As I high school mathematics teacher my vision for technology integration is to provide students with a learning environment that encourages problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration. The world of the 21st century is immersed in technology for learning, collaboration, organization, and communication. Education helps to prepare students to be responsible citizens, learners and members of the global community. With technology handling the majority of major tasks today and in the future; students need to learn in an environment that will utilize technology so that students are working in step with the advantages of technology.
Educational technology will help student learning and education in many facets. Technology will help students to be global citizens, solve challenging problems, and work collaboratively and independently. We no longer live in a society that is based within our country, but we are connected globalyl through technology. Many businesses operate and compete on a global scale. Our students now compete academically on a global scale. Through technology we have the capabilities of connecting global to other countries and classrooms through social media, Skype, and Google +. Our lives are directly affected by the events throughout the world and as educators we must prepare students to gather this information through technology and communicate appropriately through technology.
Students have the opportunity to engage in high order thinking task and problems with the aid of technology. Technology supports students by performing the manual operations such as writing and arithmetic so that students may spend more time editing, revising, and drawing conclusions (Roblyer p.23) Challenging problems require students to try many scenarios and solutions to the solve the problem. Technology helps students to save time on production tasks as well as create, study, and analyze many different scenarios before drawing a conclusion. (Roblyer p.23) In math classes it is helpful for students to discover the various theorems on their own as the students take ownership of their learning and understand the concept at a deeper level. Graphing calculators, geometer’s sketchpad, and Desmos should be staples in all math classes so that students may test many scenarios to discover the power of mathematics.
We all need human connection in our technology focused world. Technology helps people to connect and work together. Students have the opportunity to work at times when they are most focused, particularly in higher education through online classes and cloud-based commuting such as Google Docs. As stated by Roblyer in Integrating educational technology into teaching, “blended technology with face-to-face teacher time generally produces better outcome than face-to-face or online learning alone.” (p.23) We have a unique opportunity to improve student learning by using technology in the classroom to supplement the time with the teacher. Technology also allows students to work together on projects and learn from each other. In addition to group work, technology provides a voice for students who are less likely to share with the class as all students have a chance to participate through technology. With the power of sharing students can work individually and then come together to create final presentations using software such as PowerPoint and online sources including Prezi and Google Slides.
Technology integration has endless possibilities regardless of teaching style and learning theories. In my limited experience I utilize both direct instruction and inquiry-based learning based on the content and the student’s prior knowledge. This method is supported by Roblyer in Integrating educational technology into teaching. Instructional games and programs can help student automate skills such as math facts. (Robyler p.52) Technology also helps to keep students connect to their learning at all times through teacher websites and learning management systems such as Canvas and Moodle. Learning management systems help students to review class materials and make-up work from missed instruction. When a constructivist or inquiry-based method is best for teaching the content students are able to work together, research, and create multi-media presentations to demonstrate understanding (Robyler p.53)Technology give both teachers and students the opportunity to be creative and present understanding in different ways in addition to paper and pencil, drawings, and written work.
We are immersed in technology in all areas of life. Our educational system need to continue to integrate technology in the classroom for students learning and organization. Without technology in education our students will not be prepared for citizenship in our global, technology enhance world.
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2010). Integrating educational technology into teaching. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.