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Technology Integration is a term used by educators to describe effective uses of technology by teachers and students in K-12 and university classrooms. Teachers use technology to support instruction in language arts, social studies, science, math, or other content areas. When teachers integrate technology into their classroom practice, learners are empowered to be actively engaged in their learning. See a PowerPoint Presentation [1] for more detail.

When technology is integrated into the classroom, educators are taking the constructivist approach to learning. Students are becoming the experts while the classroom environment is shifting from teacher-centered to student-centered. An educator who is not supporting student learning by integrating technology in the classroom is causing a disservice to students and the work force that awaits them.

The amount of available information is doubling every three years according to statistics.[2] By the time kids graduate from high school, today's students will have been exposed to more information than their grandparents were in a lifetime. It has been claimed that ninety percent of the technology we will use in the next decade has not been invented or currently there is no access to at the moment.


Paradigms Edit

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) [3] has established standards for students [4], teachers [5], and administrators [6] about the use of technology in K-12 classrooms. This professional organization is a leader in helping teachers become more effective users of technology in their teaching. ISTE espouses the following principal: The effective use of technology can help change the current educational paradigm in the following ways:

OLD PARADIGM NEW PARADIGM
Teacher-centered instruction Student-centered learning
Single sense stimulationMulti-sensory stimulation
Single path progressionMulti-path progression
Single mediaMultimedia
Isolated workCollaborative work
Information deliveryInformation exchange
Passive, receptive learning Active, inquiry-based learning
Factual, knowledge-basedCritical thinking, informed decision making
Reactive responseProactive, planned
Isolated, artificial contextAuthentic, real-world context


Constructivism Edit

Constructivism, is a crucial component of Technology Integration. It is a term that describes the process of students constructing their own knowledge through collaboration and inquiry based learning. Students learn more deeply and retain information longer when they have a say in what and how they will learn. Technology Integration is more than just putting computers in classrooms. It is imperative that teachers and administrators be trained to make good use of the computers and other equipment and software. Also, teachers must not be afraid to learn along with their students. Many teachers use a constructivist approach in their classrooms [7] assuming one or more of the following roles: facilitator, collaborator, curriculum developer, team member, community builder, educational leader, or information producer. See a Powerpoint presentation for more detail [8].


Edutopia Edit

Edutopia, [9] an online magazine from the George Lucas Educational Foundation [10] states: "When effectively integrated into curriculum, technology tools can extend learning in powerful ways. The Internet and multimedia can provide students and teachers with access to up-to-date, primary source material; ways to collaborate with students, teachers, and experts around the world; opportunities for expressing understanding via images, sound, and text".


Digital Cameras Edit

The use of Digital Cameras and Digital Media in K-12 classrooms is an excellent example of how "technology tools can extend learning in powerful ways." An ASU professor, Dr. Alice Christie, has worked extensively with multimedia in K-12 classrooms. Her Digital Media Resources [11] is a collection of examples of K-12 students using digital media, tips and tutorials, lesson planning and assessment, articles, opportunities for professional development, and free online materials to assist teachers. Her article entitled Language Arts Comes Alive as Middle School Learners Become Information Producers [12] is published in the Winter 2004 issue of Meridian Middle School Computer Technologies Journal [13]. An update of this article [14] includes three videos created by middle school students and their mentors.

Digital cameras, both video and still, can be used for a variety of presentations. For example, if used for giving a speech on a process, a student can show the process using video and still images. Incorporated into a PowerPoint presentation, the speech would have a multi-media visual aid. This would make it more convenient to present topics on subjects that could not be illustrated in the classroom--things like shoeing a horse or rock climbing. Students are also able to use still digital camera shots to show students' work on the daily announcements that are viewed on the television throughout the day. They could also use digital cameras, video or still, in creating a student commercial type broadcast for upcoming events or past highlights. These could also be shown on the announcements.

