May 3, 2010
Let's first define what it is not. Integration is not putting computers in the classroom without teacher training. It will not happen without training. Integration is not substituting 30 minutes of reading for 30 minutes of computer skill development. It is, however, using computers to teach 30 minutes of reading. Integration is not providing application software like electronic encyclopedias, spreadsheets, databases, etc. without a purpose. It is not prepackaged programs that are often unrelated activities clustered around a particular topic that address few higher concepts or goals. Nor is it teacher created programs that cover special interests and/or technical expertise but do not fit content-area curriculum. Defining what technology integration is and is not is the first step in deciding how to integrate it into the classroom.
Now let's define what it is. Technology integration is using computers effectively and efficiently in the general content areas to allow students to learn how to apply computer skills in meaningful ways. Discrete computer skills take on new meaning when they are integrated within the curriculum. Integration is incorporating technology in a manner that enhances student learning. Technology integration is using software supported by the business world for real-world applications so students learn to use computers flexibly, purposefully and creatively. Technology integration is having the curriculum drive technology usage, not having technology drive the curriculum. Finally, technology integration is organizing the goals of curriculum and technology into a coordinated, harmonious whole.
Technology has become the number priority in our daily lives and as years go by it will continue to be so. Today everything that surrounds us is equipped with technology. When speaking of a classroom is very rare to find a class that has not...