Technology Integration Evaluation
I’m lucky enough to be in that age group that grew up with technology. I don’t mean with an iPad in my hand. I mean technology and I grew up together. I remember when we got our first VCR, home gaming console (ColecoVision), Computer (Thank you PCjr), Walkman, Discman, DVD, TeVo, Limewire, ITunes, Netflix etc. I learned how to do cursive and type. I learned how to use microfiche and the Internet. I learned how to change the margins and font on Word so that my 4-page essay was really 10 pages. 😉
Seamless integration is when students are not only using technology daily, but have access to a variety of tools that match the task at hand and provide them the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of content.
What it means to integrate technology has changed so quickly over the past 10 years. I became a teacher in 2006. Post-internet, Pre iPads. What integrating technology meant back then compared to what it means now is completely different and it keeps changing every day.
Today I feel that I am still constantly rotating between the different stages of the SAMR model, especially when trying something new. For example, I was really excited to use Google Forms for my students to sign up for their choices in a community outreach program. I thought forms would automatically collect their email addresses, but because email is turned off for fourth graders, it did not. So I had the students use post-its to collect the data and I was done in less time than the Google Form idea was taking. So, I learned, technology is amazing, but not always necessary. We need to be the gate-keepers of technology and find a balance. If tech is simply substituting for the good, ole paper and pencil and providing no real functional change, then we need to ask ourselves why we are using it.
When I started with COETAIL I came across this infographic on Cultofpedagogy.com. Since then, I have created a similar poster with my students to help them categorize the many tools they know and they best ways to use them. In doing so, my students gained a deeper understanding of the tools they know and their functionality. This enables them to be in the driver’s seat and understand how to use technology to meet their needs.
My overall evaluation of my technology integration is that in many ways it is in the transformational stage, and in other ways, it is in the enhancement stage and it continues to go through an ebb and flow between the different stages. My goal moving forward is to continue to empower my students to understand how technology can help transform their learning and be able to choose the tools that best support their needs.