Getting started with integrating technology in the classroom can be a little overwhelming, however, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be and a good start is to know when to use it, or not. In his Classroom Q&A audio podcast, Larry Ferlazzo interviewed two instructional coaches and an elementary principal and asked for their perspectives on integrating technology into the classroom. Three great questions with a trove of knowledge is packed into this short nine minute interview, here’s the gist (responses summarized):
When asked “what is one important criteria teachers should keep in mind when deciding if they should use tech in a lesson and why?” (Ferlazzo, 2019).
Reflecting on “what is a common mistake made by teachers using tech in the classroom?” (Ferlazzo, 2019).
And finally, when asked “what is one simple thing teachers can do to add value to their lesson?” (Ferlazzo, 2019).
WHAT RESEARCH SAYS
These expert responses align with research and best practices for the effective use of technology in the classroom. Students should also have a sense of the digital tools available to them and know which tool best fits the need for the desired outcome. Wadmany and Kliachko (2014) identified technology contributions and recommended classroom practices. Findings included that technology increases flexibility in learning, demonstrates learning, allows for collaborative learning, differentiates and personalizes teaching and reduces learning gaps, and allows for learning to carry on beyond the school walls.
It is not what technology is used, but how it is used that counts for student learning.
Adding technology into the classroom does not guarantee an increase in student achievement. Using technology to supplant teachers or to make up for ineffective practices almost guarantees poorer outcomes in achievement. Teachers should heed the notion that it is not what (technology) is used, but how it is used that counts for student learning. More importantly, a review of how students and teachers benefit from using technology to develop knowledge and skills is warranted while recognizing that successful integration is aligned to changes in teacher practices, curriculum, and assessments (Mohammed, 2018; Vega, 2016).
THE LAST WORD
In summary, technology integration should be based upon student outcomes while keeping the focus of teaching on the verb. Research suggests placing an emphasis on what students can do with their knowledge, aligning teacher pedagogies with collaborative projects that spark the interest of the students, and moving the teacher away from the role of the knowledge expert to a facilitator who partners in learning with the students as successful ways to integrate technology in the classroom. Given these points, successful integration of teaching with technology is more than possible. Students learn when technology is used to enhance and support good teaching practices, and learning is hampered when technology is used with ineffective instructional strategies (Magana & Marzano, 2014).
Below are the resources mentioned from today’s post should you want to learn more about the successful integration of technology. In the meantime let us know your responses to the three Classroom Q&A questions from above in the comments below. If you found this post useful please join our Pedagogize It community and subscribe for free strategies for how to best use technology for learning. The Pedagogize It community revolves around what matters most, and that is you and the work that you do.