Digital cameras are used in a variety of ways in the classroom. They are tools that are easy to use even in the lower grades. Third graders can use digital cameras to capture events that are happening at their school. The images can then be transferred into a school newspaper that is run by the students. Images can also be used for persuasive, narrative, and informational writing assignments. Specail Education and ELL students and can benefit a great deal from the use of digital photos and video. Having both written words and photos or video to go along with it can help these students to understand concepts by prensenting them in several ways. These students can also communicate their ideas effectively by having images to go with their writing. Creating vocabulary "books" for ELL learners and Special Education students is one type of digital media activity that can be completed in the classroom.

Digital media can be use in any phase of lesson, in introducing phase [15] of any topic, in task phase [16] [17], in research phase [18], in evaluation phase, and even we can use in giving specific examples to the class [19], explaining how different effects we can produce in a single software. Researches have found that as many as senses (eyes, ears) we are using in our classes, as much as productive response we are going to have in our classes. Take my example I use Digital media for produceing a special effect for Fashion Designing Website [20]. Many such examples can be found in Dr. Alice Christie students webpage [21]

The use of digital video in the classroom can be very beneficial. Not only do students have a chance to take charge of their learning, but its use allows them to express themselves in a non-traditional method. Some ways that digital video may be used in the classroom include:

Schools have began to use digital cameras more and more as they are educated in how they can be used effectively. The following website gives links to claymations, student activities, how to use digital cameras tutorials, and more; [22]

The use of digital cameras and digital video in a classroom can enhance the learning environment in a number of ways. By giving the students the opportunity to capture real-life allows them to directly relate to their learning. No longer are the left to imagine what something may look like or see something through someone else's eyes. Students can have an ownership over what they learn which in turn will give them a sense of attachment that can't come from a picture they see in a book. Also, using digital cameras and videos in the classroom challanges the student's creativity. Now that pictures are taken or video is filmed, what is the student going to do with it? The doors are open for a range of ideas and uses for the student's work. They can make movies, they can make photo galleries, they can implement their work into a PowerPoint; the list goes on and on. For some interesting ideas for how digital cameras and video can be used in the classroom, check out the following website [23]

Digital cameras can be used in other unconventional ways in traditional and non-traditional classrooms. Digital photography is an entirely new medium for students creativity. Through the use of photo-editing software, digital photographs become a new artform. Within seconds of taking a picture the artist/student is manipulating the picture as new means of expression.

One of the best things about digital cameras are the instant replays. If you don't get what you want the first time, just shoot it again! You are instantly able to see the picture you have just taken. Schools can also use digital photography to put photos of students in a database of names and pictures. This would be especially useful to a substitute. There would be no way that Bobby could say he was Timmy if the sub had pictures and names at hand. Photo seating charts would come in handy as well. In addition, if you use a digital camera to take pictures throughout the year, it is very easy to label, modify and catalog them. They can then be burned to a CD and sent to a yearbook company for publication. Sending one CD is a lot cheaper than mailing a ton of printed photos or rolls of film. Plus, the school has more control on exactly what photos are used and how they are enhanced.

Teachers need to stop thinking of technology as the goal and move beyond it to seeing information literacy as the goal and purpose. The value of technology lies in its ability to enhance student thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving. However, this only happens when the teacher uses technology and blends it into their everyday teaching. By emphasizing information, literacy we are showiing students how to think for themselves and help them understand how to interpret the information that is flowing into their lives.

Blogs Edit

Blogs (short for Web log) is a relatively new communication tool that integrates technology. This tool has widespread use due to the ease of publishing to the Internet through what is usually free software, such as Blogger [24]. This availability provides many possible uses in an educational system. One such use is a communication tool between teachers. Given the isolation from other adults most teachers face during the work day, and the time constraints on schedules after school hours; teachers can be hard-pressed to find time to collaborate and share ideas with peers. Having a common place to share ideas has the potential to support an educational system through an online professional learning community. Teachers who post entries on a web log are not limited to a single topic, but can reflect, argue, share opinions and their own experience, as well as read others’ postings to improve the quality of their teaching. This tool take time to use when considering the reading and writing that is involved, which may not be as effective as a face-to-face discussion. However, it does provide the opportunity to share or to learn from others in a virtual environment that does not have limitations to meeting times and place. Online learning communities can include members far beyond the confines of a school’s staff, district or even state or country. Blogging can be benefical to communicate among colleagues, especially since time is a factor. However, it may be difficult to speak freely since the information posted is public. It is not hard to write a better blog [25] . Simple guidelines helps a lot in developing good blog, no matter what your audience size is. Not only can blogging be beneficial for professionals to collaborate and communicate, it can also be a valuable tool for teachers to use with their students. Students, just as teachers, can post their ideas in a blog, as well as view and comment on other students ideas, creating both a constructivist environment and promoting peer-collaboration. (For instance, a language arts teacher can have students 'journaling' writing themes/ideas in a blog as a brainstorming activity, then at other times, students can view other writing ideas as well as collaborate with each other to further develop their ideas.)

