Home page

Sheffield Hallam University Creative Commons Licence

3.4 Barriers and Enablers

3.4 Barriers and EnablersBarriers and enablers co-exist; the boundaries between them are fluid and dependent on a number of variables – social, cultural, historical, economic and political – that can be contextualised to a setting. In the absence of central guidance on using digital literacy in schools, difficult issues arise for teachers and schools as digital literacy practices are introduced and developed (Merchant, 2012). For teachers, issues around professional development; confidence, subject knowledge, attitudes to technology and time are problematic. For schools curriculum flexibility and finance, including the provision of resources, are matters of concern. However while barriers do exist they are not always insurmountable as the Case Studies show, although the time allowed for reflection within the case studies to effect change cannot be underestimated.

This section explores two themes:

  • 3.4.1 Barriers – what are the barriers to change when implementing digital literacies in schools?
  • 3.4.2 Changing Barriers into Enablers – how can the factors facing individuals and schools be enabled in order to effect change and help promote the implementation of digital practices?

While the barriers (and their co-existent ‘enablers’) listed here are not exhaustive they are indicative of the issues that face teachers in the take-up and application of technology to teaching and learning.


Merchant (2012) “I Oversee What the Children Are Doing”: Challenging Literacy Pedagogy in Virtual Worlds in Merchant, G, Gillen, J, Marsh, J & Davies, J. (eds) ‘Virtual literacies: interactive spaces for children and young people.’ London: Routledge.

3.4 Barriers and Enablers Tags COMMENTS (public) ANNOTATIONS (private)