Technology integration can be define as teachers using technology to develop students’ skills. Integrating technology into our classrooms is important and essential at this point because of the modern use of technology. Technology not only allows student to acquire basic skills but it helps them prepare for the real world as well. Many jobs now use technology and students can use the experience they have learned in school to have some knowledge in these areas. Technology allows more resources for students and teachers. It also allows them more creativity. “The Web connects students to experts in the real world and provides numerous opportunities for expressing understanding through images, sound, and text. New tech tools for visualizing and modeling, especially in the sciences, offer students ways to experiment and observe phenomenon and to view results in graphic ways that aid in understanding. And, as an added benefit, with technology tools and a project-learning approach, students are more likely to stay engaged and on task, reducing behavioral problems in the classroom (Edutopia Team, 2008).” Integrating technology into a classroom will “provide each classroom with more interesting, diverse, and current learning materials (Edutopia Team, 2008).” Many believe technology can have a negative effect on a student’s learning but “properly used, technology will help students acquire the skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge-based economy. Integrating technology into classroom instruction means more than teaching basic computer skills and software programs in a separate computer class. Effective tech integration must happen across the curriculum in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process. In particular, it must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts. Effective technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is routine and transparent and when technology supports curricular goals (Edutopia Team, 2008).” Research has shown that the use of technology can help student learning there are barriers schools face that we have to take into consideration and resolve those barriers (Hew, K., & Brush, T., 2007). For example, resources, institution, subject culture, attitudes and beliefs, knowledge and skills, and assessment are some of the barriers. Strategies to overcome these barriers are having a shared vision and technology integration plan, overcoming the scarcity of resources, changing attitudes and beliefs, conducting professional development, and reconsidering assessments (Hew, K., & Brush, T., 2007). The biggest barrier schools face is resources. Without adequate hardware and software, there is little opportunity for teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum. Even in cases where technology is abundant, there is no guarantee that teachers have easy access to those resources. Access to technology is more than merely the availability of technology in a school; it involves providing the proper amount and right types of technology in locations where teachers and students can use them (Fabry & Higgs, 1997). Research has shown the positive effect technology has even though there may be some barriers research has found strategies to resolve these. A teacher’s job is to educate his or her students and help them reach their full potential academically. When technology is integrated it “changes the way teachers teach, offering educator’s effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means. It also enhances the relationship between teacher and student. When technology is effectively integrated into subject areas, teachers grow into roles of adviser, content expert, and coach. Technology helps make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun (Edutopia Team, 2008) so one can see why we should integrate technology into our classrooms.
Edutopia Team. (2008, March 16). Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many. Retrieved from Edutopia: http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction
Fabry, D. L., & Higgs, J. R. (1997). Barriers to the effective use of technology in education: Current status. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 17(4), 385–395.
Hew, K., & Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning: current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research. Educational Technology Research & Development, 55(3), 223-252. doi:10.1007/s11423-006-9022-5