Barriers to Online Teaching in Elementary, Secondary, and Teacher Education

Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

Berge, Zane L.; Mrozowski, Susan E.; Barriers to Online Teaching in Elementary, Secondary, and Teacher Education; Canadian Journal of Educational Communication 1999, Vol. 27, No. 2, 125-138;


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Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
Copyright (c) 1999 Zane L. Berge, Susan E. Mrozowski


A review of the literature regarding the barriers to the use of educational technology in primary and secondary education was done. An emphasis was placed on the diffusion of computers in the schools, since the focus of this study is to determine what should be expected as computer-mediated communication (CMC) is used in schools to teach in online environments. A categorical framework, similar to one used by the first author for analysis of barriers to the use of CMC in higher education, was used (Berge, 1998). The nine categories of barriers are: academic, fiscal, geographic, governance, labor-management, legal, student support, technical, and cultural. The literature review of barriers to the use of educational technology in K- 12 using this framework suggested the primary areas of concern are academic, cultural, and technical. Secondary areas of concern are labor-management and fiscal issues, with little or no mention of geographic, governance, student support, or legal aspects of diffusion of technology. To test whether the use of CMC as one important area of educational technology entering K-12 teaching and learning, a recently published four volume series of books titled, “Wired Together: Computer- Mediated Communication in K-12” was analyzed. Taken together, the seventy-two (72) chapters in these four books, mostly case studies, represent a considerable body of experience in online teaching and learning in K-12, pre and in-service teacher training. The content analysis was done 1) to determine how many different barriers to online teaching were mentioned across all the contributors, i.e., to indicate the range of the obstacles, and, 2) to determine how often each particular category of barriers was mentioned, i.e., to indicate the perceived severity of these issues. The results are quite consistent when compared to the more general review of literature regarding educational technology.