What Is Effective Technology Integration?

I developed the following activity for one of the educational technology courses I teach. We talk about the below scenarios and questions during the beginning of the semester. I would appreciate hearing your answers to the questions and I’m sure the teachers in the class would find it helpful.

Consider the following scenarios.

A. A teacher keeps attendance and grade records on the computer.

B. Students use concept mapping software to help them organize information for a research paper.

C. A first grade class practices math facts while playing Number Munchers in the computer lab.

D. Students use the classroom computers to check their email and read the news at ESPN.com during their free time.

E. The teacher includes video clips of scientific principles in the real world that can not be easily replicated in the classroom during the lesson.

F. Groups of students work together to produce a podcast (audio) or vidcast (video) in which they critically analyze the events that led to the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

G. The teacher types and prints worksheets for students to complete for homework.

H. Pairs of students develop interactive games related to the Middle Ages using PowerPoint.

Please share your thoughts about these questions.

1. Which of these scenarios are examples of integrating technology with learning and instruction? Provide rationale for your responses.

2. What are some of the characteristics of effective technology integration in educational settings?

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Clif Mims is a Christian, husband, father, teacher, cancer warrior, and fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Memphis Grizzlies.

8 thoughts on “What Is Effective Technology Integration?”

  1. Hi Clif. I’m joining this conversation a bit late, but wanted to share a few resources that help me grapple with the “what is effective technology integration?” question. Both are more theory-driven, so it may be a stretch to find specific examples in real educational settings. The first is the TPACK framework. I’m guessing you’re familiar with it. Mishra and Koehler over at Michigan State view technology, pedagogy and content as being an inter-connected Venn diagram. In my opinion, this framework should be at the heart of any pre- and in-service discussions on technology integration. http://www.tpack.org/ is a great starting point for links to effectiveness, practical use and further reading.

    A fellow Iowa edu-blogger is attempting to connect learning theories with technology as well. His well scripted and ongoing thoughts on technology-heavy PD are found here: http://bit.ly/addkR

    None of these are my original thoughts, but thought they might add to your conversation. As always, keep up the great blogging.
    .-= Matt T.´s last blog ..Pedagogy is paramount =-.

  2. Clif,

    One of the resources that I like to use when working with classroom teachers on technology integration is the project that was done in Florida.

    The state has a Technology Matrix with examples for teachers to view (video clips) that was created by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida.

    One of the features of this matrix is that it considers the characteristics of the learning environment. The video clips show examples with 1:1 access or shared access. Our current cohort of elementary education teachers in the MAE program have had positive comments about this resource.

    The URL is http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix


  3. Great way to get staff to think through the goals they need to be setting for themselves for next year!

    E. Speaks to the fact that current information or dynamically changing info that is critical to a project might only be found via internet – great use of technology. It is acconplishing something that can’t be done any other way.

    F. Speaks to collabloration and verbal (and the script would count as written) communication, and the creation of new knowledge to to shared with others. Excellent use of 21st skills and technology.

    H. Ditto letter F

    Now I will start at the top:
    A.Teacher uses technology to be more efficient in grading, etc, and thus tech for teacher management may have payoff for students if she now uses more time to create innovative lessons. That’s giving benefit of the doubt……otherwise implication for learning is minimal.

    B.This is a good and legimate use of technology, necessary, but please don’t think your lesson for learning ends there. No 21st century skills noted.

    C.Again, drill is legit, but only a small beginning……

    D. Could be ok if supervised and allowed under school AUP – I’d rather see kids outside and getting some exercise and/or face to face socialization.

    G. Perhaps legit as part of a larger plan – solo, not so good. Where have you been?

    Interesting to see how others respond – I will be asking my staff to look at this to see if they agree with me! Thanks!


    1. Gail,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate your compliments and I hope you and your teachers find this beneficial.

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