Addressing first- and second-order barriers to change: Strategies for technology integration

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Although teachers today recognize the importance of integrating technology into their curricula, efforts are often limited by both external (first-order) and internal (second-order) barriers. Traditionally, technology training, for both preservice and inservice teachers, has focused on helping teachers overcome first-order barriers (e.g., acquiring technical skills needed to operate a computer). More recently, training programs have incorporated pedagogical models of technology use as one means of addressing second-order barriers. However, little discussion has occurred that clarifies the relationship between these different types of barriers or that delineates effective strategies for addressing different barriers. If pre- and inservice teachers are to become effective users of technology, they will need practical strategies for dealing with the different types of barriers they will face. In this paper, I discuss the relationship between first- and second-order barriers and then describe specific strategies for circumventing, overcoming, and eliminating the changing barriers teachers face as they work to achieve technology integration.