Criticism of Educational Technology

Although technology in the classroom does have many benefits, there are clear drawbacks as well. Lack of proper training, limited access to sufficient quantities of a technology, and the extra time required for many implementations of technology are just a few of the reasons that technology is often not used extensively in the classroom. To understand educational technology one must also understand theories in human behavior as behavior is affected by technology. Media Psychology is the study of media, technology and how and why individuals, groups and societies behave the way they do. The first Ph.D program with a concentration in media psychology was started in 2002 at Fielding Graduate University by Bernard Luskin. The Media Psychology division of APA, division 46 has a focus on media psychology. Media and the family is another emerging area affected by rapidly changing educational technology.

Similar to learning a new task or trade, special training is vital to ensuring the effective integration of classroom technology. Since technology is not the end goal of education, but rather a means by which it can be accomplished, educators must have a good grasp of the technology being used and its advantages over more traditional methods. If there is a lack in either of these areas, technology will be seen as a hindrance and not a benefit to the goals of teaching.

Another difficulty is introduced when access to a sufficient quantity of a resource is limited. This is often seen when the quantity of computers or digital cameras for classroom use is not enough to meet the needs of an entire classroom. It also occurs in less noticed forms such as limited access for technology exploration because of the high cost of technology and the fear of damages. In other cases, the inconvenience of resource placement is a hindrance, such as having to transport a classroom to a computer lab instead of having in-classroom computer access by means of technology such as laptop carts.

Technology implementation can also be time consuming. There may be an initial setup or training time cost inherent in the use of certain technologies. Even with these tasks accomplished, technology failure may occur during the activity and as a result teachers must have an alternative lesson ready. Another major issue arises because of the evolving nature of technology. New resources have to be designed and distributed whenever the technological platform has been changed. Finding quality materials to support classroom objectives after such changes is often difficult even after they exist in sufficient quantity and teachers must design these resources on their own.

Experimental evidence suggests that these criticisms may have limited basis. See, for example, the work done by Sugata Mitra. A recent presentation summarizes the research and Dr. Mitra's current research initiative.