As schools across the nation seek to integrate classroom computers within traditional lessons, institutions in Florida are facing new standards to accelerate the process. Officials have placed a deadline for the state's schools which requires that half of classroom materials must be presented on a digital platform by the fall of 2015.
This is causing considerable stress for educators in Florida, as they struggle to deploy classroom technologies in a way that is meaningful and benefits the lesson at hand as well as overall student learning. However, during the implementation process, there are a few challenges that must be addressed for successful utilization of classroom computers.
Challenge #1: Technology for technology's sake
Many schools, even those not required to do so by state lawmakers, are attracted by the prospects that technology, including classroom computers, smartboards and other systems, can offer. Experts recommend considering what issues the hardware might solve for the school, as well as what value the systems add in comparison to alternative arrangements. By considering these aspects, devices can be deployed for reasons beyond the "wow-factor" of today's technological tools.
Challenge #2: Funding
Another issue to be faced by educators and administrators is funding. Especially within a 1:1 initiative, classroom computers can be very expensive. Establishing monetary backing for these systems can be difficult if decision makers are unsure where to look. However, state and local programs including the Children's Internet Protect Act can provide capital for connectivity and other hardware if schools meet the requirements. Administrators need to explore their available options to see what assistance they may be able to achieve.
Challenge #3: Hesitation to migration
Whenever a new system is integrated, some individuals may be hesitant to such changes. The same is true for classroom technologies. It can be somewhat difficult for teachers, especially those less familiar with connected systems and Internet resources, to shift their lesson plans to include the hardware. However, with a little training before the classroom computers are introduced to students, educators can feel more comfortable and help pupils get used to the new systems.
Challenge #4: Student distractions
Another obstacle to address with the use of classroom computers is student distractions. When pupils work individually on projects, they can be tempted to stray from the assignment to surf the Web or visit social media sites. A classroom management software can help prevent this issue by providing better oversight of technological assets and ensure that students are utilizing them properly.