Integrating Technology and Teaching

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Integrating Technology

I have spent a good deal of time going through some suggested websites and url's in order to determine what exactly is meant by technology integration, as it pertains to teachers and learners. Here are a couple of my observations and a brief synopsis of the items I reviewed.

I started by downloading the ICT complete program, although it turns out you can also access it directly by going to the Alberta Education website. The Website is also a goldmine of material for examples of integrating the ICT outcomes desired into subject and grade specific learning objectives.

I also reviewed some of the sites ostensibly to "learn" powerpoint. The first couple of them were not specific to Macs, and the last one, though it had a Mac version of the tutorial, was for a version of Powerpoint that was too old to make much sense. Oh well. If anyone knows about a good website to learn about Powerpoint for Office X for Mac, other than the official website at http://www.microsoft.com/Education/MacOfficeTutorial.mspx I would appreciate it. I did a search but didn't see too much.

Anyway, what constitutes good technology integration in the class and what constitutes bad integration? Do we mean integrating Hard and Soft technologies, like the ones talked about on page 2 of the introduction to Illustrative Examples to accompany Information and Communication Technology Interim Program of Studies Grade 7 to Grade 9, September 1998 at
the link on the sidebar called Alberta Education.
Or do we mean integrating the outcomes of the ICT Curriculum with Outcomes for a particular subject area in the curriculum, as the ICT philosophical statement suggests? "The ICT curriculum is not intended to stand alone, but rather to be infused within core courses and programs". The quote comes from page 1 of the ICT Program.

Ideally in order to successfully integrate the technology available to us as educators, we need to concentrate more on using it as a means to an end. Technology should support and augment the required disciplines for successful transition through core curricula by the students, in order to encourage them to learn by exploration and without the risks inherent to students of performing higher level learning processes in front of their peers. It should also allow them to communicate more rapidly with peers and teachers, like what we are doing here.

Teachers for their part will want to allow new technology to give feedback in a more timely way, and to encourage students to explore in more meaningful, creative directions, spontaneously, and in the direction that the students interest takes him/her.

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