A fundamental challenge for many teachers is using computers to create innovative learning experiences for their students. During my work as an instructional technology specialist, I have found that there are four questions not raised or answered as schools begin to implement instructional technology. These questions could affect the way teachers see technology integration, use computers, and embrace the changes that occur as technology is placed in their classroom.
What is technology integration? A common misconception is that educators know the answer to this question. Teachers are often expected to integrate technology without having a working definition of the concept. Technology integration is not simply using the computer as a “tool.” This view of the computer as a tool misleads educators by implying that computer technology is like any other tool, i.e. black board or overhead, which requires little or no training or may not need to be used. Also, the concept of “computer as a tool” allows educators to continue implementing traditional, subject-based, teacher-directed lesson plans where the computer remains an “educational add-on”. In other words, technology integration is not:
Technology is integrated when it is part of the daily activities that take place in the classroom. It is used in a seamless manner to support and extend curriculum objectives. The primary goal is not to use technology for the sake of using technology, but to use technology to engage students in meaningful learning and assess their understanding of a particular topic. Technology enriches an activity and enables students to demonstrate what they learned in new and creative ways.
Technology integration happens in a specific type of learning environment. Most educators think that technology integration occurs in learner-centered classrooms where the teacher acts as a facilitator. There are seven characteristics of a technology enhanced learning environment. Active : Students participate in active processing of information. They are responsible for the results and may use the computer as either a cognitive or productivity tool to achieve those results. Constructive : Students integrate new ideas into their prior knowledge to make sense or meaning. They use computers as cognitive tools or to produce student media. Collaborative : Students work in groups in which each member contributes to the group’s goals, and they work to maximize each other’s learning. Using computers for conferencing of using software that supports cooperative work facilitates collaboration. Intentional : Students are trying to achieve cognitive goals and objectives. Computers allow students to develop activity organizers and use software that supports the goals and objectives they are trying to accomplish. Conversational : Students benefit from being part of a knowledge building group in which they exchange ideas and build on each other’s knowledge. The internet, e-mail, and videoconferencing extend the group learning beyond the walls of the classroom. Contextualized : Students encounter assignments that are situated in real-world tasks or simulated through problem-based activities. Simulation software can reconstruct scenarios for student analysis. Reflective : Students can reflect on the process completed and the decisions made during the learning activity and articulate what they have learned. Computers are a cognitive tool that enables students to demonstrate what they know (or have learned).
In order for teachers to integrate technology into their teaching, they and their administrators must understand the common barriers to technology integration and need to be prepared for the changes caused by integration. The barriers to technology integration are:
Teachers need time to learn how to use both the hardware and the software. Time to plan and collaborate with other teachers.
Training is also a concern. Some educators do not have local training options or the time to attend training.
Lack of resources also presents a problem. Without computers in the classroom and appropriate software to support the curriculum, integration cannot take place.
Support is critical as well. Lack of leadership, financial support, or an on-site technology expert sends many integration efforts into a tailspin.
There are five stages of technology integration: entry, adoption, adaptation, appropriation and invention. Technology cannot be integrated overnight. It can take years to complete. Each stage has its own characteristics of change and support requirements.
At the entry phase, teachers use primarily text-based materials. Instruction is traditional, with teacher-directed activities. As teachers try to integrate computer technologies into the traditional environment, teachers may encounter problems with discipline and resource management. Teachers may also experience technical problems or issues. The support needed for educators at the entry stage includes providing time for planning with peers and opportunities for staff to share experiences.
As teachers move into the adoption phase, they begin to show more concern about how technology con be integrated into daily lesson plans. Traditional whole-group seat work still dominate instructional strategies, but technology is now being used to teach children how to use technology. Common activities include keyboarding, word-processing, and drill-and –practice activities. Teachers begin to anticipate problems and develop strategies to solve them. At this stage technical issues still exist, but teachers begin to perform basic trouble-shooting on their equipment, i.e. fixing paper jams or changing the ink cartridge in the printer. Technical support and training for computer-assisted-instruction and word processing software are still necessary at this stage.
At this stage, adaptation to and integration of new technologies into traditional classroom practice occur. Lecture, seat work, and recitation continue to dominate traditional classroom practice. Now 30% - 40% of the school day students use work processors, databases, some graphics programs, and computer-assisted instruction packages. Teachers have learned to use computers to save time rather than create new demands. Four support issues with the adaptation stage. Encourage peer observation and team teaching, and develop a schedule that permits these activities. 2) Introduce and discuss alternative pedagogies. 3) Train staff to use software tools such as spreadsheets, databases, graphics, hypermedia, and e-mail to increase productivity. 4) Introduce video discs and scanners.
