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.
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/