This article is taken from Becta website 28 April 2009

Barriers and enablers to teachers' use of ICT

In 2003 Becta commissioned two literature reviews to identify the factors which hinder or promote the effective use of ICT by teachers.


A review of the research literature on barriers to the uptake of ICT by teachers (PDF 423KB)

This report brings together evidence from a range of sources on the actual and perceived barriers to the uptake of ICT by teachers. It draws on the literature associated with teachers' use of ICT, and also on a small scale survey of teachers conducted by Becta. It is published in conjunction with a companion report looking at the factors which enable teachers to make successful use of ICT.

Key findings of this report include:

  • Confidence, time and access to quality resources are major factors in determining teachers' engagement with ICT.
  • Recurring technical faults, and the expectation of faults occurring during teaching sessions, are likely to reduce teacher confidence and cause teachers to avoid using the technology in future lessons.
  • Resistance to change is a factor which prevents the full integration of ICT in the classroom. In particular, teachers who do not realise the advantages of using technology in their teaching are less likely to make use of ICT.
  • There are close relationships between many of the identified barriers to ICT use; any factors influencing one barrier are likely also to influence several other barriers. For example teacher confidence is directly affected by levels of personal access to ICT, levels of technical support and the quality of training available.


Enabling teachers to make successful use of ICT (PDF 497KB)

This literature review seeks to identify the factors which are most effective in enabling and encouraging the uptake of ICT by teachers. It is a continuation of the work begun by Becta in the above report on barriers preventing teachers from making full use of ICT.

The report aims to discover from the literature the recommendations that might assist schools and local and national support agencies to help teachers make better use of ICT in their classrooms. This includes both school based strategies - ways in which schools working independently can make successful classroom use of ICT more likely - and external enabling strategies - ways in which schools can draw on outside support to improve their use of ICT.

Key enablers identified in the literature include:

  • leadership and planning
  • sharing of resources
  • reliable technical support
  • schools working with each other and with the local community
  • differentiated training and continuous professional development for teachers
  • participation in national ICT initiatives and projects.