Barriers to ICT education

Throughout this couse I have examined many innovative technology tools that can facilitate highly effective learning experiences. However, the obstacles that teachers often face when implementing these tools in the classroom has not been addressed.

I have brainstormed some of the key barriers that teachers face when planning and implementing ICT learning experiences below:
  • Time- creating websites, wequests, podcasts and other technological tools can be time-consuming. Teachers may only be allocated a certain amount of class time in the computer lab each week or fortnight.
  • Confidence
  • Access- Not all classrooms and schools have access to ICT tools such as interactive whiteboards.
  • Resistance or fear of change
  • Technological faults: If technological tools fail to work properly, teachers may be more reluctant to plan ICT learning experiences
Collaboration with other teachers, professional development and participation in online professional groups may assist educators to overcome these barriers.


Creating an 'ePortfolio' on Mahara for assessment task 2 has been an interesting experience. I have gained an instight into the ways in which ePortfolios may be used in educational contexts. According to Lorenzo and Ittelson (2005) ePortfolios represent students' efforts, progress and acheivements over time. Online portfolios may be used to assess students and document learning experiences.

I found Mahara to be relativley 'user-friendly'. However, I found that understanding the overall layout of Mahara to be a time-consuming process. The lack of 'help' or 'faq' links on the mahara site often led to fustration as I tried many times to insert objects with little success. After finally working out how Mahara worked, it was very easy to use.

Mahara is not a flexible tool. Layout and design options are limited. I found it difficult to align objects. Often I would move objects around, save the view and return to find that it had not saved succesfully. Perhaps this is an error in the mahara software.

I found another ePortfolio provider online, called pebblepad. I have not used or accessed pebblepad, however it is interesting to note that there are other ePortfolio options. The image below is an example of an 'ePortfolio' from pebblepad.

After investigating ePortfolios I can not see any difference between ePortfolios and websites. Websites can be formatted to look like 'ePortfolios'. Perhaps an effective ePortfolio software tool should contain templates for resumes, graphic organisers and flexible design options.
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