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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

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Jana W's picture

As a college student I am noticing more and more that technology is being integrated into schooling more. This semester one of my books is actually on a CD. By my sophomore year in high school every classroom had an active board in it. Teachers would use these boards for taking notes they also had attachments so that students could interact with them as well. I know that my classmates and I were more intrigued in the lesson plan because we were able to use this new technology.
I believe that using technology in the classroom is taking a step forward. Children are becoming used to using technology in every part of their lives so why not take advantage by using it in the classroom to help them learn? The new technology being introduced in the classroom offers the students new ways of experience. Incorporating this technology makes learning far more interesting to students and is fun as well.

Payton R's picture

After reading this article, it gives so much enthusiasm to start teaching my own classes. I am currently a college student hoping to one day teach biology to high school students. When i was in high school, all of my biology teachers were so mean and boring and i never had any fun. Now with technology i think i can make my learning environment exciting. In this article is says that there are new tech tools that can help students experiment and observe phenomenon, and thats exactly how i want to run my classroom. I want my students to stay awake and stay enthused during class, because lets face it, biology is not the easiest subject. So if there are ways to make class more enjoyable for young teenagers by the use of technology, i cant wait to learn them.

Cassidy H's picture

Integrating technology into the classroom is definitely an amazing way to reach diversity in learning styles and keep students focused. I graduated in 2005 and when I was in high school the option to go to the computer lab to work on assignments was an absolute excitement. If our assignment was on the computer itself through a program the whole class definitely stayed focused as if it was a treat instead of actual work to be done. Knowing that it was like this for me and my classmates in high school make me very excited for my future students. I hope to find new ways to consistently integrate different technologies into my English teachings keeping students focused. Many find English classes to be very boring and I myself was quite bored in some of mine. My only concern is when students are set out on a scavenging mission looking for information they may come across false facts. I'm sure we promote students to use sources that are accredited but never the less they will be searching everywhere for more info to suffice their homework.

Jamen H.'s picture

After reading this article I feel much more comfortable about integrating technology into my classroom. Before I read this article I just assumed that most of the technology in classrooms was power point note-taking because that is how I experienced it in High School. I didn't realize that there were so many other ways to use technology in your classroom, and I cant wait to learn about them so I can integrate them into how I conduct my classroom.

LaShonda J's picture

I believe technology is a necessity when teaching any level of student. Like the article says technology can help teachers reach different types of learners. No student learns the same so a teacher needs to be accommodating.
Technology excites students. What kid doesn't like the chance to get to play on a computer? Personally, my siblings fight over who gets to play on the computer first when they get home for school. If a teacher can make learning as exciting as possible then the student will, in turn, take in more information and want to learn more.

Morgan M's picture

I have never been the biggest fan of using technology to learn. I sometimes feel as if technology does not challenge students enough. Instead of having to manually do the work, technology makes it easier on the student to find the information. I hope to learn many ways on how to make sure my students are still being challenged as much as they would be if they were not using technology.

Elena F's picture

After reading the article I am even more comfortable with integrating technology into classrooms. While I was in high school, there were hardly days that we used technology, unless it was a taking notes from a power point. Allowing students to use technology in classrooms gives them freedom and teaches them things that they will use not only in high school and in college, but also in the work place. Giving students the opportunity to learn from and about technology allows them to interact with their fellow peers. It allows them to help each other in ways that they weren't always able to do so before. Someone once said that the best way to learn and remember how to do something, one must teach it to someone else. Placing technology in classrooms really allows students to take a part of that.

Andrea C's picture

Reading this article really helped inspire me to research and learn more about how to incorporate technology in the classroom when I become a teacher. I highly agree that in today's classrooms students and teachers both need to be taught with new technology. I love the last paragraph when it talks about how using it helps build the relationship between the teacher and the student. I agree that it adds even more responsibilities on the teacher's part to supervise and teach their students even more, but it is an overall effective and great way to help the students learn.

Sammi S.'s picture
Sammi S.
Music education student at Drury University

"Technology helps make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun." That is my favorite quote because if it is used correctly, it really does. I am in school to be a music teacher and I am worried about how I will put technology in my future classroom in a learning positive and meaningful way. This article makes me want to do more research to find out exactly how I can integrate technology in my future classroom. I know how it can be used for other subjects very effectively. That tells me that, after research, I should be able to find a lot of resources for the music classroom to help my students enjoy learning and (hopefully) retain what they learn.

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