idea and used funding to buy equipment that not every school office or classroom would need.

This may also be why the potential for students to reap the benefits from the integration of technology into the classroom are much more effective on college campuses rather than in many elementary and secondary public schools. Many school districts--even if they spend large amounts on purchasing computers for their schools--do not realize the importance, or have the time or money, to have technicians maintain the upkeep of such technology. Machines break down, and when it does, somebody needs to know how to fix it. Otherwise, until bureaucrats realize the potential benefits of maintaining and integrating technology into the learning process, there will be schools without computers and schools with computers that sit in storage because they are "broken."

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