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Running head: SWOT ANALYSIS

Instructional Technology Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats Analysis


Ali Hembree
University of West Georgia

Running head: SWOT ANALYSIS

Strengths
My strengths are grounded in my teaching philosophy that all students are capable of
learning, regardless of physical, emotional, or intellectual (perceived) limitations. Technology
presents an opportunity for me to create a student-centric learning environment. Furthermore,
teaching, given the different learning styles, diversity of backgrounds, and myriad of behavior
and social issues represented by a classroom full of learners, is no longer a simple one-way
practice. My belief that all students can and will learn, but will do so in different ways,
necessitates the need for some type of instructional practice that can harness, as opposed to
weaken, the amazing complexities that make students who they are. I realize that the world has
changed significantly from when I was educated in public school, and I also realize that I must
change, adapt if one must need a more positive connotation, if I want to live out my personal
teaching philosophy. It is one thing to say, I believe all students can learn, but it is quite
another to pursue every avenue towards guaranteeing this will happen. For me, the best way I
can ensure the success of my students is to continue to undergo a mind-shift with regards to what
a classroom looks like, sounds like, and feels like. In a nutshell, I must embrace instructional
technology. Just as technology has changed the atmosphere of the world classroom, it must
change the atmosphere of my classroom. If not, I am preparing my students for a world that no
longer exists.
Weaknesses
When Cuban cites the example of the Teacher Led Technology Challenge Project in
Oversold and Underused, he explains that the central idea behind the project is not merely the
incorporation of technology into the classroom, but the incorporation of technology in the
classroom to facilitate learning (2001, p. 184). The project varies greatly from the manner in

Running head: SWOT ANALYSIS

which technology integration is explained in most schools, including my own. In many


professional learning sessions, I have listened intently to various administrators, department
chairs, and leadership team members (including myself) encourage the use of technology in the
classroom. Rarely have the learning sessions included clear rationale for why or how (other than
this will improve test scores) to incorporate technology, or even better yet, included teachers in
the discussion of why or how technology integration would impact the learning of students.
However, I have taken the bits and pieces of from the training and decided to find out for myself
if this is a sound teaching practice. Thus, my other strength is that I research, examine, and
analyze what and how I will teach my students before I actually teach my students. This vetting
of the instructional practices foisted upon me led to my pursuit of an Ed. S. in MEDT. I am all in.
I honestly believe that technology presents an effective means to create a student-centric learning
environment, which is how to ensure that all students can and will learn.
Although my most significant weakness, my lack of knowledge regarding how or why to
effectively integrate technology, is implied in the preceding section, I will openly and honestly
admit that I am quite stubborn, especially when it comes to the welfare of my students. I have
taken the first step towards learning how and why to integrate technology, pursuing an Ed. S. in
MEDT, but I know that each subsequent step along the path will be quite difficult for me. After
teaching public school for the last ten years, I have developed a somewhat fervent belief that I
KNOW what works for my students. This presents an interesting problem for me as I face the
twenty-first century classroom. Things in the world of technology change rapidly, almost too
rapidly. I want to master what and how I teach before I teach it, but this does not seem possible
given the fast-paced nature of this new world.

Running head: SWOT ANALYSIS

Additionally, like a newly-freed zoo animal who has lived its entire life in captivity, I
struggle with learning how and when to use new computer technologies. For example, two years
ago our school began to use Google drive and Google classroom. The professional development
days built in for learning this new technology were nerve-wracking for me. I enjoyed learning
the new material, but was frightened by my lack of expertise. For someone that has always found
traditional learning easy, learning how and why to integrate technology presents a unique and
somewhat terrifying experience for me.
Opportunities
A specific opportunity I plan to explore is the use of Google classroom to create modules
to help differentiate the content my students are learning. Google classroom is free and all of the
students in my school system have a Google drive account. The opportunity to create a virtual
classroom that more effectively meets the needs of my students, without additional cost to me,
my parents, or my school system, is very exciting. Creating a virtual classroom through learning
modules also provides the opportunity for me to find and master various instructional tools such
as Prezi, Animoto, and Youtube. To create an effective learning platform, my Google classroom,
that meets the needs of all students I will need to stay abreast of apps and programs that are
modified and/or created for use in online classrooms.
Additionally, my students were born and live in a technical world. My goal is to embrace
and value their knowledge base; integrating technology into my classroom is the most logical
way to do so. At some point in their future, my students will take online classes, or complete
some form of training through online learning modules. The opportunity to teach them the
content of my class while preparing them for learning via online platforms presents an ideal

Running head: SWOT ANALYSIS

teaching/learning situation. Preparing students to be educated and employed in this digital age is
a significant opportunity.
Threats
The most significant threat to successful technology integration is my limited knowledge
base and experience. I grew up in a world where traditional teaching, textbooks, paper, and
pencil, made sense. I never questioned the manner by which my teachers were teaching. The way
they did it, which is the same manner of instruction I learned in my college education courses,
worked. However, my students and I now live in a different world. The line between generations
preceding the technology age and generations born during the technology age is boldly defined.
The threat is real.
Furthermore, it can be exhausting and frustrating to remain up-to-date in an everchanging world of technology. It is akin to trying to ride a wave for two weeks non-stop. This is
yet another reason why many teachers are hesitant to fully integrate technology into the
classroom. After ten years in the classroom, I understand the level of exhaustion that comes with
the daily ebb and flow of the classroom and adding an additional piece that requires frequent
update and monitoring is frightening.
Goals
My immediate technology goals are for my online classroom and my physical classroom.
My goal is to design and maintain a successful Google classroom. Secondarily, my other goal is
to master a few applications, like Youtube and Padlet, that work well to facilitate and support
learning online. In my physical classroom my most immediate goal is to fully integrate the
technology available. Specifically, I will learn how to use my Promethean board as more than a
tool to view the internet and Google slide presentations.

Running head: SWOT ANALYSIS

My goals will be achieved by my plan to integrate my Google classroom with my brickand-mortar classroom. I plan to slowly build the mini-lessons first for outside reading, then for
differentiation. If I make the transition slowly and intentionally, it will be more successful.
Furthermore, the classes I take in pursuit of my Ed. S. in MEDT will help me achieve my
teaching goals by improving my instructional design capabilities.

References

Running head: SWOT ANALYSIS

Cuban, L. (2001). Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom. Harvard University
Press. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.