Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many | Edutopia
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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
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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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Sue's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I find technology integration to be refreshing as a teacher. It has rekindled my fire for teaching. With so much emphasis on standardized testing which consumes most of our school year, I find education away from the paper and pencil refreshing. My students seem to wake up from the test prep monotony and join me in the education process. My classroom was interviewed by the local paper about some of the tools we are using to bring our classrooms into the 21st century. One of the writer's observations was how much I seemed to enjoy what I was teaching and how much that encouraged my class to interact with me. I teach because I like to learn. Learning is fun when technology is used.

Ashley L.'s picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I totally agree that technology is a great way to not only make learning more fun, but teaching too! Getting a new technological resource is both exciting and motivational for me as an educator. It is fun to teach the same material in different ways. Pus, the students all learn differently. By using technology, all learning styles can be tapped into. Technology is definitely the wave of the future, and if we, as teachers, want to be active in our studens' learning, we better jump on board.
There are also negatives when it comes to technology. For one, the simple fear of the unknown and something new. Many teachers are not sure about taking chances with some piece of equipment that we are told cost the school system thousands of dollars. This is where proper training and experimentation come into play. In addition, technology is great when it works properly. We have all been doing a lesson that required a piece of computer equipment and at the point where you really, really need it, it won't work! Nothing is more frustrating!
Overall, technology is a great tool for teaching. The possibilities are endless, and the children are captivated by it just as much as we, the teachers, are!

Brandon S.'s picture
Anonymous (not verified)

At my school we were fortunate enough to have many different technology resources which made class an exciting place. But like a previous post suggested technology can become a hinderance as well. Most teachers at my school were not afraid to use the technologies but, our school decided to use technology to implement more testing. Three times a year we had to rearrange schedules and have our students take a test to see where they lie in grade level standards. The kids never took it serious and didn't want to be there making all of the dat essentially useless. My take is that using technology for for educational purposes is great but more technology for more testing is not what I want to see happen.

Kenisha Campbell's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I believe that technology should be integrated into the classroom. Technology is the going to be the future and as teachers; as well as our students need to be ready for this evolution. Using technology in the curriculum makes more exciting for teaching. Students are more motivated to learn. One of my goals is to integrate technology into my classroom this upcoming school year. Like many other teachers, I am scared and inexperience when it comes to technology. However, I am making effort in learning how to use different technology.As teachers, we can't use the excuse I don't know much about technology or I am scared to try it. It's not about us, but the students. It's about going outside the box, giving students the best and preparing them to be successful in society.

cindyt's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I agree that to prepare our students for their future, we must integrate technology whenever possible. It is not just teaching them how to use technology but using it to teach them other content. My students are amazed when I use an ELMO and LCD projector to model my writing. They are amazed at the fact that they can see my hand writing and read each word as I write it. They are completely focused on what I am doing. Using PowerPoints to teach lessons, or to type student responses into a program - the children love it! Virtual field trips are also exciting and in times of trips being so expensive, these are a wonderful addition to the curriculum. Don't be scared about using technology, yes things may go wrong at times, just make sure you have a back up plan.

Christie S.'s picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I agree that teaching basic computer and software skill in a separate class is not enough. Technology needs to be incorporated accross the curriculum. The problem I have with this the lack of access to technology. I agree that technology changes the way teachers teach offering effective ways to reach different types of learners. Teachers are always looking for ways to reach students in more effective ways.

Amanda S.'s picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I completely agree with the post about not enough technology to go around. This is so true in most schools today. I am presently working on Masters degree with the focus on integrating technology in the classroom and as excited as I am, I am also weary about the fact that some things I will be unable to do because of lack of resources. I personally teach in a rural area and our computers are outdated and other technology is sparse. I often times bring my own laptop and other things to school to use because we do not have available resources. How do we get more funding for technology? I am not sure. It is something that needs to be addressed because whether or not our school is ready to move forward, the world continues to do so. Does anyone have suggestions, comments that might suggest how to do this?

Tammy's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I feel like you do. I think technology is necessary in the classroom and we have enough testing going on.

Tammy's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I am also working on my Master's degree in Integrating Technology in the Classroom. I am excited about the program. I think technology is very important in the classroom. Schools will be left behind if technology is not utilized. Our school is beginning to purchase more technological tools to be used in the classroom. I know as a teacher that I must learn as much as I can so my students will receive the best instruction.

Teresa's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I agree that computers should be utilized in the classroom. As educators we should feel it necessry to incorporate technology when teaching. If used effectively, computers can be a great tool. There are many websites students can use to enhance learning. My students love computer time.

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