So, I was thinking about how schools and teachers and administrators think what technology integration is, and what it actually is.

Seems that a lot of teachers think that just putting a kid in front of a computer and having them do SOMETHING, ANYTHING, is technology integration.

So, I thought it would be cool to compile a list of the things that are NOT technology integration, that teahcers and administrators think is technology integration.

First on my list: Having kids sit in front of a computer to do a canned math/science/lang arts online lesson like Ticket to Read...

What would you put on the list?

Tags: Holt, Tim, ed, integration, tech, technology

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Thinks like accelerated reader for sure are not really integration. Simply visiting most non-interactive web sites without having to navigate the web yourself are probably not integration. The teacher using all the technology himself/herself or using it only as a presentation tool is not integration...just a glorified overhead.

My last post, "Computers: They're Not Just for Games Anymore" was kind of about this.
Another program that our teachers sit a student in front of is Advanced Learning Systems.
Tim,
I tend to agree with you that most educators don't quite understand what integration is until they become comfortable with different tools and then realize the power in going beyond Powerpoint instruction and some of the seemingly trite tools.

I do, however feel there is value in some of the tech we tend to feel is simple or not actual "integration." Powerpoint, for example or programs that don't require kids to navigate the web to get to the exercise still teach important lessons. Powerpoint as a teaching tool can do a great job of engaging kids as well as offer them insight on how such a tool can be used for them and their future demonstrating their knowledge, and some of the most basic applications and exercises do well to cover many of the NETS for primary grades and also provide a needed engagement if done correctly.

So, while I tend to agree that tech integration can be more than it regularly is, sometimes considering base usage as "not integration" is just a tech elite-ism and can both discourage users at this level from pushing on and possibly remove this level of tech access from those kids who regularly get it. In my work, I try to celebrate the use of email as well as Google Docs and everything in between and I try to imagine how excited some teachers must have been when they first received their fancy new overhead projector or the use of Where in the World is Carmen San Diego. This perspective helps me to help others and keep it all in perspective.
I think that technology integration is more about how you use the resources and less about the actual resource. When you use technology to accomplish or help accomplish a "real" need, then I think that it is considered integration. Webquests are not technology integration, but rather teaching how to use technology. Podcasts are not technology integration, without a purpose. It is the purpose of the podcast use that will determine if it is integration or just using technology for the sake of using technology. Look at how we use computers in our jobs, this is what I consider to be technology integration. Some teachers use of presentations are an excellent example of technology integration, while others are very poor examples. It comes down to the How and not the What, at least in my opinion.
i agree with you paul.
how we use the tool makes the learning process more meaningful which leads our students to be become life-long learners.
Replacing lame teacher lectures with lame lectures by some other teacher on a screen, dvd or YouTube video.

We must really work to engage, individualize and focus education experiences for our students and for ourselves. How insulted would any of you be if some one sat you in a room turned on a trite video forced you to watch it with a lame worksheet and never asked you what you really thought about what was being presented or why or how it might impact your real life? Technology integration ought to be about enriching the student learning experience - enabling the application of multiple intelligences to learning - delivering the learning experience in such a manner that a wide range of possible learning modalities are addressed so that everyone regardless of their dominant learning style can take something away from every learning experience.

Maybe we could do better if we had more consistent support in the arenas of content development and the like.

Pre-searched structured exercises that merely ask for click and read and fill in a blank on an electronic or paper worksheet is not technology integration- it might be a first step, but it is just a beginning.

Making *.pdf's of worksheets for students to print at home and fill out is not technology integration - it might be a first step, but it is just a beginning.

Insisting on not trusting students to use electronic resources constructively and keeping them out of valid learning spaces because they might see something like what they see on broadcast TV on a daily basis or that might challenge their thinking about a subject but providing spoon fed pre-digested dreck that challenges nothing and noone is not technology integration - I think that was just a thinly veiled rant... sorry

Throwing an hour of training on Frontpage at teachers and expecting them to create world class websites that will engage student learning on their free time and lunch hours is not tehcnology integration.

The result of the these and other nonintegration activities where computers are used to differently enslave the minds of children only serve to make lazy teachers and students who are completely unaware of the power of technological tools to change their lives and the world around them.

I experienced a school of about 1000 students Pre-k thru 12 that has a technology staff of more than 10 people both on the technical support side and educational technology side - that is working toward technology integration with great support and resources.
I tend to agree with Erik that tech integration can begin at the basics and work its way up. Differentiating instruction to meet multiple intelligences is key. Giving students the opportunity to use an on-line tutorial (Plato) instead of a textbook is indeed integration. The teacher needs to have specific objectives that the activities will address. Don't rule out using computers as tutors as a means to differentiate instruction. Also, it depends on the level of the student using the technology. Does the lesson match NETS standards? For these reasons I tend to disagree with you on this one, Tim. Integration can happen on all levels from Powerpoint to Moodle.
Two small thoughts: After 25 years teaching gifted kids, I'm familiar with all the dos and donts of differentiation. A meaty, relevant and real curriculum taught and processed at a faster pace may fill the bill, the kids my not need different just a heck of a lot faster.For example, it could be as easy as allowing your gifted readers to read the material silently rather than make them sit through a whole class read a loud.

Two, I think one of the coolest things about the internet is the availability of primary source documents and they are an easy integration to any related curriculum.
displaying worksheets with a document camera
I don't think I'm sure what the purpose of such a list would be. I find that even simple technology used appropriately to best reach all learners and with specific goals is worthy of the name "tech integration." Is what you're looking for some sort of progressive list where the latest and most different are deemed "tech integration" worthy? I imagine that if we were to open our minds we might find some great uses for overhead projectors and ditto machines, but certainly if we limit our tools by making some technology "good" or "bad" then we are truly shooting ourselves in the feet as teachers working to use technology to it's best level. We should be focusing on teaching methods rather than blaming the tools any failed lessons.
I believe that there are different levels of integration, just as there are different levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. They all have their place in the education world, but where do you want them to spend the most time at? Obviously we are shooting for higher order thinking and using technology to apply and demonstrate those upper levels is where we like to be at most often. Entry level grunt stuff, has its place and purpose in the classroom, but let's not waste all of our time and technology resources on it exclusively.
I think Study Island is another example to go along with Advanced Learning Systems, etc. Not tech integration but the teachers don't see it that way. Sure, getting to read and respond individually at one's own pace and then play a game may motivate some students but that is not what I think of when I hear the words "technology integration." For example, when I go to the "technology committe" meeting and the only things discussed are what hardware/software we can buy for teacher use, does that promote technology integration? Maybe on the teachers' part but I think we are really talking about student use of technology, at least that is what we should be talking about. I did convince the committee to purchase 3 mini-camcorders. Now I just have to convince the teachers to allow the kids use them to show what they are learning!
Sandra

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