Web Quests Edit

Web Quests are student-centered, Web-based curricular units that are interactive and use quite a variety of Internet resources. The purpose of a WebQuest is to use information on the web to support instruction in the classroom. WebQuests can be used to build context, provide background, assess learning or to provide the "meat" of a unit. WebQuests can integrate cross-curricular activities as well as appeal to mulitple intelligences. Also, these activities appeal to students because they can be constructed as project, problem or inquiry-based learning. There are thousands of WebQuests online [26] that can serve as models for constructing your own. There are many people who create or put together activities that they say are WebQuests, but in reality, do not fit the definition at all. Some have merely taken a paper and pencil assignment they have always done and put it into a form that utilizes pictures, video and graphics to spice it up and then call it a WebQuest. While it is commendable that they are trying, it does a disservice to true WebQuests.

A true WebQuest consists of an Introduction, a Task (or final project that students complete at the end of the WebQuest), Processes (or instructional activities), Web-based Resources, Evaluation of learning, Reflection about learning, and a Conclusion. WebQuests also provide Teacher Notes that show linkage to content and technology standards, additional resources for teachers, and hints on classroom management of the WebQuest. In Search of a Hero [27] shows how each of the components of a WebQuest fit and work together to provide students with authentic learning and assessment in technology-integrated classrooms. To view useful information about WebQuests, visit the following page [28] with extensive information about WebQuests. To view useful information about how to create a WebQuest visit the following link [29].

Wikipedia Edit

Wikipedia is a massive online encyclopedia. It is so popular that it is now one of the top 100 [30] web sites in the world. People find Wikis as easy as e-mail [31] and blogs [32]. By clicking an "edit" button on an article, you are able to contribute the article's text. You can add or change content in the article you are reading. Wikipedia is the largest and most popular wiki on the planet.[33] Teachers can use Wikipedia as a culminating project with their students. As a class project, students can research a specific topic, collaborate to bring their ideas together, then contribute their new knowledge within an article in Wikipedia.

A Technology Rich Classroom integrates technology with best teaching practices for optimal student-centered learning. Research indicates that certain technologies may be more valuable than others in the classroom. The most important hardware in the classroom includes: computer (one per two students), printers, and digital cameras, followed by: document camera, projector, cd player/burner, and vcr. In addition, interactive hardware such as a Smartboard and Smartnotepad also prove to valuable classroom assets. To view useful lessons for using a SmartBoard visit the following links SMART Board Resources and Using Electronic Whiteboards in Your Classroom. Vital software includes: a cluster-skills program (Microsoft Office) including word processing, web browser, presentation software, followed by: photo manipulation, Inspirations, and graphic application with paint capabilities. The advantages of a technology rich classroom are: student's technology skills improve, they worked more effectively on their own, and have more meaningful cooperative interaction. In addition, the teachers are able to construct more dynamic presentations and enhance student learning. To view useful ideas on how to integrate technology visit the following link [34].

