Technology integration is the use of technology resources — computers, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, digital cameras, social media platforms and networks, software applications, the Internet, etc. — in daily classroom practices, and in the management of a school. (Edutopia. November 5, 2007)
I find Technology integration an opportunity to combine two or more subjects, materials, make connections, and effectively learn new concepts. By teaching together, teachers can provide much more relevant information as well as different kinds of support, necessary to any student. Technology integration to me is an effective collaboration process that helps students learn. I was very happy with my role transition from the “computers’ teacher” to an educator of technology integration because I didn’t have to think about the teaching content anymore (besides mine of course :)), but could simply concentrate on providing the best tech tools in order to help learn other relevant subject content easier and more effectively. Today, our students have a “one on one” technology model in each class and it provides wider opportunities for technology usage in order to support students’ needs, foster motivation, creativity, independent work (as necessary), etc.
“I firmly believe that technology is best taught within the context of the core curriculum”(We Are All Technology Teachers (Kim Cofino))
On the other hand, more and more educators are becoming technology experts and it is really great! But I also agree with Kim saying that it is less likely to be true that we will ever get to the point where schools will no longer need some sort of pedagogical support in the technology field. Therefore, every educator is an expert of a teaching subject as well as an educator of technology integration.
Maybe now it’s time to say “we are all technology teachers.” (We Are All Technology Teachers (Kim Cofino))
Technology Integration Matrix and Bloom’s Taxonomy
My very first experience of developing technology integration at my school led me to a Technology Integration Matrix. This was my first framework to explore. However, later I found an alignment of the technology integration matrix with Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s taxonomy is a model of thinking skills from lower-order to higher-order (remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating). Therefore, I found combination of these two models worth attention, because of their simple and similar structure that allows educator understand the connection between cognitive skills and technology integration levels.
The SAMR framework (developed by Dr. Ruben Puntedura) categorizes four different degrees of classroom technology integration. The letters “SAMR” stand for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. (Schoology blog. October 30, 2017)
After deeper exploration, I’ve noticed, that SAMR has similarities to TIM (Technology Integration Matrix), mainly by its purpose. Both frameworks categorize different stages of technology integration in the classroom in order to help educators to be able to use tech tools to effectively meet students’ needs that are directly related to the level of their cognition. That’s why these two models are very often combined with Bloom’s taxonomy, which emphasizes levels of students’ cognition. These two frameworks help teachers apply an appropriate technology integration level in order to support teachers and students.
This framework is different from TIM (Technology Integration Matrix) and SAMR frameworks. It emphasizes teacher knowledge categories, that are necessary for technology integration development in the classroom.
TPACK, or Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge, is a model that helps teachers consider how their knowledge domains intersect in order to effectively teach and engage students with technology. (Commonsense Media TPACK)
Individual teachers, grade-level, school-specific factors, demographics, culture, and other factors ensure that every situation is unique, and no single combination of content, technology, and pedagogy will apply for every teacher, every course, or every view of teaching. (The TPACK Framework)
ISTE (The International Society for Technology in Education) standards have defined clear expectations for teachers as well as students for a successful implementation of technology in the classroom. It’s a great collection of traits/standards that includes very basic skills as well as high-level efficiency requiring skills such as communication, collaboration, designing, thinking, constructing, and learning skills, that transfer to the traits of Global educator, Empowered Learner, Digital Citizen, Knowledge Constructor, Innovative Designer, Computational Thinker, and Global Collaborator. Our school is widely using these standards as the best collection of technology standards for the successful development of technology integration.
The ISTE Standards are a framework for innovation in education. These standards help educators and education leaders worldwide prepare learners to thrive in work and life. (https://www.iste.org)
The words of a former colleague of mine who was still teaching at the age of 70 were: “Technology is inevitably coming to the education world – you learn it and continue teaching or you don’t.” She was stubborn and passionate about learning new things and I am sure she still is. I could learn from her so much and she was the one who showed how powerful collaboration can be. Being an expert in both – teaching subject and technology is great, but collaboration can be even more effective. Therefore, for example, learning about the planets and their rotation around the sun by creating projects based on augmented reality can be so much fun and it makes the learning process way more attractive (instead of just reading a book and looking at the images). Another great example – designing 3D prototype of race car, printing it out using 3D printer, assembling it and testing its speed to analyze and understand physics laws, and most probably.. comparing your model’s performance with one of you classmate’s – all of this raises students’ motivation really high. This is a time- and effort-consuming process but it gives a lot of benefits.