Ertmer, P. A. in 1999 classified the barriers in technology integration as First-order and Second-order barriers. First-order barriers are those that are often seen initially as the obstacles, e.g., the issues of adequate access to the technologies, training, and support without which it is almost impossible to talk about technology integration. As technology and innovation continue to evolve, the goal of devices being user-friendly take on a different meaning. Developers of technology make new versions better, cheaper, faster and as a result, make technology even more accessible. Gone are the days where only computer-savvy individuals use computers. We have reach a point where people of all ages are able to interact and effectively use technologies that are made more intuitive, and require little or no training at all to use.
This makes Second-order barriers the bigger if not the only remaining stumbling block in integrating technology in Instructional design. These are mostly beliefs of teachers that are embedded in their learning philosophy and practices. In my own opinion, a big factor in their hesitations and anxieties is their own technophobia. Wikipedia loosely describes Technophobia as the fear or dislike of advanced technology or complex devices, especially computers. It goes on to suggest that these are mostly users who are “uncomfortable” with technologies and often “unwilling” to learn.
This issue is purely behavioral on the part of the teacher and more difficult to address. There are, however, cases out there of former technophobes who overcame their fear. One example I found is Jim Wilson, A 33-year teaching veteran from a High School in Pittsburg. In his video entitled Conquering Technophobia from Edutopia.org, Wilson offers a few tips for other teachers:
- Ask for Help
- Learn from Students
- Take Baby Steps
- Be Precise About Your Expectations
- Expect Snags
- Allow Students to take the Reins
- Beware of Plagiarism
- Keep an open mind.
My own advice for educators out there, Wilson’s Tip #8 is all you need.
Conquering Technophobia: A Classroom Veteran Warms to Digital Tools
Su, B. (2009). Effective technology integration: Old topic, new thoughts. International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technlogoy, 5(2), 161-171. Retrieved from