The appropriation stage is more of a milestone than a stage. Teachers’ personal attitudes toward technology change. They understand technology’s usefulness and apply it as a tool to accomplish real work. There is more interaction between students and students frequently work with computers. There is evidence of project based instruction, collaboration and cooperation, and creative scheduling. At this stage, routine peer observations and group discussions should occur. Discuss alternative methods of assessment. Encourage professional growth through conferences and presentations. Finally, examine technology integration goals. Encourage routine peer observations and group discussions. Discuss alternative assessments. Encourage professional growth through conferences and presentations. Examine technology integration goals.
The pinnacle is the invention stage. Teachers experiment with new instructional patterns and ways of relating to students and other teachers. They reflect on teaching and question old patterns of instruction. Teachers begin to see knowledge as something that students must construct rather than something that to be transferred. Interdisciplinary project-based instruction, team teaching, and individually paced instruction are hallmarks of this stage. Classroom interactions change. Student experts surface to assist their peers and teachers with technology. Students work together in more collaborative ways to assist their peers and teachers with technology. To support teachers at this level, advocate collaboration between teachers and encourage teachers to write about and publish their experiences. Create an on-going support system with others outside the district through e-mail and the Internet. Finally, integrators should share their knowledge by mentoring other teachers.
Educators have been struggling with technology and integration models for the past decade. The dissemination of hardware, software, and integration training has been slow.
Addressing these four essential questions can help educators define their expectations for technology integration. Creating a common vision of what technology is and where it happens begins the journey down the integration path. Equally important are recognizing the barriers that will take place. Classrooms where students are fully engaged in meaningful learning using a variety of instruction technologies to meet their goals are electrifying.
Addressing these four questions early on can help educators define their expectations for technology integration. Creating a common vision of what technology integration is and where it happens begins the journey down the integration path. Equally important are recognizing the barriers that will surface Remember, technology integration is a growth process. It takes time!
7 8.directo -technology integration
Stages of Technology Integration Mr. Augosto M. Directo Ms. Shangmae N. Batanes
Four Common Questions <ul><li>What is technology integration and what isn’t it? </li></ul><ul><li>Where does technology integration happen? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the barriers to technology integration? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the stages of technology integration? </li></ul>
Technology integration is not: <ul><li>Taking students to the computer lab once a week for 40 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Using the computer as an electronic worksheet </li></ul><ul><li>Using the computer as a reward station for students who are finished with their other assignments </li></ul>
Technology integration is: <ul><li>Part of the daily activities taking place in the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting and extending curriculum objectives in a seamless manner </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging students in meaningful learning </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling students to demonstrate what they have learned in new and creative ways </li></ul>
Traditional vs. Integrated <ul><li>Teacher-oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Single-sense stimulation </li></ul><ul><li>Single-path progression </li></ul><ul><li>Single media </li></ul><ul><li>Isolated work </li></ul><ul><li>Information delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Passive learning </li></ul><ul><li>Factual, knowledge-based learning </li></ul><ul><li>Reactive response </li></ul><ul><li>Isolated, artificial content </li></ul><ul><li>Student-centered </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-sensory stimulation </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-path progression </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-media </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative work </li></ul><ul><li>Information exchange </li></ul><ul><li>Active/exploratory/inquiry-based learning </li></ul><ul><li>Critical thinking and informed decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>Proactive/planned action </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic/real-world context </li></ul>
Adoption Phase <ul><li>Concern regarding integrating technology into lesson plan </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional methods still dominate instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Technology used to teach students how to use technology </li></ul><ul><li>Begin to perform basic trouble-shooting on equipment </li></ul>
Adaptation Stage <ul><li>Integration of new technologies into traditional classroom occur </li></ul><ul><li>Learned to use computer to save time </li></ul><ul><li>Support issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible schedules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce and discuss alternate pedagogies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Train staff to use software tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce videodiscs and scanners </li></ul></ul>
Appropriation Stage <ul><li>Personal attitudes toward technology change </li></ul><ul><li>Understand usefulness of technology </li></ul><ul><li>More interaction between students is observed </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence of project-based instruction, collaboration, cooperation and creative schedules </li></ul>
Invention Stage <ul><li>Experiment with new instructional patterns and ways of relating to students </li></ul><ul><li>See knowledge as a construction process instead of a transfer process </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary project-based instruction, team teaching, and individually paced instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Students work together in collaborative ways </li></ul>
Teachers are being asked to change in two ways: <ul><li>Adopt new teaching tools </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Computer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Internet </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Change the way they teach their students </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The role they play in the classroom </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The way classrooms are physically arranged </li></ul></ul></ul>
Educators Must: <ul><li>Define expectations for technology integration </li></ul><ul><li>Create a common vision of technology integration </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize the barriers that will surface </li></ul><ul><li>Plan to address changes that will occur </li></ul>
Technology integration is a growth process… It takes time!