Effective technology integration
Effective technology integration occurs when it can be seamlessly integrated in support of learning objectives. Technology should only be used if it will enhance the learning. It should not be used for the sake of using technology. Mary Beth Hertz states that technology integration “is not taught as a separate class, but [is] integrated into the classroom. It also means that students use technology to learn content and show their understanding of content, not just their expertise with a tool” (Boss, 2011). “Technology can and does help students develop all kinds of skills– from the basic to the higher-order critical thinking ones. However, for technology to be successful, teachers need to make informed choices relating to pedagogical approach, students’ needs, and learning objectives. Just as important as what technology is used, is how learning can be enhanced through technology” (Strommen and Lincoln, 1992, p. 473).
My first reaction is that technology can be integrated into the ID process during the instructional design phase or during development of assessment instruments. However, merely incorporating technology into the instruction does not necessarily mean that it will be effective for student learning. There are many instructional models, such as the ID model, that specifically relate to effective technology integration and addresses the different phases of technology integration. “Identifying these phases will help teachers and administrators assess their utilization of technology” and help in the development of effectively integrating technology (Martinez, 2013).
Incorporating one of these models alongside the ID model in order to effectively integrate technology will benefit the teachers and ultimately learners as they intentionally plan for technology integration that will best support student learning. It may seem like a lot of extra work to incorporate two different models, but some models are pretty simple and look specifically at the technology integration aspect, whereas the ID process focuses on effective instruction design. Some of the models that are suggested to use are the TIP model, SAMR, and Tiers of Technology integration, among others. I like the TIP model. It has similar phases that correspond to the ID process, but are specifically related to technology integration.
During the first phase of the TIP model, the designer determines relative advantage of technology integration. “Teachers look at their current teaching problems and identify technology-based methods that offer good solutions” (Azman, 2012). This mindset can be incorporated into the ID model by having the designer think about technology early in the Instructional design process. The designer could look for specific steps in the instructional analysis that could be supported with technology. Also, as part of evaluating the learner and context, the designer could include evaluating the learners’ prior use and familiarity with technology, as well as including their ability/ comfort and access to technology. Technology-use can also be incorporated as an assessment tool and, therefore, can be included as a part of the development of assessment instruments. Technology integration within the ID process needs to be intentional and may even benefit from having its own separate step within the ID process that guides the designer to evaluate and select appropriate technology to be used in the instruction.
I also think in order to promote effective and efficient use of technology in teaching and learning, it would be valuable within the ID process for the designer to provide a rationale for the use of specific technology tools within the lesson. The designer should be able to justify their use of the technology tool in order to demonstrate its effectiveness. This also guides the designer’s vision of the use of the specific technology tool with the students. Along with that, there needs to be a review/evaluation of the effectiveness of the technology-use with the lesson. It would be beneficial if there were some sort of guideline or rubric set ahead of time to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology integration in the lesson. The evaluation could also be used at the end of a lesson to determine if/how the technology that was used added to the students’ mastery of learning objectives. These steps are usually included in one of the technology integration models, so as I stated before, I think the best solution would be to use a technology integration model in conjunction with the ID model. The first step should be to think about technology integration early in the ID process. Then once a technology tool has been selected, the designer should use one of the effective technology integration models to help “deliver effective professional development for integrating technology in the classroom” alongside the ID process (Martinez, 2013). That way the technology integration model focuses on the effectiveness of the technology tool in support of students’ learning, while the ID model focuses on the instructional design as a whole including the determination of objectives from a needs analysis and evaluation of the effectiveness of instruction to meet those objectives.
Azman, M. (2012). Foundations of Effective Technology Integration Models: Theory and Practice. prezi.com. Retrieved April 27, 2014, from http://prezi.com/3os_pii7-c96/foundations-of-effective-technology-integration-models-theory-and-practice/
Boss, S. (2011, September 7). Technology Integration: What Experts Say. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-experts
Martinez, M. (2013). Models for Effective Technology Integration. Education World:. Retrieved April 27, 2014, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/technology-integration-classroom-school-phases-stages.shtml
Strommen, Erik F. & Lincoln, Bruce. (1992, August). Constructivism, technology, and the future of classroom learning. Education and Urban Society, 24, 466-476.
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