Integrating Technology and Creating Change
Focus Question: What are the key stages and pressing issues of technology integration?
I'm sure you are wondering, "what is technology integration?" as I too was. Technology integration is defined as, The process of making technology a central feature of teaching and learning in schools or strategies for successfully using technology in and out of the classroom. Technology integration refers to ways that teachers build technology into all aspects of their professional work, while Educational change relates to innovations by teachers that create new patterns of teaching and learning in schools. Technology integration and educational change together make technology a central part of education, enabling the uniwue, powerful, and transforming impacts of computers and other tools to be part of every student's daily experience in schools. However, technology integration and educational change do not automatically occur by including computers in a lesson. There are two elements necessary for technology and instruction to create a successful learning enviroment, Teacher mindset and multiple pathways. Technology integration starts with the teachers mindset that asks how computer enables students to best meet the curriculum goals. The use of technology should be to help provide improvement in better understanding the lesson, not to do your job. Multiple pathways relates to the use of technology in the classroom. Teachers need more than computers to promote technology in the classroom.
There are five key stages dealing with Technology integration. The five key stages include, entry, adoption, adaption, appropriation, and invention. Integrating technology into teaching takes patience, perseverance, and willingness to involve students in learning about technology. The first step in integrating technology is assessing where you are personally as a technology-using educator and then taking the following steps needed to move to the next level.
Entry- Teachers are beginning to learn information technologies, teachers need to gain specific skills in how to use computers and technologies before they are able to hink about how to apply new knowledge to classroom situations.
Adoption- at the adoption stage, a teacher knows enough to use technology in the classroom, but only at a basic level and only occasionally. "Teachers blend technology into their classroom practices without making any significant changes to those practices."
Adaption-at the adaption stage, a teacher is using technology regulary as part of teaching. " Teachers fully integrate new technologies into traditional classroom practices."
Appropriation- at the appropriation stage, a teacher is using technology as both and inside-the classroom and outside-the-classroom tool.
Invention- at the invention stage, a teacher is exploring new ways to creatively use technology in and out of the clarroom as well as adding emerging technologies to a personal repertoire of professional skill and practices.
When teachers make technology a resource for learning, students benefit. K-12 students, the ACOT study found, demonstrated greater accomplishment with technology as well as improved problem solving skills as teachers move along the integration scale from the entry stage toward the invention stage.
Now, there are still issues in Technology integration that we as educators are continuing to tackle. Some of these issues involving Technology integration include, unwillingness to change favorite lesson plans to include technology, reluctance to use technology when teaching new lesson plans, using computers as a reward or punishment for students, using computers as an add-on to other activities, and using computers as a way to seperate students by ability groups.
Unwillingness to change favorite lesson plan to include technology- Many busy teachers have a set lesson plan and curriculum in which they are too comfortable with to want to change to incorporate technology.
Reluctance to use technology when teaching new lesson plans- Disincentives to use technology occur when teachers are asked to teach material they have not taught before. It takes thought and energy to organize new lesson plans so infuising technology may seem like an added burden, so teachers avoid spending the extra time needed to include it.
Using technology as a reward or punishment-As educators most of us are aware that youngsters gravitate toward computers and other electronic devices. Some teachers are using use of technology as a reward or punishment for students. In these instances, students are not using technology for academic ourposes; it is not central to the completion of assignments or the learning of knowledge. The potential power of technology to produce unique, powerful, and transforming learning is minimized.
Using Technology as an Add-On to other activities- Teachers use technology whether it enhances or detracts from learning. For example, students may watch movies or videos rather than researching a topic of conducting a real-world investigations. Using videos all the time creates a situation where the technology is replacing the opportunity for hands on/ minds-on learning by students.
Using technology to seperate students by ability groups- Seperate programs seem to make sense because they appear to challenge the high achievers while not frustrating the lower achievers. But dividing the class according to percieved ability groups means, high achievers and low achievers rarely are together for the same learning activities. This reinforces a sense of haves and have-nots in academic achievement.
Tech Tool Link: NETS
This website has an abundant amount of resources for teachers, students, coaches, and administrators. NETS for teachers include, the standards for evaluating the skills and knowledge educators need to teach, work, and learn in an increasingly connected global and digital society. This website helps prepare you for the ever changing technology in our world. You are able to create a membership and order books and tools for your needs. This website promotes advocacy with ISTE, ISTE's dedication to bringing the voice of educators to policy makers regarding educational technology and digital age learning. I found this website to be extremely useful and beneficial to educators and students.
Chapter Summary & Connection
I loved this chapter! I was able to investigate and study the uses of integrating technology in and outside of the classroom. I enjoyed exploring the issues within Technology integration, and hope to be able to better tackle those issues now that I am aware. I was intrigued to learn more about Digital inequality, the idea that access to the latest computer technology varies greatly within society with low-income and non-white Americans less likely to be able to afford and use the newest tools. I find the subject of digital divide very important in the schools. How can we as educators help incorporate technology in our lessons while being fair to the class as a whole?