Technology Integration: Essential Questions (Part 1)
This online resource seeks to answer essential questions practitioners or program administrators might have when integrating technology into the classroom.
The questions in the resource address a range of topics, for example, how is educational technology defined? How does it affect the learning process? What principles should guide one’s approach for integrating technology into instruction? Answers to each question contain hot links to further resources, information, and examples of the principles in practice. There are also tables that help the user sort information into a concise summation of particular topics. It should be noted that the website is directed at a K-12 audience with an emphasis on mathematics, however much of the information is relevant to the general topic of technology integration.
Note: The website also contains three other parts—Technology Integration Resources, Web Page Design, and Multimedia in Projects—which have not been reviewed by LINCS experts.
The resource is an informative summary of the theory and practice related to integrating technology into K-12 classrooms. This particular page within the Computing Technology for Math Excellence (CT4ME) site is primarily meant as a resource for K-12 mathematics classrooms and teachers, but the resource on technology integration could be useful to adult educators. The web site as a whole is “devoted to teaching and learning mathematics (K-12 and calculus), technology integration, and the standards movement in education.” Although math is featured in the section reviewed, most of the discussion about technology integration is not specific to math. The principles can be applied to any area of instruction.
The resource is rich in information and theory related to integrating technology into instruction. It provides references to authorities writing in traditional print journals as well as in digital media. Many links are provided to further resources, especially those relating to math (although reading is also presented in the context of reading math problems). Readers are invited to make their own contributions to the web site which is viewed as a dynamic (evolving) resource.
A strong point of the resource is that it provides the theoretical underpinnings of integrating digital technology into instruction. It stresses that technology should not be used for the sake of using technology but to improve instruction. It points out that technology usage outside the classroom (e.g., instant messaging, blogs, email, chat rooms, wikis, videos on cell phones) has already changed the way students learn. Table 1 shows how the theoretical base of instruction has evolved from behaviorism and cognitivism to constructivism to the new theory of connectivism. An adapted form of Bloom’s Taxonomy for digital learning is also quite interesting and available as a link from this web site.
Included within this resource is an overview that includes:
- Definitions of educational technology, technological literacy, and technological integration;
- An overview of the relationship between technology and learning processes;
- Courseware and content;
- Guiding principles and assessment for technological integration;
- Links to web sites that provide descriptions and video of examples of technology integration.
Again, while this resource focuses on younger students, this resource may be quite useful as an overview, and it also provides a discussion of social collaborative (Web 2.0) technology and research. Newer technology tools are also mentioned (e.g., mobile technology). This focus may be helpful to an adult educator who is exploring use of technology and online collaborative tools. There are myriad links to useful sites that are related to the overview that the site provides.
At the time of review, links to outside sources are up to date.
Note: This resource contains Google and Amazon.com advertisements and is a commercial site for the author’s consulting purposes. There is no fee or registration required to access the site. The advertisements appear to be relevant to the resource topic and are placed near the end of the text and in sidebar, and on the subtle-side, but are present. The Amazon.com ads point to books that are related to technology integration.
This site includes links to information created by other public and private organizations. These links are provided for the user’s convenience. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this non-ED information. The inclusion of these links is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse views expressed, or products or services offered, on these non-ED sites.