22 May 2008

0 You and the Cube: A Partnership

Many educators have a common misconception of “what is” technology integration. Often educators are expected to integrate technology without having a definitive concept of the working definition. According to EdTech Connect, (1999):

“Technology integration is the process of teaching technology (technology education) and another curricular area simultaneously. In addition, it is the process of using technology to enhance teaching for learning (educational technology). Technology integration is not about purchasing/selecting the "right" piece of hardware and software; but rather using technology to enhance student learning.”

Integration is not the placing of computers in the classroom with educators whom lack training; or the creating of learning modules that are not content–curricula specific. Furthermore, integration should not be seen as a “filler” or a split from the learning objectives – although it should allow the curriculum to drive technology usage, in lieu of having technology drive the curriculum (Dockstader, 1999).

Technology integration involves purpose, collaboration, and enhances the student learning which both supports and extends the curriculum objectives. It allows the student to advance beyond knowledge and comprehensive learning, to one of application/analysis of information.

Kids in Charge of their own learning? Find out HOW in Techie-Bytes next posting!

17 May 2008

0 Why Technology?

It’s Everywhere and It’s Here to Stay

The 21st century is upon us and the need to change the role of the educator, in order to meet the demands of the technological future, are imperative. With accelerated demands from the educational system, educators will find it necessary to observe the individual student (and their needs) while modifying their past teaching format, of simply dispensing knowledge, to that of facilitating the learner.

The utilization of technology fosters collaboration among students promoting an engaged-learning environment, which may enhance critical/higher level thinking skills. Additionally, technology provides a hands-on cognitive experience which may:

  • Increase student fluency
  • Improve motivation.
  • Strengthen basic skills.
  • Provide relevance to a student’s life.
  • Present interactive feedback from peers/instructors.
In my experience as a classroom teacher, I have witnessed the positive impact technology has had on my students. Knowing this, and that the educational industry is (and has been) moving towards incorporating technology into a classroom setting, I believe the necessity to educate the student population and fellow educators is essential. Technology offers a vast array of learning opportunities to both the educator and student.

Technology has opened the door to a wealth of information that has the capabilities to enhance the educational structure we offer to our students. While it will eventually replace a teacher’s basic format, it will never replace the humanity, compassion and human interactions essential to a child’s well-being.

In order to develop the whole child, it is equally important to create a well-informed, well-educated staff…as well as promoting parental involvement.