Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
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 (381)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

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.

Bridget Voda's picture

This article helped me learn about various ways that technology would not just be a part of learning, but would enhance the learning. When I was in elementary school, I feel like the use of smartboards and computers were more of a bother and separate from our normal lessons. The most interesting part of the article was the connection with real life experts. Kids love real life scenarios. Being able to use professional programs and technology will make the kids more willing to learn.

Angelica's picture

I think being able to use professional programs and technology will make the kids more willing to learn because it makes learning more fun to do because were not just writing everything and reading everything out of a textbook were interacting through media.

Discussion Help with naming elearning modes

Last comment 1 hour 27 min ago in Technology Integration

Discussion A Day in the Life: 5 Tips for the Daily NaNoWriMo Agenda

Last comment 16 hours 29 min ago in Project-Based Learning

blog 3 Strategies to Improve Student Writing Instantly

Last comment 2 days 19 hours ago in Technology Integration

article Assistive Technology: Resource Roundup

Last comment 4 months 3 weeks ago in Assistive Technology

Discussion Why I Hate "Digital Citizenship"

Last comment 2 days 21 hours ago in Technology Integration

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.