Technology integration is the use of technology resources — computers, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, digital cameras, social media platforms and networks, software applications, the Internet, etc. — in daily classroom practices, and in the management of a school. Successful technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is:
- Routine and transparent
- Accessible and readily available for the task at hand
- Supporting the curricular goals, and helping the students to effectively reach their goals
When technology integration is at its best, a child or a teacher doesn’t stop to think that he or she is using a technology tool — it is second nature or so to say — it compliments. And students are often more actively engaged in projects when technology tools are a seamless part of the learning process.
Defining Technology Integration
Before we can even discuss how to shift our pedagogy or the role of the teacher in a classroom that is integrating technology, it is important to first define what “technology integration” actually means.
Seamless integration is when students are not only using technology daily but have access to a variety of tools that match the task at hand and provide them the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of content. But how we define technology integration can also depend on the kinds of technology available, how much access one has to technology, and who is using the technology.
For instance, in a classroom with only an interactive whiteboard and one computer, learning is likely to remain teacher-centric, and integration will revolve around teacher needs, not necessarily student needs.
Still, there are ways to implement even an interactive whiteboard to make it a tool for your students. Willingness to embrace change is also a major requirement for successful technology integration. Technology is continuously and rapidly evolving. It is an ongoing process and demands continual learning.
Achieving Technology integration
Effective integration of technology is achieved when students are able to select technology tools to help them obtain information in a timely manner, analyze and synthesize the information, and present it professionally. The technology should become an integral part of how the classroom functions — as accessible as all other classroom tools.
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