Despite the push for more technology in the classroom, many teachers are still working with only one or two computers in their classrooms. This makes integrating technology and teaching needed technology skills a real challenge. A trip to the computer lab may or may not be feasible or even available within the schedule of the day. Creativity is the key to integrating technology and giving students the experiences necessary to be successful and responsible technology users. Some teachers are using their one or two computers for learning stations or as parts of larger group projects. To see some other ideas on how teachers are functioning in one computer classrooms read the article "One Computer Classroom."[35]

Virtual Field Trip Edit

A Virtual Field Trip is a website that enhances the curriculum by allowing the students to experience places, idea, or objects beyond the constraints of the classroom. Unlike traditional field trips, students have the opportunity to visit and explore worlds outside their own communities. Because the trip is virtual, there are no limits to the destinations and no restrictions on time. Other advantages include: no cost, no liabilities, and no permission slips or sack lunches. Teachers can bring new worlds to their students either by visiting existing virtual tours or creating their own. Vacations take on new meaning for teachers and students because they can "bring" the rest of the class with them through a virtual field trip. Students can be given "passports" to visit other countries such as Burma (an Asian country). [36] See the following links for other examples. [37]Grand Canyon Explorer [38]Explore a pyramid.

Not only can you take a virtual field trip online, but you can actually visit a location, take pictures or video footage and create a virtual field trip using other applications such as PowerPoint. Even if you are not a digital camera user, you can still use a film camera and scan your pictures into digital format. Virtual field trips are more flexible and can incorporate the personality of the creator rather than a rehearsed tour guide. They are easy enough to create that your students could share their holiday trip with the class. This is a great way to balance out the push for test scores with the desire to produce well-rounded students.

ePortfolio Edit

The ePortfolio is a promising framework for enduring learning, self-assessment and construction of value across a student's educational path. Learners learn by doing, and by constructing knowledge, meaning, ownership and value from the act of learning. An ePortfolio is a selection of work put together to show what a student has learned over a period of time. The student decides which pieces of work to include and how to present their work. Besides choosing pieces of work the student will write a reflection on what he or she learned through completing the work and creating the eportfolio. EPorfolios may be put together using programs such as PowerPoint and FrontPage. The program used to put an ePortfolio together must have the ability to link between programs and document. Teachers could also benefit from the use of ePortfolios. It could be used professionally as a self-assessment of what was accomplished within a school year. Components would include lesson plans, student samples, and a personal reflections of various tasks, projects, and/or assignments. Visit [39] and [40] for more information.

Understanding by Design Edit

Understanding by Design is a model that a teacher can use to develop a unit. The development begins with the assessment component. Here are some benefits of the UbD model:

  • promotes student engagement
  • start with the end in mind
  • provides design tools and template
  • encourages teachers to establish spirals of learning
  • can be challenging for many teachers
  • uses multiple methods of instruction
  • allows students to revisit and rethink ideas
  • uses a variety of resources
  • use of many strategies
  • active construction of meaning
  • samples or models are available for students
  • big ideas and essential questions are shared with students
  • authentic tasks rather than memorization
  • curriculum is structured rather than trying to cover material
  • focuses on understanding
  • establishes curricular priorities
  • incorporates six facets of understanding

Learners can:

  • Explain what they are doing and why
  • Describe the method in which their work will be evaluated
  • Engaged in activities
  • Describe the goals for the unit
  • Involved in self- or peer-assessment
  • Set goals

Drawbacks:

  • Lack of teacher training
  • Lack of administrator support/funding
  • Need for appropriate assessment
  • Lack of teacher confidence
  • can be challenging for many teachers
  • Lack of time and opportunity
  • Limited resources
  • Limited technological support
  • Non-reflective of daily teaching practices
  • Lack of personal interaction between students and teacher


The Need for Web Site Evaluations Edit

The amount of information being placed on the web is doubling every twelve months. Due to the rapid increase of information, it is essential that students know how to discern valuable sources. To ensure that students make valid educational choices, it is necessary to provide guidelines. These seven steps are an excellent resource.

  • Identify the right questions
  • Organize the search
  • Select appropriate search tools
  • Analyze online resouces
  • Synthesize, sort, and sift
  • Publishing new information
  • Get feedback


New Teaching Methodologies Are Needed Edit

In today's world of video games, cable and satellite tv, and high action digital video, teachers need to integrate technology in order to keep the attention of their students. The old methods of text book, pencil and paper are just not "flashy" enough for the "digital" generation. Students want to see their lessons on a big screen with action and sound. They want to be making PowerPoint and iMovie presentations. Now a child with a fear of speaking in front of their peers can make a presentation with a voice over and not worry about messing up the words or losing their notes. Technology is here to stay and teachers of all levels of experience need to realize this.

