Mrs. Ryan's Class

A Digital Learning Hub for students and parents

Make Tech Integration Work

Work…in every sense of the word:

Make technology integration WORK for you as an educator…

Make technology education WORK for your students…

Make technology education WORK as a successful tool to enhance and transform instruction…

Make technology part of the WORK of learning and creating.

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Using technology in the classroom should NOT feel like “just one more thing”. Purposeful technology integration can help you teach the required content while helping students acquire deeper levels of thinking and understanding.

One model to successfully integrate technology into your teaching is the SAMR model, designed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. In this model, teachers are challenged to integrate technology to either substitute, augment, modify, or redefine existing lessons.

The_SAMR_Model

Watch my video on the SAMR Model to learn more about how SAMR can work for you in your classroom.

 

 

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Getting started with technology integration

Technology integration in the general education classroom can feel like a daunting task for any educator. The first step is to try not to be overwhelmed by the immense amount of digital tools and resources that are available. A good place to start is simple by thinking about what you want to teach, and then decide how technology can enhance the objective or elevate some aspect of student learning.

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In the Eduopia article, Technology Integration Research Review, Vanessa Vega outlines three key elements of effective integration of technology. They are listed as:

  • “Students playing an active role in their learning and receiving frequent, personalized feedback”
  • “Students critically analyzing and actively creating media messages”
  • “Teachers connecting classroom activities to the world outside the classroom” (Vega, 2013)

In many ways, these indicators represent great teaching and student learning and could take place without the presence of technology. Technology, however, can enhance teaching and learning to make these elements more meaningful and accessible. I recommend that classroom teachers start by using technology to facilitate one of these key elements at first, and work towards full technology integration when appropriate.

Robert Marzano and John Hattie agree that at times, a lack of technology is appropriate to help students internalize content and make connections. These expert educational researchers have outlined multiple indicators of successful strategies for effective teaching strategies, and author Shaun Killian of The Australian Society for Evidence Based Teaching compiled a list of recommended teaching strategies called 8 Strategies Robert Marzano & John Hattie Agree On

Any teacher who wishes to enhance their content area teaching with technology should use this list of reasonable and realistic strategies to accomplish their teaching objectives. When I wrote the lesson plan Organisms in Our World, I chose three of Marzano and Hattie’s strategies to enhance an already existing lesson that I teach my third graders. I wanted to enhance my students’ experience with a real-world understanding of the Tundra Habitat so I used “Strategy 3: Get the Students to Engage With the Content” and included live stream videos from explore.org.

I also chose to enhance the content standard of the lesson, 3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all using Marzano and Hattie’s Strategy  7: Get Students Working Together by assigning mixed ability partnerships, and Strategy 5: Multiple Exposures by including video, note taking, and online research on kid safe search engines (www.juniorsafesearch.com, kidrex.com, kidsclick.com). Finally, students take an active role in working toward this content standard through collaborative online content construction on a class blog on edublogs.org.

It is imperative to align technology to content standards to help our students work toward their highest potential. Our world is more connected than ever, and technology can help students become an active part of their learning and their world. The use of free technology tools can help students make connections, construct knowledge, and share ideas with a large audience. Free tools and web-resources like edublogs.com and explore.org help teachers anywhere enhance their teaching and student learning.

 

References:

Edutopia. “An Introduction to Technology Integration.YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 17 May 2016.

Killian, Shaun. “8 Strategies Robert Marzano & John Hattie Agree On.” The Australian Society for Evidence Based Teaching. A+, 17 June 2015. Web. 15 May 2016.

Robert J. Marzano.Marzano Research. Web. 17 May 2016.

Vega, Vanessa. “Technology Integration Research Review.” Edutopia. 2013. Web. 17 May 2016.

“What Works in Education – Hattie’s List of the Greatest Effects and Why It Matters.” Granted and. 2012. Web. 17 May 2016.

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