Reasons to Integrate Technology

Posted: September 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

Part of the responsibility of educators is to prepare students for life and the job market.  This life is changing quickly and technology is everywhere, especially in the job market.  So, as educators, we must meet those needs and we must integrate technology into teaching and learning.  This post will be discussing the reasons for integrating technology, as I have mapped out in my mind map, as well as discussing which reason I feel is the most compelling.

One reason for integrating technology is for communication and feedback.  Technology has made it easy for parents to view students grades, email teachers, and get text notices from the school on upcoming events.  “Communication combined with technology can be called the backbone of social interactions.  Solid, reliable, and consistent networks of communication are essential to the success of any organization.  From an inter-office memo to e-mail or press via the internet, various forms of communication take place every moment of a workday via modern technology.” (Teaching and Learning with Technology).  There are also many ideas that help address the different ways students and teachers can communicate and collaborate.  Wikis, blogs, and podcasts can help with communication among peers, colleagues, and even strangers.  Blogs, for example, are the best way to start incorporating 21st-century tools into your plan for professional learning.  Writing your own blog about instruction can be equally as powerful. Blogging can help teachers/students push their own thinking—and have their thinking pushed by others. They respond to comments and link to other writers, connecting to and creating interesting ideas.  Finally, helpful websites like google docs can make sharing documents a breeze.  Google Docs provides many ways to go paperless through sharing and collaboration.

Another reason to integrate technology is to build valuable skills that students will use in college and in the workplace.  In the textbook “Integrating Technology in a Connected World” it stated that retention is low if students are not able to touch and to perform a skill many times through real-life learning experiences before they can master the skill (pg 20).  Through the use of technology, students can learn important skills of evaluating, creating, collaborating, manipulating data, and critical thinking.  When it comes to jobs in the future, one thing is for certain and that is technology and new career possibilities.  “Technologies like the Internet, cell phones, and personal computers are as common as breakfast cereal, but there was a time when people couldn’t even conceive of them,” says Dennis Guthrie, Ph.D., a researcher for the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan. “It’s obvious some of the commonplace technologies of tomorrow are either just in their infancy today or not even conceived yet” (Technology that is Changing the Future).  As these technologies develop, career options will also appear—in some cases, entirely new occupations—and jobs that already exist today will be performed in new ways.

Integrating technology can make common tools easily accessible.   How easy is it to email teachers if every student had an ipad?  Ipads can be a calculator, a camera, music, a dictionary or a drawing tool.  This is a “digital generation.”  Today’s students use different technologies to communicate and to access information from multiple resources.  All these accessible tools are on the students devices so that is what they are familiar with.  “Digital students now have a virtual world at their fingertips” (Integrating Technology in a Connected World, pg 15)

Finally, Integrating technology can have a profound impact on motivation and creativity!  I’ve been trying to work with technology more and more and I’ve had a Biology class that went one to one with ipads for a year.  I’ve seen the positives and negatives and I’ve had students describe to me their pros and cons.  Through my experiences, I feel that motivation and creativity is by far the most compelling reason to integrate technology.  For this generation of students to be able to learn effectively and productively in a global society, they must have a different set of skills and have the opportunity to create and generate more original ideas (Integrating Technology in a connected World, pg 17)  This should be exciting for teachers.  As educators we can let students choose fun and different ways of presenting projects and papers.  Making an i-movie, a corkulous board, a website, or an educational game.  Students will be wanting to work on assignments during lunch!  Different modes of teaching can motivate students and help them to invest in their own learning.  I whole heartedly agree that teachers need to be taught how to appropriately integrate the technology but students usually know more than adults.  They have been brought up in this digital society and are able to grasp technology easily.  The youtube video below shows a toddler running the iPad.

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So, my point is, that even if teachers aren’t 100% equipped or comfortable with teaching with technology, students are.  Give students a chance with technology, direction, and motivation and they will show us, as educators, just how creative they can be!

Works Cited:

Gary, Shelly, and Glenda Gunter. Integrating Technology in a Connected World. 7th addition. United States: Course Technology, 2012. Print.

Rowh, Mark. “Technology that’s Changing the Future.”College Xpress. n.d. n. page. Web. 6 Sep. 2013. <http://www.collegexpress.com/interests/science-and-engineering/articles/careers-science-engineering/technology-s-changing-future/&gt;.

“Technology as a Communication Tool.” Teaching and Learning with Technology. 18 02 2012: n. page. Web. 6 Sep. 2013. <file:///Users/shs120m-01/Desktop/Teaching and Learning with Technology: ….Technology as a Communication Tool”.webarchive>.

Wilson, Mike. Baby works iPad Perfectly. 2010. Video. YoutubeWeb. 6 Sep 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGMsT4qNA-c&gt;.

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