Information and communication technology, meant to enhance student learning outcomes, is creating major challenges for teachers.
As a teacher at a typical Catholic primary school, St Brigid’s Marrickville, I have seen how technology is escalating teachers’ workloads.
Through my own experiences and my interaction with colleagues as an IEU Executive member, I have seen a steady increase in extra tasks being handed down from management to teachers.
The implementation of data collection is a major example. In some primary schools one to one testing of reading or ‘running records’ of a whole class of students without release time is common.
This means the teacher is absent from instructing the class. Another task primary teachers may be familiar with is the replication of data for a ‘data wall’.
Appropriately synthesised data can inform teaching strategies. But, are teachers given time to analyse it effectively to inform their teaching?
My colleague Barbara Leiton is an elearning coordinator and oversees operation of a range of devices including Chromebooks, PCs, Macbooks and tablets. She says the Google network is not reliable enough for efficient use in the classroom.
“Teachers are experiencing loss of connectivity, student network access problems and a myriad of other disruptive issues that really hinder the teaching and learning environment,” she said.
“Teachers are planning to use ICT in the classroom and their lessons are being disrupted by matters that are really out of their control”.