Motivation is defined as an internal process which leads to self-directed action and self esteem. Motivation and incentives help to modify the behavior of teachers and students to incorporate technology into their teaching/learning practices to achieve educational goals.
These goals include: (1) improved teacher performance such as lesson presentation, evaluation of student achievement, and classroom management, and (2) student learning such as achievement on public and school examinations, attitudes, and attitude towards learning. Teachers and students must believe in themselves and their capabilities to use these resources successfully.
There are several ways to support student teachers to use educational technology. Let’s consider, for the purpose of this study, the level of support needed to incorporate educational technologies to include providing: (1) resources such as equipment and materials; (2) training to develop knowledge and skills; (3) opportunities to collaborate and to share experiences and to assist each other; and (4) feedback to encourage and to support each other to develop competence to use educational technologies are factors which encourage student teachers to use educational technology. Support in these areas would not only encourage teachers, but also make them feel confident and committed to incorporate educational technologies.
Incentives can also encourage teachers to commit time, skills, and talents to use educational technologies. But these incentives need not be limited to monetary rewards. Increasing participation, collaboration, and feedback over differential incentives such as merit pay, and career ladders to increase teacher commitment. With the rapid change of technology today, even a well-trained teacher in the use of educational technologies five years ago is likely to require additional training to be able to use current technologies. Similarly, a sixth-grade student today would likely not need some of the technical skills we will have five years from now. Therefore, an effective strategy to keep teachers current would be to provide in-service training through collaborative efforts.
Teacher support in the form of empowerment in the use of computer-based technologies does not only mean the provision of resources in the form of teacher education, encouragement, curriculum materials, and continuing on-the-job support, but also “hand holding.” Motivation, in the forms of rewards or incentives for trying a new idea, satisfaction on the job, professional opportunities through training, and better materials and resources to work with, is crucial to using educational technology. Teachers are motivated to use technology if it improves their * performance and student learning. Other incentives can be categorized as working conditions (e.g., facilities, fringe benefits, and pay), instructional (e.g., materials, supervision training) or opportunities for professional development (e.g., training, advancement) to keep teachers current.