While the need for technology and equipment is obvious, simply throwing money at the issue will not solve it. The proper research and evaluation needs to be completed in order to address the needs of the staff and students. The first priority of a district is to evaluate how technology will effect the success of the students. They must also determine the experience and willingness of their teachers when it comes to implementing a technology plan. Teacher buy-in, planning time and training is vital to making any technology plan successful. It is easy to get trapped into a cycle of upgrading expensive software and hardware without assessing the needs. Also it is crucial to provide teachers with support and training to integrate the technology into their current curriculum instead of starting over. Jamie MacKenzie has written an article that further addresses this issuelink title.


Information Literacy Edit

Information literacy is a very important but also a very difficult concept for students to grasp. Anyone can post anything on the web. They can appear to be an expert, even if they know nothing at all. Students think that if it is on the web it must be true. Teaching them to evaluate the information they find is an important part of education today. A good starting point is asking familiar questions, such as: Who is the source? What am I getting? When was it created? Where am I (on the web)? Why am I there? How can I distinguish quality information from junk?

Our society is becoming an information age. This is changing the role of education from teaching information to teaching information management. In today's society, we have to be able to know how and where to find the information we need. The major problem today is not that we cannot find information, but that we find too much information. The amount of available information doubles every twelve months. We can become paralyzed by the amount of information we find. This can cause information overload and anxiety making the information lose all meaning for us. Educators need to teach students the skills to narrow the information from a tidal wave to a trickle that is easily used. For more information on the subject go to "We Have the Information You Want, But Geting It Will Cost You: Being Held Hostage by Information Overload". [41]

Although, the One Computer Classroom is not an ideal situation it can still work. There are different strategies that a teacher can use with only one computer available. One idea is to divide students into groups and allow each group a limited amount of time to accomplish a small task. Limiting the time will give them, at least, some experience with using the computer, especially if school is the only opportunity the students have to use a computer. Similarly, the instructor may use the computer as a station for independent skill development and assessment. Another idea is to use the computer as a presentation Station. This can be done by connecting the computer to the TV for display. The presentation station is a great way to grab and keep student's attention, as the instructor brings information to life. These are only two ideas of many that are available to those who are limited on the amount of technology they have access to. Don't be discouraged, the more you use it the more the students will love it!


Online Information Edit

[42] Anybody can post information on the Internet, making it possible to find "proof" of any ideas or beliefs you can imagine. Yet to many students, "If it's on the Internet, it must be true." How to find good information With millions of pages already published, and thousands more being posted every day, finding information can be daunting. Some online searches produce hundreds of results?and many legitimate-sounding Web sites may not be what they appear to be. A good start is to use dependable sources, such as bookmarks collections from library and educational sites. Evaluating online information The resources listed in the right sidebar include strategies to help students think critically about online information. Using the template The Five Ws of Cyberspace as a guide, young people can examine the authorship, purpose, perspective and presentation of Web sites, in order to determine their credibility. Deconstructing Web Pages provides a step-by-step application of the five Ws to an actual Web site?with some interesting results. And finally, Quick Tips for Authenticating Online Information offers some simple and effective strategies for assessing sites. The two background documents (Evaluating Internet-Based Information: A Goals-Based Approach, and Evaluating Internet Research Sources, by educators David Warlick and Robert Harris), provide strategies and templates for disseminating online information, and for integrating Internet research into classroom assignments.


Plagiarism Edit

Plagiarism is hardly a new issue in the classroom. However, the Internet makes it easy to locate ready-made information to cut and paste into research papers. That may make cheating a tempting proposition for some students. The Internet is forcing teachers to rethink how they assign and evaluate student research. For more information visit Plagiarism.org [43] Teachers can easily check for plagiarism for free by putting a phrase or sentence from a student's assignment in the Google search box, enclosed in quotes. They can also search at http://www.PlagiarismChecker.com/ Advanced paid services such as http://www.TurnItIn.com check for plagiarism by comparing students' papers with each other.

