How do I Integrate Technology into a Standards Based Curriculum?
When integrating technology in your planning, it is helpful to remember these points:
- Technology helps students reach standards.
- Teachers should not spend time writing technology standards. When technology standards already exist, it is essential that they are included as procedural knowledge and cross-curricular skills that students should master.
- It is impossible to separate the technology from the content, just as you can’t separate the writing from the message.
The Panel on Educational Technology of the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology made six basic suggestions (“Report to the President on the Use of Technology to Strengthen K-12 Education in the United States”, 1997).
- Focus on learning with technology, not about technology.
- Emphasize content and pedagogy, not just hardware.
- Give special attention to professional development.
- Engage in realistic budgeting.
- Ensure equitable, universal access to the technology.
- Initiate a major program of experimental research on the result of the application of technology.
The two first points can still be stressed today: the use of technology tools in the classroom is not dictated by its factor of “coolness”, but rather by its purpose and the added pedagogical value it brings. If these two points are not present when using technology in the classroom, you are probably better off letting the students learn about the tool itself in an informal setting, which they tend to do pretty well, according to the literature review conducted by Julian Sefton-Green at the WAC Performing Arts and Media College (Literature Review in Informal Learning with Technology Outside of School, 2004).
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