Over the past year, schools, teachers, parents, and students have had to adapt to digital learning in some way shape or form. Although most classrooms were already using ebooks in some capacity, almost overnight, the use of ebooks turned into a necessity. Even still, many administrators, teachers and students resist the push to use ebooks fulltime in the classroom. Here are some of the common reasons why.
Too Much Screen Time
Many teachers and parents are concerned that ditching textbooks for ebooks is setting students up for too much screen time that will negatively affect their behavior, language, health, and lifestyle. The reality is that we already live in a digital world, and whether in the classroom or at home, screens are part of students’ learning environment now. The key is balance.
Education Week published a great article full of resources and ideas for maximizing learning while minimizing screen time. One point they make is to remember that not all screen time is equal:
Quality, not just quantity, matters. An hour online discussing with a teacher and other students is not the same as an hour alone in a basement playing Mortal Kombat. Active engagement matters, too. Experts urge teachers to choose lively games or discussions rather than lecture, for instance. And in these times of isolation, screen time that lets students make good connections with their teachers and peers is important, too.”
Check out the full article Teacher Tips: How to Reduce Screen Time When School Is Online.
Learning New Technology
Many teachers resist implementing ebooks because they simply don’t want to use or learn new technology in their classrooms. This hesitation could be based on a number of reasons.
- The school may have invested in new technology in the past but didn’t train teachers on how to use it.
- Teachers may have been discouraged because they weren’t consulted ahead of time and didn’t have any way to incorporate the new technology into their lesson plans. As a result, it never got used.
- Teachers may have a lack of confidence in their ability to use the technology, and that their students will know how to use the tech better than them.
- Teachers simply don’t want to rely on a Wi-Fi connection in their classrooms to ensure they stay on track in their lesson plans. They also worry that students who don’t have access to the internet or a Wi-Fi Connection means they will not be able to access their ebooks and schoolwork from home.
Lack of Customer Support
Oftentimes, administrators and teachers are ready to add more opportunities for digital learning into their schools, but the lack of customer service and customer support from educational tech companies is so terrible, they end up nixing the process altogether and putting their funding elsewhere. When problems arise, if a school is lucky enough to have an IT person, they are often overwhelmed with other tasks on-site. Administrators, teachers, and parents are then left to troubleshoot on their own, and most times don’t have the time or knowledge.
Some teachers worry that they may lose control of their classroom because they’re not able to control what students do on their screens. In other words, students would be more interested in the technology than learning from the teacher, and teachers can’t continuously monitor and troubleshoot every student.
Going in Blindly
Making the transition from textbooks to ebooks can also be difficult because there is no reference point that allows the school decision makers to gauge the benefits. If administrators and teachers are able to talk to other schools that have already made the transition or have access to success stories, it may help put them ease and give them confidence to move forward in the ebook implementation process.
If you can relate to these common pushbacks about using ebooks in schools, you’re not alone! EdTech Solutions can help address your concerns and offer solutions that fit your needs. Simply click below for a free demo and let’s have a conversation!