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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many

There's a place for tech in every classroom.
By Edutopia
Edutopia Team
VIDEO: An Introduction to Technology Integration
Technology is ubiquitous, touching almost every part of our lives, our communities, our homes. Yet most schools lag far behind when it comes to integrating technology into classroom learning. Many are just beginning to explore the true potential tech offers for teaching and learning. Properly used, technology will help students acquire the skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge-based economy.
 
Integrating technology into classroom instruction means more than teaching basic computer skills and software programs in a separate computer class. Effective tech integration must happen across the curriculum in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process. In particular, it must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts. Effective technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is routine and transparent and when technology supports curricular goals.

Many people believe that technology-enabled project learning is the ne plus ultra of classroom instruction. Learning through projects while equipped with technology tools allows students to be intellectually challenged while providing them with a realistic snapshot of what the modern office looks like. Through projects, students acquire and refine their analysis and problem-solving skills as they work individually and in teams to find, process, and synthesize information they've found online.

The myriad resources of the online world also provide each classroom with more interesting, diverse, and current learning materials. The Web connects students to experts in the real world and provides numerous opportunities for expressing understanding through images, sound, and text.

New tech tools for visualizing and modeling, especially in the sciences, offer students ways to experiment and observe phenomenon and to view results in graphic ways that aid in understanding. And, as an added benefit, with technology tools and a project-learning approach, students are more likely to stay engaged and on task, reducing behavioral problems in the classroom.

Technology also changes the way teachers teach, offering educators effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means. It also enhances the relationship between teacher and student. When technology is effectively integrated into subject areas, teachers grow into roles of adviser, content expert, and coach. Technology helps make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun. Return to our Technology Integration page to learn more.

Technology Integration Overview

Comments (382)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

yasmin crutchfield's picture

This article was very helpful in showing the practical uses of technology in the classroom. Other schools should make their learning with technology personal like in the video so more students are interested and get involved.

Kelsey Wilks's picture

Technology also changes the way teachers teach, offering educators effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means. It also enhances the relationship between teacher and student. When technology is effectively integrated into subject areas, teachers grow into roles of adviser, content expert, and coach. Technology helps make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun."

I couldn't agree more with this statement! Last year as I taught first grade, even just the slightest bit of technology used in a lesson increased student interest and involvement. Whether it be listening to stories online, or reading with the LeapFrog books, or listening to a book on cd, the students seemed to be far more engaged and enthused about their task. This year, I am teaching third grade and this is the first year we have SmartBoards in every class. The students love it and love to learn new things and even watch as I use it for instruction. Their level of engagement definitely increases compared to using a whiteboard or chart paper during instruction. However, though I can see a difference in these simple uses of technology in the classroom, I can only imagine how high the level of engagement and interest would be among students if we were given the opportunity to do more projects or lessons with more advance technology. With a classroom of 26 students and only one computer, it is very hard to incoporate a lot of technology into lessons as much as I would like as well as the students. The things you could do with technology that also supports curricular goals are very engaging and make for a much more enjoyable and higher-level learning environment.

Laura Randolph's picture

From a newly declared education major's point of view this article lays some foundational arguments and ideas for the implementation of technology into curriculums. Technology will always come with the need for upgrades, costs, and possible unforeseeable problems, however, technology will aid students of all ages and the benefits of implemented technology will outweigh the costs. Not every student learns the same way, and technology will give teachers and other administrators more possibilities to reach their target audience. In a few years, I will be entering the workforce, and I look forward to new possibilities technology offers.

Alisha Mahnken's picture
Alisha Mahnken
Student studying to become a high school math teacher.

This article showed me that truly integrating technology in all classes is possible and once it is achieved it is well worth the efforts to integrate the technology. At my high school, my junior year every student got an hp mini to use for school purposes. But even though we had access to new technology we rarely used it in most of my classes, which I found disappointing. I would have liked to have had more experience using new technologies than just writing papers. So to know that is possible to use the technology we have today in all aspects of education gives me hope that one day we will achieve it.

Sara Borneman's picture

This article is very interesting as well and makes me appreciate the technology around us. I have never liked using technology in school because all the equipment I have been give to use is very out dated and at times hard for me to use. And if I become a teacher I am not sure how tech savoy I will be because of my frustration with out dated technology in schools.

Monica V's picture

After watching the video and reading the article it's exciting to hear how more and more school are integrating technology into more subjects other than just a computer class. I also believe that if more school districts continue to integrate technology they will see in increase of excitement in the students towards school and learning. When I was in high school I know that when we got the opportunity to use technology everyone automatically became more excited about the assignment. I hope that in these years coming technology continues to have the same positive impact on students and schools as it does now, because from what this article and video show is that it's only helping students succeed and reach their full potential.

Carly Wingert's picture

I feel that this article directly addresses the current integration of technology into the classroom from a refreshingly positive perspective. The author mentions how widespread technology has become, forcing me to note that this acquiescence to the technological age is even more profound in young children. I often see small kids playing with iPhones and iPads, which leads me to believe that since they are learning through technology through their youngest years, technology is a suitable learning method for kids as they grow older. It offers auditory information, graphics, as well as words. These various methods help teachers to have more options to reach to more students. Like the article states, technology seems like a fantastic resource to work into everyday lessons.

Phoebe Hicks's picture

When I imagine technology in the classroom I picture a bunch of students sitting at computers staring blankly. This article and video has proved these images wrong and has made me excited to learn more about how to effectively use technology in the classroom. Using technology to relate real life situations to learning in the classroom expands the intellectual capabilities of the classroom. This active use of technology also provides students with hands on experience and the ability to learn in different ways. This article has demonstrated how technology can be used as a tool for active learning. As technology increasingly becomes more of a foundation in our society it is important to find ways to effectively use it in the classroom.

kdm11's picture
kdm11
Doing this for a class.

since the advancements in technology have grown numerously in the past few years I think that using tech in the classroom is a very important tool in incorporating all learning styles. It also will be helpful as far as sustainability goes. But I must say technology can not be over-used or we will see a decline in the amount of hand writing capability. Though technology is an important tool, it must be used properly.

MollyMartin's picture

This article helped me understand that as our world becomes even more dependent on technology as future teachers we need to be able to teach with it and use it to the best of our ability. The use of technology early on in education will help students become more comfortable with it and help them to use it in everyday life. However, while I believe technology is one of the most important tools that can be used in a classroom, I feel that a lot of personal communication could be lost if we start using it for every single thing; such as quizzes, tests, turning in homework, and notes. I believe that personal communication between people also plays a significant role in how kids learn.

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