Copyright Edit

Copyright is a complex issue, especially as it concerns the Internet. However, there are some excellent online resources available. The Council of Ministers of Education, the Canadian School Boards Association and the Canadian Teachers' Federation have created a handy reference for teachers called "Copyright Matters!" And the Telus "2 learn" Web site has an extensive section on digital copyright called "What Every Teacher Should Know about Copyright." Links to these sites, and to the University of Berkley's "Style Sheets for Citing Internet and Electronic Resources," are provided in the right sidebar.


Purchasing Technology for Schools Edit

A school can't simply buy and install technology and think that it is going to make huge changes. As the article, Beyond Technology*[44]) mentions, there are a number of things that have to occur in addition to the buying and installing of technology. Of all the reasons the author listed, teacher training and motivation is one of the biggest problems. There are still a large amount of teachers who prefer to teach in a traditional method and are unwilling and uncomfortable moving to more of a constructivist methodology. The authors strategy's for implementing and using technology were great explanations as to how the transition can be smooth. One interesting strategy was: Strategy 3: Invest in staff growth. The most powerful strategies to promote staff enthusiasm and competence are informal. Instead of falling into what I call the "software trap," we should offer a rich menu of learning opportunities that match the diverse styles, interests, and skill levels of our teachers. If there is an adaptation to accommodate the differences among teachers and their teaching styles, then it would be so much easier to implement and use technology efficiently.


Interacting themes Edit

[45] Integrate technology does not exist in a void. Its power lies in the ability to identify supporting concepts. Here are six ideas supporting information literacy:

  • Collaboration should be part of the learning process. Teaching interdependence is natural in the process of information literacy. Students as well as teachers must learn how to use technology as a tool for communication, creation, and collaboration. Learning as a team and how to work in partnerships are key.
  • The teacher's role as guide is essential. Teachers must take on the roles of motivator, mentor, and co-learner if they want to produce information-literate students. Acting as a mentor is critical. (See telementoring at the National School Network Exchange site.)
  • Ethics play a role in the development of information literacy. Students must understand the ethical issues raised by the use and misuse of the Internet. In addition to plagiarism, slander, and pornography, ethical issues include unlicensed copying of software (theft); flaming via e-mail (poor netiquette); hacking into school records (unlawful entry); and creating viruses that corrupt files (destruction of property).
  • Technology must become part of the curriculum. Students must develop an understanding of how technology influences our lives. Much of the material included in courses on communication, transportation, or production (tech ed) can be useful to students in a college prep curriculum that has little or no reference to technology. Unfortunately, many schools see tech ed and tech prep as a separate curriculum to be kept strictly apart from the college prep curriculum.
  • Students must learn communication skills, including presentation and motivation skills. They should be able to communicate with technological media -- text, graphics, video, and sound. They must learn how to arrange information and motivate learners with more than the written and spoken word. Understanding the motivation of providing and receiving information will be one of the great challenges of information literacy.
  • Visual literacy is essential. This includes knowing how to create, organize, and display print, video, audio, and graphics. Learning how to use color, style, placement, and font size are important. Once they understand specific content, students must learn to articulate their knowledge both visually and verbally. -- G.B. and D.L.


Beyond Technology Edit

Districts need to allocate all the funds necessary to successfully integrate technology. They need to take the initiative of training staff, focusing on how to bring information literacy skills and experiences into daily routines. Overall devoting more developmental time and attention to curriculum opportunities and teaching strategies. Here are ten effective strategies mentioned in the article Beyond Technology: Making a Difference in Student Performance

  • Put learning first
  • Build support
  • Invest in staff growth
  • Slow Down
  • Focus and Provide adequate resources
  • use assessment to steer programs
  • Shed the ineffectual
  • Remember the lessons of the past
  • Heed research
  • Ask good questions

Nortel LearniT Edit

Nortel LearniT [46] is a Not For Profit organization that provides free online training and resources for teachers to help move their teaching to a constructivist methodology that embeds the use of technology into core curricular learning. The use of technology allows the students to engage more deeply in their learning and create new content using higher orders of reasoning. This site provides streaming video tutorials on technology topics from using the Internet safely to Digital Video Production. In conjunction, it provides team-oriented hands-on lesson plans across the grades and core curriculum that link the technology into the classroom.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

The following websites provide information and examples of the use of digital video in the classroom:

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