Integrating Technology in the Classroom

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Discuss three changes evident in the twenty first century learner. Explain one implication of one of the changes for teaching and learning and one policy decisions. Using relevant examples explain, three ways in which integrating technology in teaching and learning will improve the quality of education for our students.

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Integrating Technology in the Classroom

  1. 1. Educational Technology
  2. 2. Question Discuss three changes evident in the twenty first century learner. Explain one implication of one of the changes for teaching and learning and one policy decisions. Using relevant examples explain, three ways in which integrating technology in teaching and learning will improve the quality of education for our students.
  3. 3. This essay serves to inform you the reader about the 21st century learner and ways in which technology can improve the quality of education for our students. The three points that I would like to expand on about the 21st century learner are; student-centred, communication skills and multiple sources of information. The other matter that I would like to address is how technology can improve the quality of education for our students. I have written three points; motivation, improve performance and accommodating (student’s age, learning styles, classroom environment and methods of teaching). Technology is now at the tip of our fingers, the information we need is no longer at a long walk to the library but it is in our homes, on our mobile cellular phones and other technological devices. The sooner we realize that we are living in the 21st century the less complicated life will be and the more productive and efficient our daily tasks will be. The first point that I would like to embark on is student-centredness. Students can’t be “taught” – they can only be helped to learn (Leo Jones, 2007). Student-centred learning, as the term suggests, is a method of learning or teaching that puts the learner at the centre (Boyer, 1990). This approach has many implications for the design and flexibility of curriculum, course content, and interactivity of the learning process. Instead of teachers spending pointless and irretrievable time, dispersing wide information and giving direct instructions to students, they are lead to discover concepts independently. The teacher acts as a facilitator couching the students as they work, while encouraging them, to develop their skills. In the student-centred classroom the teacher can focus more on students’ needs, interests, and learning styles. Example: if a teacher’s class is student-centred, that class will be more conducive to learning. If it is a large classroom, once the teacher understands each learner learning style (Visual, auditory-musical, linguistic,
  4. 4. Kinesthetic, mathematical, interpersonal or intrapersonal), he/she will be more able to attended to each student needs. In the 21st century classroom students, teachers and parents have a wider and more effective ways to communicate and connect with each other. According to The American Heritage Dictionary (1995) communication is the act of communicating; transmission, the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, writing, or behavior. A means of communicating, especially: a system, such as mail, telephone, or television, for sending and receiving messages; a network of routes for sending messages and transporting troops and supplies. Students possess diverse range of skills to express themselves not only through paper and pencil, but also audio, video, animation, design software as well as a host of new environments (e-mail, Web sites, message boards, blogs, streaming media, etc.). They are presented with newer and improved communication means such as; social networks (facebook and tweeter), video calling applications (skype and oovoo), blogging. Example: students can use video calling applications to complete group assignments. The advent of these social networking sites provides students with the opportunities to interact with other people through the internet; it becomes easier for shy people or those who have low self-esteem since they don’t have to talk with people face to face. They can share and learn about other countries culture, people lifestyle, places of interest and many more.
  5. 5. Multiple sources of information In the 20th century the main source of information for both teachers and students was the customary textbook. The teacher would go chapter by chapter and page by page. While in the 21st century there are wider, more efficient and more effective sources of information eg. journals, interviews of experts, videos, magazines etc. The various sources where students may peruse to acquire data for an assignment or as a past time activity has lend itself to numerous and varied writers thoughts, opinions and ideas. Most importantly these sources once properly referenced provide information that are current, authentic and reliable. Implication of one of the changes for teaching and learning. If the 21st century teacher should accept the 21st century learners and their diverse learning styles, the learners will be more interested in their classes. If a teacher in the 21st century classroom should divert a little from the customary text books that are been used in schools and integrate other sources of information such as; journals, videos and magazines the students will be eager to learn and participate in classroom activities. If the 21st century teachers should allow students to take their own sources of information to class there will be a variety of information circulating in the classroom, different meaning for words, drawing, and multiple concepts.
