Vision Statement

15 Jun

At it’s core, technology integration is about engaging, doing and creating. Although technology can be used passively like a slideshow of ideas, with the Internet and interactive technologies such as touch screens, educators are beginning to see how interactive learning can be, both in and out of the classroom. Technology integration has become much more than just having a computer in the classroom – it’s about a seamless experience. The hope is that “technology tools can extend learning in powerful ways.” (Edutopia)

The traditional lecture model conjures images of students in long rows of desks, sitting quietly taking notes and listening to an instructor. With social media and collaborative technologies, educators can engage students in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. Students can collaborate with peers,  use the Internet to locate others who share their interests, and use social media tools like Facebook,and Diigo to share their interests with a larger community. Students can also engage with the material in different ways, whether it is with a student response system,  an interactive textbook on the iPad, or using a wiki to collaborate on a class project.

But more than just engaging with others, technology has allowed students to do more both in and out of the classroom. Students in a history class can virtually visit a city through a webquest, while science students can participate in virtual labs that allow a dissection to take place at home. Technology integration has made active learning possible in ways that were once very difficult. Outside of school, many students can access the Internet on phones, at home and at the library – allowing them to tap into resources at any time and place. For students facing physical challenges, the Horizon 2012 report notes that “natural user interfaces have proven especially beneficial.”

Newer technologies are helping students move beyond the classroom computer to create new knowledge. As Rao writes, some instructors use technology to deliver information, while for others, “technology is used to construct and build knowledge.” Students can create multimedia, write code and build in virtual worlds. Educators can move past a controlled classroom approach, and transition into being a facilitator of knowledge. The teacher may no longer control the knowledge, but  can help each student become a self-directed learner and creator.

References:

Edutopia. (n.d.). What is technology integration? Retrieved on June 14, 2013 fromhttp://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description

Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012). NMC Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Rao, Adita. What’s the Difference Between “Using Technology” and “Technology Integration”? TeachBytes. Retrieved from: http://teachbytes.com/2013/03/29/whats-the-difference-between-using-technology-and-technology-integration/

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4 Responses to “Vision Statement”

  1. matthewrauch June 16, 2013 at 6:29 am #

    “Facilitator of knowledge” is the exact wording that we need to focus on. Although that still gives room for lecture, it also means that we can do more than just stand in the front and read notes all day long. It is important to use examples and to demonstrate. It is also important to allow students to teach each other. Students are more willing to learn from others of their same age and understanding. Using examples that they can relate to is the best way for others to learn.

    • meganstorti June 16, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

      I agree with your assessment of a facilitator being meaning things, rather than one. I definitely see value in some direct instruction, but I’m working to transform my idea of a classroom to be ‘doing’ more than ‘listening’.

  2. Scott Thompson June 16, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    Megan,
    I love and wholeheartedly believe in the statement that teachers are not the keepers of the knowledge, but rather the one to show students how to become self-directed learners. You have a great vision for what you want to do to keep your classroom and teaching style up to date. Your hope for “technology tools can extend learning in powerful ways.” is a good way to view technology rather than just having it to have the newest toys. Nice job!
    Scott

    • meganstorti June 16, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      Thanks for your comments. I have a three year old son, and my ideas about learning have really been influenced by watching him learn and trying to feed his curiosity about the world, without helping too much. I think one of the biggest challenges is to engage and let students be self-directed. Once you have their attention, students often want to become dependent on the teacher for answers, rather than use the teacher as a resource.

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