Course 4 Week 2: Be able to define and defend your definition of technology integration
I think of technology integration as a process, without a definite ending. How could it end when there’s endless exciting innovation? The day schools no longer need the term “technology integration” will be the day that integration is happening seamlessly and ubiquitously among all teachers. I think of High Tech High as an example of such a school. Do you know of others? I would love to see examples of elementary schools with high technology integration.
Through COETAIL I have become familiar with the SMAR model and TPACT. Frankly, I found these ideas too theoretical and not sufficiently practical. For me Technology Integration Matrix is simpler to use, and more visual. I will print this matrix to assess how technology is integrated in my guidance classes with grade 5 next year.
As I was thinking about my own definition of technology integration, and searching online, I came across Stratford Public School’s working definition. This made sense to me. Here is what they say:
To clarify what the term integration means, one must first understand what it does NOT mean. Integration is NOT the use of managed instructional software, where a computer delivers content and tracks students’ progress. Integration is NOT having students go to a computer lab to learn technical skills while the classroom teacher stays behind to plan or grade papers. Integration is NOT using the Internet to access games sponsored by toy manufacturers or popular television shows. Integration is NOT using specialty software for drill and practice day after day. Integration does NOT replace a teacher with a computer.
Integration is when classroom teachers use technology to introduce, reinforce, extend, enrich, assess, and remediate student mastery of curricular targets.
Integration is an instructional choice that generally includes collaboration and deliberate planning—and always requires a classroom teacher’s participation. It cannot be legislated through curriculum guides nor will it happen spontaneously. Someone with vision—an administrator, a teacher, or a specialist—needs to model, encourage, and enable integration, but only a classroom teacher can integrate technology with content-area teaching.
Counselors, I would love to hear how you are integrating technology in your guidance classes. I will be closely involved with the Think Digital unit of the grade 5 social studies next year, where digital citizenship is heavily emphasized. Stay tuned!
*photo All Sizes by nouQraz found on flickr.