  6. 6. Three ways in which integrating technology in teaching and learning will improve the quality of education for our students Technology is everywhere it touches every aspect of our lives, our communities, our homes. But at the same time, it is not integrated in the school curriculum as it should be. Integrating technology in the school system doesn’t mean that teachers are going to have computer classes separately. Technology should be infused in their lesson plans changing the way how teachers teach, helping them to have effective, active and creative ways to reach each student and their different learning styles. Some may question if technology can motivate students, but I say it can. Integrating technology into the classroom will grab the attention of the students longer than the customary chalk and talk. The attendance of some students may be improved, due to the fact that they are having new experiences and more creative ways of learning and expressing themselves using electronic devices. With the improvement of attendance of the students, and their attention in the classroom there is no doubt that there will be improvement in academic areas. Motivation arousing from technology in the classroom students will be more active and eager to learn. While the students are more active and eager to learn they will engage in more classroom activities such as; discussions, answering questions, giving their views on a particular subject, thus raising the thinking skills. With the full cooperation of the student in the classroom the lessons will be easier for the teacher and the students. The technology in the classroom may become an extrinsic motivation for the students. Over a period of time this extrinsic motivation will be converted into intrinsic motivation.
  7. 7. In addition, technology improves performance for teachers and students, in and outside of the classroom. In the technological inclined classroom the teacher has more opportunity to act as a facilitator. If the teacher knows how to use the right technological device in his/her classroom the only thing that teacher has to do is coach as her duty will be guiding each student in the desired path that the teacher wants them to go. Technology facilitates all learning styles. Technology allows the teacher to move away from the common chalk and talk classroom to a more doing class. The kinesthetic learners will be able to shine more because they are able to click on the computer or move something. Students who are more kinesthetic learners will improve greatly in the classroom. Accommodating Student Age Teachers must also consider the ages of the pupils they will be educating when selecting teaching materials. If the materials are not at the appropriate level for the students they will teach, the students will either find the materials too easy or too challenging, leading them to stagnate or frustrate. With the use of technology in the classroom the teacher can introduce games or quizzes to the students where they can choose a level that best fits them. Learning Styles Different materials reach students in different ways. When selecting materials, teachers often consider the ways in which their current students learn best. If a teacher has a classroom with visual learners, that teacher may choose to invest more in visual technology programs such as paint or moviemaker. Similarly, if they have a class of linguistic students the teacher may
  8. 8. introduce them to writing and editing programs. With the use of technology in the classroom is address each student’s different learning styles more will be achieved Classroom Environment A teacher should decide what type of classroom she wants. Some teachers prefer that their students work quietly and independently. Other teachers like to allow discussions among students. Another consideration is the teaching style of the teacher. Technology allows a teacher’s class to be whatever he/she wants it to be. But most of all it allows a student-centred classroom with the teacher acts as a facilitator, to coach the students. In the technologically inclined classroom the students are introduced to new methods of teaching, viewing and displaying their work. With the use of a multimedia projector the students will not see simply bigger pictures but how a process actually works. Example: if a teacher is doing a topic on digestion the students will be able to see how the digestive system really works, in a better way than them just looking at a picture in a book. With the use of interactive DVDs students the multimedia projector allows the students to use a wider variety of resources Students will be able to express themselves through different mediums (pictures, songs, videos) I t can be concluded that the classroom and the learners have changed radically. With the knowledge of technology learners have multiple ways of interpreting and expressing themselves. The sooner the 21st century teachers accept that classes should be expanded beyond the black board and white chalk the sooner they will realize the competence of their learners and what they can really do with a little motivation.
  9. 9. Reference Al-shammari, z. (2011). Does integrating technology-based attendance into teacher education program improve student achievement in kuwait?. College student journal, 45(4), 839-846. From http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=496acd29-65a2-48e6-a64612e1e34fccd2%40sessionmgr4&vid=1&hid=20&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=afh&AN=77305734 Boyer, E.B. (1990). Scholarship Reconsidered. Priorities of the Professoriate. (New York, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching) Glass, s. (2005). Integrating educational technologies into the culinary classroom and instructional kitchen. Online submission. From, http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtS earch_SearchValue_0=ED495295&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED4952 95 Edutopia Staff, (2008). Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?. From, http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction Prensky, M, (2001). Digital Natives Digital Immigrants. From, http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/prensky%20%20digital%20natives,%20digital%20immigrants%20-%20part1.pdf Tappenden, K., Winkelmes, M., (2012). Characteristics of a 21st Century Classroom. From, http://nsdcff.wikispaces.com/file/view/Characteristics+of+a+21st+Cen tury+Classroom_Sample.pdf (2011, January 9). Technology Improves Performance At McGrath. From, http://jamaicagleaner.com/gleaner/20110109/news/news5.html

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