What Does Technology Integration Look Like?
Technically, every classroom uses technology, in that pencils and paper are rudimentary pieces of technology. That’s not the type of technology to which I’ll be referring to here. For the purposes of this blog, the term technology refers simply to digital technology and electronic devices of various sorts.
Here are some (admittedly lame) examples:
- Digital projectors that project video onto a screen
- Student research in a computer lab
- Use of video or interactive digital activities like apps
Why Integrate Technology into the Classroom?
#1. Everyone else is using it.
You probably think that’s a stupid reason. Let me justify myself.
If you’re working in education in North America, the vast majority of your students are probably more knowledgeable about technology than you are. They live on their smartphones and communicate in entire dialects of Internet English that didn’t exist a decade ago. If you want your lessons to be relevant your students’ lives, you can’t ignore such a significant part of their culture and identity.
The likelihood is also high that your fellow teachers communicate via email at the very least. A lot of schools now take attendance online, and many now have digital components mandated into the curriculum.
#2. It can actually save you time.
You may not believe it at first, given the extraordinary amount of effort needed to learn the bloody thing, but it will eventually save you time, believe you me.
Take Moodle, for example. Free, open-source, wonderful piece of classroom management software. Not intuitive at first. But effective use of it enables a teacher to effectively deliver lesson content, foster student collaboration, and organise the class.
#3. It enables you to teach in new ways, and allows your student to learn in new ways.
Distance teaching with voice and video, SmartBoards that allow for digital saving of your presentations in class, interactive education websites … the list is endless.