Teaching Strategies for the Classroom: Overcome technical issues with technology in the classroom

ICT Teaching Strategies

By Michael Hilkemeijer


There are many issues associated with the use of technology in the classroom. The use of ICT in lessons can either be a friend or a foe to teachers and students.

Here are solutions to ICT problems in education.


What are the challenges teachers face when using technology in the classroom?

  • Technical issues.
  • Issues with ICT and subject objectives clashing.
  • Deciding what the student has done and what the computer has done.
  • Determining what individuals do in collaborative ICT work.


Or learn more about other issues to do with ICT in education:

Key issues in Inclusion with Technology in Early Childhood Education.

Key issues in Literacy instruction and how to overcome them today.



Technical Issues in the classroom


The first bit of advice I can give you is that if you can get a hold of your school technician before the lesson starts, ask the person to check to make sure that all hardware and software in the classroom is operational.


It is even a good strategy to request their presence at the beginning of the lesson so that if anything goes wrong they can sort it out for you straight away.


What if this isn’t a possibility? What happens then?


It wouldn’t surprise you that the most commonly used software in the classroom is MS Word. Along with other generic software used in schools it presents you as a teacher with a fantastic opportunity to develop student ICT capability. Each program allows students to practice techniques which is part but not all of what makes up ICT capability.


The good news is when it comes to facing technical problems in the classroom is that students don’t need to be sitting at a computer to be able to develop their capabilities. Having a contingency plan is essential in this circumstance.


Here is what you can do.


Firstly, it is important to plan and seek every opportunity to develop each component of ICT capability and there are five of them.


Secondly, as the generic software mentioned earlier comes with many different concepts and techniques, you can plan a whole class or group discussion about the concepts behind the skills.


Ensure that you challenge any inappropriate and naïve ideas about using ICT tools. It would also involve planning questions that will help develop their higher order thinking skills.


Further tips on overcoming technical difficulties include:

  • Have a nontechnology backup plan.
  • Just as we always tell our students that failure is OK, that we learn from failure, and that failure is part of the learning process, so must we, as adults, follow our own advice.
  • Model troubleshooting with your students.
  • Report the problem (and know to whom this reporting should be done).
  • Ask for help. Have someone who knows how to fix the problem show you how for next time.

(Source: Edutopia)


Finally, provide students with the opportunity to reflect on their ICT learning.





ICT learning and Subject Learning Conflict Objectives


It is inevitable that there will be clashes of teaching objectives. You will need to ensure that the subject objectives is your main priority and ensure that the use of ICT remains transparent in the background.

This is the ultimate goal of developing a child's ICT capability - for the technology in the classroom to remain transparent in such a way that the child focuses so much on using ICT as a tool to achieve other outcomes, that they are hardly noticing using technology itself.


The most effective way of teaching ICT skills is to create a need and then to be on hand to show them what to do when they are engaged in a problem.


Constantly monitor the way children are solving problems and completing tasks. Show them new and more efficient ways of doing things.



Deciding what individuals do in collaborative ICT work

ICT work in the classroom naturally brings children together to collaborate on work. It just has that ability.


The issue with this is that at times there may unequal sharing of responsibilities. One child might sit in front of the computer and do most or all of the work, while the others sit around that person doing very little.


There are three things which you may consider, which include:

  • give the children specific roles or tasks when engaged in an activity - some activities lend themselves to the allocation of roles.
  • signal changeovers regularly during a lesson to ensure the pairs get equal access to the keyboard - this is an approach more suitable to younger children.
  • train the children in paired working - this approach could be used to support inexperienced children with peer tutoring.



Deciding what the student has done and what the computer has done

Along with making constant observations, the best way of overcoming this issue is to either talk or ask the child write a reflective report about the approach they used to complete the project.



Most of these challenges for teachers when supporting ICT in the classroom are assessment related. They all have to do with embedding formative assessment strategies in primary schools.

If you like to know more about employing these strategies in your classroom, click the button below to learn more now.



Using technology in the classroom can be a great way to engage and motivate students in their learning. However, it is never without some sort of problem with technology like technical problems.

With the above solutions, you should be able to overcome issues and challenges with technology in the classroom. If anything these technology teaching strategies demonstrate is the need for yourself to be prepared.

I know, in the life of a teacher how on earth do you find the time? 

You need to remember that there will be problems and despite this, it should not set you back in your planning to use technology in the classroom effectively and efficiently.


Most these issues are and can be related to the assessment of student ICT capability while students work in groups. You will find that I have gone into more detail about these issues in the formative assessment strategies online workshop. It focuses specifically on teaching strategies for technology in the classroom

Research has indicated that the key to overcoming challenges with technology in the classroom is teacher professional development in ICT. You will find a list of strategies for using technology in the classroom such as the following:

  • Determining the best opportunities to use technology in the classroom in key learning areas for primary education.
  • Monitoring and intervening to develop higher order thinking skills.
  • Understanding the inappropriate use of technology in the classroom.
  • Managing technology in the classroom

And other issues in primary education along with key technology based teaching strategies. So take a peek to learn more and learn to how to overcome challenges in school as a teacher such planning effective use of ICT in classroom activities that develop student ICT capability and ICT literacy.





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