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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

An Introduction to Technology Integration

Integrating technology with classroom practice can be a great way to strengthen engagement by linking students to a global audience, turning them into creators of digital media, and helping them practice collaboration skills that will prepare them for the future. Read a short introductory article.
Transcript

An Introduction to Technology Integration (Transcript)

Sal Khan: People have been integrating technology in the classroom forever. What I think is really exciting about what we're seeing now is that technology is being used to fundamentally transform what the classroom is. Fundamentally transform what you can do with a classroom.

Adam Bellow: I think to define technology integration, it's really using whatever resources you have to the best of your abilities. Technology, it's a tool. It's what you do with that tool, what you can make, what you allow the students to make. That's really what technology is about. If you can do this lesson without technology, that's great. But if you can do it better with technology, then that's why you use it. That's why you use tools.

Divya (student): This is a list of different applications that you can use to like make music or do art. I've used it to record some of my personal narratives that I've wroten [sic].

Divya: My eyes were drooping. I was drifting off to sleep.

Mary Beth Hertz: Students today are creating using digital tools. They're not creating using analog tools. For us to feel like we really are connecting with our kids, and to make learning fun for our kids and meaningful, we need to meet them where they are.

Mary Beth: Kids can create podcasts, movies, songs to express their ideas, express their thoughts. but also to express their learning.

Adam: When you create, you take ownership of your learning. You understand it in a very different way than if you just memorize something from a textbook, or if you just read it over and over again, or watched it in someone else's film. If you were able to translate that information into your own film, your own content, your own something to share. That's just amazing.

Mary Beth: And sometimes they learn things we didn't expect them to learn. Like I had my second graders reflect on the project they did, and some of them said, "I learned how to get along with somebody," or, "I learned how to work with somebody."

Mary Beth: This internet thing that has become a big part of our lives. It's really enabled people around the world to connect in ways we never imagined.

Adam: People always say that the kids respond better when they're able to share their work. Well, of course! Because they have a valid audience. It doesn't go into a pile on the teacher's desk, and then get handed back to their folder. Kids today can create stuff and share it with the entire world. And they have that authentic audience. They have people that actually, not only will read it, but also care about it.

Mia (student): We have to make like a movie project. So you kind of have -- you have a topic. And with your topic, you speak into a microphone, and then you draw pictures to go with what you're saying.

Asim (student): If they have the link to our website, which they might end up getting -- like searching something on Google, and this might pop up. And so yeah, there is a chance of kids around the world getting to see these videos.

Sal: The traditional academic model, you know, that we've inherited from the Prussians 200 years ago is: We have a set amount of time to learn something, and then there's an exam. You get a B; I get a C. Even though the exam identified that you have some basic weaknesses, I have even more weaknesses, we'll then move on to the next concept. So instead of doing that traditional, everyone move together in lock-step model, with technology, you have the potential to everyone learn at their own pace, and master concepts before they move on. Have the teacher get real-time dashboards to see who's stuck on what. Now something like that is a fundamental transformation of what a classroom is.

Adam: The role of the teacher has shifted. I'm truly seeing a world where the person who's in the role of teacher is really a facilitator. And if you can facilitate your students to create great work, and work alongside with them to do that, that's amazing to me.

Mary Beth: It's not about the mode of creation, it's not about the tool, it's about the learning, it's about the process, it's about the look on my students' faces, the fact that they can stay focused, motivated, engaged, and they're sharing ideas. Really makes learning joyful.

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Credits
  • Director: Zachary Fink
  • Editor: Stanislav Basovich, Daniel Jarvis
  • Camera: Vanessa Carr, Zachary Fink, Mario Furloni, Josh Miller, Joseph Rivera, Brian Troy
  • Audio: Thomas Gorman
  • Digital Media Curator: Amy Erin Borovoy
  • Executive Producer: David Markus

Classroom footage in this video is from the Tech2Learn video series, a co-production with the Teaching Channel.

Technology Integration Overview

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