Five obstacles to integrating ICT into pedagogy

For those who have been evolving in the world of education for a few years, you will certainly have realized how stifling the education world can be when it comes to supporting educational innovation or change in its manifold. facets.

But why such a paradox? Mandela cites that education is certainly the best tool for change. How can she be an agent of change when, at the base, she has crystallized in a conservatism and an ineloquent inertia?

Today, new teaching strategies more often than not exploit new information and communications technologies. It is therefore all about trying to understand what is blocking our teachers so that they take the plunge …

Demagoguery and the need to oppose

Stereotypes are conveyed in all directions. What if ICT did not improve the quality of education? That the results among the pupils were not increasing? For every argument, there is academic research to back it up. Otherwise, the statistics make one side lie or another. These doubts justify an educational adaptation of the precautionary principle, implying that in the absence of scientific certainties, it would be better to refrain from adopting a behavior which could prove to be harmful for, in this case, the world. education. However, whatever the tool, the difference is the teacher who makes it! Listening to these biased oppositions, it’s a bit like justifying the need to remain inert by simply opposing yourself.

Everything that is new goes there. It is a necessary step. Hervé Sérieyx eloquently cited that any new idea immersed in a society receives from it an inverse vertical thrust equal to the mass of its conservatism [1] . This is what he calls the Archimedes principle. Basically, the Thrust of Archimedes, which dates from ancient Greece and bears the name of this great scholar, states that a body immersed in a fluid will displace the volume equivalent to its own volume. Sérieyx therefore borrows this theory which dates back to the beginnings of modern science to simply demonstrate that the more important the change to be made, the more the resistance field will be. Besides, if there is no resistance, there is simply no change.

Nevertheless, some teachers not only indulge in the comfort of their proven-successful strategies for years, but to justify their inaction, they denigrate those who scramble to embrace this novelty. Like what, to paraphrase Carl Leblanc, some critics are capable of destroying, but incapable of creating …

Geek teachers

For their part, techno-friendly teachers must fight with the prejudices of their colleagues, their management as well as those of their own students. They are called   geeks . They are specialists in the integration of ICT into pedagogy. They are the teachers of the future. Their colleagues do not believe themselves capable of competing with the latter. Yet these geeksonly use different technologies that are user-friendly and accessible; they often have no particular technical skills and know nothing about programming. They are only visionaries who are able to question themselves for the good of their students. Unfortunately, by categorizing these techno teachers in this way, we put them in a separate category to allow ourselves to accept that it is impossible for us to access their level of expertise. Instead of allowing them to raise the skill level of the entire faculty through some multiplier effect, too many teachers choose to exclude them from their professional development benchmarks.

The decline of human relationships

Many maintain the perception that technology increases the possibilities of communication while impoverishing their quality. So our young people communicate more in quantitative terms, but less in qualitative terms. That said, the sophist’s reasoning is self-evident, while many disagree with the trend of integrating ICT into pedagogy. After all, even in Silicon Valley, some private colleges have chosen to ban electronic devices from their environment! However, they fell into it when they were little!

Human relationships can be learned by humans. It is the job of parents and the school community to teach children how to interact socially. Whether banned or not, social media is here to stay; we are only delaying the moment when the young people taste it. Finally, these media, combined with the portability of the Internet, will have allowed great moments in the history of humanity, including during the famous Arab Spring when Facebook and Twitter served as catalysts in the face of the oppression of a autocratic political regime. On a smaller scale, they can certainly be of use to the education community in a number of ways.

Fear of failure

Finally, many teachers fear the integration of ICT into their teaching, because their students know more than they do at this level. This is indeed plausible. However, one fact remains: students may be more proficient than their teachers at using social media, iPads or the internet in general, but they know absolutely nothing about pedagogy or didactics. At the start of the 21 st century, with the advent of ICT, teachers have lost their monopoly on knowledge, and many have also missed the technology boat. However, they remain the only specialists in didactics and pedagogy.

Developing new teaching strategies involves experimentation that forces the experienced teacher to step out of his or her comfort zone to explore new avenues. Contrary to what he believes, he does not face the possibility of failure. Quite the contrary. The most lamentable failure for a teacher would be to stand stubbornly still in the face of the prospects offered by ICT in education. Notwithstanding this, a teacher who accepts to take calculated risks and who knows how to get out of his comfort zone is what will inspire the student to reproduce this behavior in turn. In short, the professional leads by example and no longer just by his lyrical flights. It is through the fear of failure that one achieves the greatest achievements.

Disgust, shortness of breath …

The problem when dealing with change in the school environment is fed up with the omnipresence of change linked to the Pedagogical Renewal which has finally extended from primary to secondary: new programs, prototype tests, report card. unique, etc. All of the changes that were perceived negatively by many teachers, unions, school executives, etc., and whose appearance of improvisation and trial and error had the effect of exasperating a good number of school interveners, thus making them more sensitive and apprehensive to change. They try to assimilate their new points of reference and already, another need is felt, this one very acute and at the base of all the others. It is now a question of modifying and updating teaching practices and integrating ICT.

Thus, change in education has become a major irritant when it should be an accepted norm. These repeated situations in a short period of time will eventually weaken the adaptability of teachers. They will also eventually create a feeling of persistent insecurity in the latter. The world is uncertain only for those who need certainty; for the others, it is only the world of always with the risks and the chances of its chances [2] .

Teachers therefore feel rushed in this world of change which, it must be remembered, is called upon to redefine the world of teaching and, by extension, the teaching function.

These are the main obstacles to change identifiable in the integration of ICT in pedagogy. Obviously, it’s a safe bet that there are several others.


[1] Sérieyx, H., Compasses for foggy weather . Site available online at http://www.forum-events.com/amphi/synthese-herve-serieyx-76-33.html. Accessed June 25, 2013.

[2] Sérieyx, H., Boussoles pour temps de mist , Pearson Éducation, Paris, 2003, p. 5.