Monday, July 6, 2015

Article Review #9: What Is Successful Technology Integration?

What is successful technology integration? (2007).  Edutopia.  Retrieved from:      

     The article, What is Successful Technology Integration?, defines technology integration as “when students are not only using technology daily, but have access to a variety of tools that match the task at hand and provide them the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of content.”  According to the article, technology integration also includes being open to change as it is constantly evolving, and so we, as educators, must constantly be learning.
     The article then proceeds to highlight several types of technology integration, or ways technology can become part of the learning process: on-line learning and blended classrooms, many project-based activities, game-based learning and assessment, learning with mobile devices, instructional tools like interactive whiteboards and student response systems, web-based research and projects, students created media like podcasts and videos, collaborative on-line tools such as Google Drive, and using social media to engage students.  As I reflect on these types of technology integration, many of these are the trends we have been discussing in class.
     The article finally addresses two frameworks for technology integration, SAMR and TPACK; and it defines the levels of technology integration as sparse, basic, comfortable, and seamless. 

     I believe the 21st century learner is doing more with technology than ever.  I look at the technology integration trends above, and I realize how important the need is for educators to stay current with technology as we navigate this ever-changing world.  If it hasn’t already, this will become a mark of an exceptional teacher. 
     As we move to 1:1 technology integration in my district, I can’t help but think about how the roles of the teacher and students are shifting.  Believe me, I strongly support that a teacher and her students are what is central to the classroom.  However, as students take on the roles of explorer and discover with technology, the teacher’s role will become one of a coach or facilitator.  That can be a challenging role for a teacher to take on, especially when she is not accustomed to it.  In today’s educational system, teachers have a lot at stake, and allowing the students to lead themselves and make many of their own decisions with technology at their side can provide some worries.  But what remains is the need to prepare our students with the skills to be successful in the 21st century workforce.  Technology is indeed a tool educators can use to help make that process seamless.

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