Sunday, September 25, 2005

Technology Integration

Technology is as pervasive in our day to day lives as it is in society in general. From street lights being controlled by computers, to rail systems that are monitored to ensure safety, right up to pacemakers that keep people safe and secure. Technology is evident in business, commerce, medicine, and even education. Sometimes we take for granted that which technology has brought us. That being a link to the world around us, a fast access to information, a broad range of media coverage quickly and accurately, among other things.

Technology integration in our schools is not only important for students and teachers but also for the learning process. As information grows and each area gains that much more topic area it begins an ever increasing concern that coverage will not be concise of a subject and that we have to rush to cover "key" areas rather than giving a broad range of topics. An excellent example of good technology integration would be emailing and linking websites that students have the opportunity to browse and gather more information on topics they are interested in. The use of technology such as using interactive presentations, slideshows, Q&A, graphics, etc... leads to increased interest in the presented materials and keeps education fun and exciting, as it should be.

Bad uses of technology integration would be simply outlining course material in a dull, boring, chapter-like manner. If students wanted to read a book they should not be forced to in class. Reading should be done in a reading time, or at their leisure. Cluttering slides in Powerpoint or putting too much information in one lesson is both confusing and overwhelming. I have had this happen in some University courses and I don't like the way the material was presented.

Some barriers to technology integration would be disabled students, learning disability children, or even children who have trouble in their reading comprehension or english skills. These barriers are solved easily with help from peers and with a little encouragement and support from teachers and staff. Any barriers in technology integration might even be helped out with technology, as technology is another teaching medium.

All in all, technology is great for bringing in multiple subjects, and for expanding on conventional learning. You can bring many different media and text into one technology presentation, helping the learning process and fostering more questions to be asked. By having more people look for information and sources and bringing more information to light. Knowledge begets knowledge and in education... it can't be a bad thing!

2 Comments:

Blogger Jeff Meadows said...

Alec,

You have identified some great points with resepct to good and bad integration of technology (I think we have all had to sit through a presentation or two like the one you described).

I would be interested in hearing how you plan on making use of technology in your classroom and how you plan on overcoming some of the barriers that you will face.

Well done,

Jeff

9:56 AM  
Blogger Jeff Meadows said...

Alec,

I am unable to comment on your PowerPoint blog posting (you have turned commenting off).

I really liked your use of PowerPoint in Math to try and make it more "interesting". You identified some really good ideas for integration and collaboration.

Well done,

Jeff

9:59 AM  

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