EdTEch 541 Blog
Warschauer, et al identify the potential of technology integration, while also some of the possible drawbacks: “The large and growing role of new media in the economy and society serves to highlight their important role in education, and especially in promoting educational equity. On the one hand, differential access to new media, broadly defined, can help further amplify the already too-large educational inequities in American society. On the other hand, it is widely believed that effective deployment and use of technology in schools can help compensate for unequal access to technologies in the home environment and thus help bridge educational and social gaps” (180).
Providing equitable access to all students is a significant challenge for school districts, sites, and individual teachers. Certainly, there is a cost to provide technology, but more than the hardware, the software, in terms of the teacher’s knowledge, skill, and willingness to attempt new lessons using technology is another challenge to successful implementation. Just using a technological tool does not make it beneficial, however. Pedagogy, and proper lesson planning with appropriate tools, are what reap the richer harvest promised by educational technology enthusiasts.
Beyond the affordability, teacher preparedness, and pedagogy, a teacher must consider the learner's’ needs, background knowledge, and readiness to learn. Thus, the timing of the use of a tool should occur with where the Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge intersect, referred to as TPACK (www.tpack.org) or Tech-Pack by Roblyer (19-20). Missing any of these attributes will lessen the effectiveness of instructional technology implementation.
Applying the concept of Tech-PACK to the technology integration assignments in Edtech 541, one challenge has been to find appropriately matched activities to a grade level or subject matter. Then, as educational standards are changing, say for Science, which is being transformed with the Next Generation Science Standards, there might not be an appropriate activity that matches the new standards. Thus, a teacher will need to revise, reinvent, or reject an activity. This takes thought, effort, time, and commitment on the part of a teacher. If any of these elements is missing, the integration of new technologies can be slowed or even stopped. Overcoming these obstacles and making integration easier is a worthy goal which will make technology integration more successful.
Specific to Edtech 541, integration of technology in a sixth grade English classroom is a challenge, as students are just building knowledge of Digital Citizenship. This concept needs to be reviewed constantly, so students can build a base knowledge and consistency of practice with regard to their presence online. If students are taught proper practices early in their Secondary learning experiences, it is more likely that these will more likely follow them through high school and into their post-high school lives, whether they are in the work force or attending college.
Roblyer, M. D., & Edwards, J. (2000). Integrating educational technology into teaching. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
Warschauer, M., & Matuchniak, T. (2010). New technology and digital worlds: Analyzing evidence of equity in access, use, and outcomes. Review of Research in Education, 34(1), 179-225.