March 4, 2019

Why Projects Fail

Why do VR projects sometimes fail?
Research shows that teachers are a volunteeristic and idiosyncratic lot. Teaching itself is a volunteeristic and idiosyncratic profession. Teachers will tackle innovation only if they want to, and stay with it only if the technology suits their style and preferences. You can’t expect much else. So what happened in the previously posted scenario unfortunately sounds about right. It’s for these reasons that it’s always a tough proposition to implement technology innovation in educational settings. Only highly creative, intrinsically motivated, or curiously inventive teachers break out of this pattern. And a few creative teachers will not create overwhelming scalability for exciting VR products or solutions.

Why don’t more teachers kick in?
Even if a given technology is popular with young people, most teachers tend to put themselves in lanes of instructional practice and habit, and it becomes stubbornly difficult to move them into other lanes. For example, three teachers may show an interest, but many other teachers do not—and won’t—because they feel the implementing teachers have this innovation ‘covered’. In schools and universities, time is a limited commodity for teachers. Any time that would be taken to implement a technology would clearly complete with the taut limits of volunteerism and the narrowed preferences or idiosyncrasies of teachers. And, sometimes, pushing for technology innovation may take on a “mean-spirited” twist. For example, in some school districts or universities, a technology using teacher/professor may be viewed as a technology or innovation diva (in the negative sense of the word) —an attention hog—and they can be mocked or avoided by other ‘normalized’ educators. “Not for us,” they cry!

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