541- Integrating Technology into the Curriculum

Using technology across the curriculum, in each classroom, is quickly becoming the standard. While my school district still refuses to install wireless connectivity because of possible security problems, every classroom in my building has at least one computer workstation, teachers were given the option to add five more (if they wanted to) and we have 3 computer labs in the building. There is no doubt that these children were born with computers and learn to use them at the same time they learn to read and write. A report from the Department of Education states “. A majority (56 percent) of students use home computers to play games. Forty-seven percent use computers to complete school assignments and 45 percent use computers to connect to the Internet” (DeBell and Chapman, p.5). Schools need to be prepared to use these tools to teach.

Using technology in the classroom has positive side effects. It can reduce behavior problems because students are motivated and actively engaged. An article from the educational website, Edutopia, states “New tech tools for visualizing and modeling, especially in the sciences, offer students ways to experiment and observe phenomenon and to view results in graphic ways that aid in understanding. And, as an added benefit, with technology tools and a project-learning approach, students are more likely to stay engaged and on task, reducing behavioral problems in the classroom” (Edutopia, 2008). Technology in the classroom can also raise self-esteem, as student work is easily showcased. In a research project from the U.S. Department of Education, researchers found that “Teachers talked about motivation from a number of different perspectives. Some mentioned motivation with respect to working in a specific subject area, for example, a greater willingness to write or to work on computational skills.  A related technology effect stressed by many teachers was enhancement of student self esteem. Both the increased competence they feel after mastering technology-based tasks and their awareness of the value placed upon technology within our culture, led to increases in students’ (and often teachers’) sense of self worth” (Singh and Means). Technology in the classroom is worth the trouble and the research doesn’t end there with the general applications.

Technology in specific subject areas has also proven to be more effective than the traditional model. In the Language Arts classroom: “Perhaps the most creative and prolific array of strategies and applications for enhancing teaching with technology is to be found in English and language arts” (Roblyer & Doerling 2007, p.283). In the foreign language classroom: “Technology can take assessment of oral language skills beyond casual monitoring of group work, in-class presentations, and sporadic oral language proficiency tests given by the teacher” (Roblyer & Doerling 2007, p. 301). In the Math classroom: “Through both systematic research and common wisdom derived by accomplished teachers, ample evidence exists to support strategies and learning of mathematics to increase student understanding and achievement”  (Roblyer & Doerling 2007, p. 319).

Technology can and should be used across the curriculum and the school building. Not doing so would be delinquent in our responsibility to prepare children to be citizens in the world.

Resources:

DeBell, Matthew and Chapman, Chris (2008) Computer and Internet Use by Students in 2003  Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/2006065.pdf

Edutopia (2008) Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction

Singh, Ram and Means, Barbara Technology and Education Reform Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/EdReformStudies/EdTech/effectsstudents.html

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2010). Integrating educational technology into teaching, (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. I like your comment about it being delinquent not to use technology is the preparation of citizens. An Edutopia article I read called technology “ubiquitous”. I certainly believe that is the case. If we do not prepare students in the use of technology, how do we expect them to use to when they move on to the next level? Additionally, I liked how you talked about the relative advantage in both general and then specific terms. I look forward to seeing your presentations!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Alex Greenwood on April 18, 2011 at 4:41 am

    That is such a shame that you don’t have wireless in your building. So many of my students have smart phones now. Although this can be a distraction sometimes, it can be a great educational tool and it has the power to engage students that wouldn’t necessarily care about what you have to say. The other day I was showing students how to use the vertical motion equation to model the flight of a projectile. A student asked me where a number came from in the equation. I was stumped, I just couldn’t remember. So I sent one student to research it on my laptop, and about 5 others furiously searched the internet via their smart phones for the answer to the question. The whole class got involved.

    Reply

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