Monday, September 27, 2010

What is Effective Technology Integration for 21st Century Learners

The world is rapidly changing. As such, it is our responsibility, as educators to take action and learn about the changes taking place. In order to do this, teachers need to be aware of what new technologies are available and become familiar with their uses. I believe this to be an important first step in effectively integrating technology into the classroom. In today’s learning environment, it is essential to keep students connected to the real world. Students are more likely to retain information when they are able to incorporate real world experiences into their learning environment. Effective technology use supports connection to real world experiences.

Technology integration must support curricular goals and enhance learning in order for it to be effective. The focus needs to be on the curriculum before technology. The curriculum today places an emphasis on developing 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovation, communication, collaboration, information literacy, media literacy, ICT literacy, flexibility, adaptability, initiative, self-direction, productivity, accountability, social and cross-cultural skills, leadership, and responsibility.

Effective technology integration supports active engagement, frequent interaction and feedback, and participation in groups. Engagement seems to be a key word in 21st century learning today. When students are actively engaged in their learning experience they are more likely to retain information. Feedback is an important aspect of learning. With the use of technology, students can receive feedback not only from their teacher, but also from other students, parents, and even from people across the world. Students are able to communicate and collaborate with an audience extended beyond just the classroom. Students can now engage and actively participate with students across the globe instantaneously. Participation in groups, or working collaboratively, can enhance the learning experience and make it more meaningful.

Effective technology use is focused, creative, relevant, engaging and active, purposeful, and accessible. Technology use can allow students to build conceptual understanding of core content, create and transform knowledge for meaningful purposes, and apply knowledge and skills to interdisciplinary challenges. Technology needs to be used for authentic tasks in order for it to be effective. In order to foster the authentic uses of technology it must support student performance of complex tasks.

Take a look at this website for some great ideas for integrating technology into the classroom.

Check out my SlideShare Presentation I created:

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