Integrating technology involves the use of technology resources (computers, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, digital cameras, social networking platforms, software applications, Internet, etc.) in daily classroom practices and management in the school to improve the learning and teaching environments for students and teachers.
Successful technology integration is achieved when technology use:
Is habitual and transparent
Is accessible and readily available for teachers and students
Supports the educational goals of the institution and helps students to achieve goals effectively
Promotes the development of soft and technical skills in students
Allows students to create products from their acquired learning
When technology integration is optimal, neither the students nor the teachers stop to think that they are using a technological tool; it is something that seems completely natural. Typically, the students are often more actively involved in projects given that technological devices are an integral part of their learning process.
Proper integration occurs when students use technology not only daily, but also have access to a variety of tools that match the task at hand and give them the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the content.
How we define technology integration may also depend on the types of technology available, the access one has to technology, and who is using the technology.
Willingness to embrace change is a fundamental requirement for successful technology integration. Technology evolves continuously and rapidly. It is an ongoing process and requires continuous learning. When technology is efficiently integrated into the curriculum, it can enhance learning powerfully.
21st-century development in technology has triggered new concepts and methodologies for almost everything we do every day, and education is not the exception.
Furthermore, many new careers and job opportunities exist today because of the continued expansion of technology and information around the world. Employers are not looking for just college degrees anymore but moreover looking for a particular set of skills on their prospects. Meaning that students need to develop the skills required in their school years to succeed in future careers and jobs. Some of those skills are communication, teamwork, problem-solving, leadership, creativity, innovation, computer literacy, moral values, adaptability and decision making.
Most educators, parents, and students are delighted by the scope of possibilities offered by cyberspace. Many schools are integrating technology, providing access to the Internet for students, teachers, administrators, and staff.
Millions of students around the world link daily to the Internet in schools. Substantial investments have been made to provide added bandwidth, superior networks, and Wi-Fi accessibility, and upgraded Web Filter programs and controls.
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Professional Development is mostly the process of attaining the skills, qualifications, and experience that allow specialists, in this case, teachers, to forge ahead in their careers and improve the quality of instruction imparted to their students.
In other words, it is a wide-ranging, continued, and intensive approach that tends to enhance teacher and principal effectiveness in raising student achievement by providing resources, workshops, training, and assistance in the classroom. There are numerous subjects in professional development; nonetheless, I’m going to concentrate on technology as most of the recommendations to be presented for technology would apply to any other category.
It is common in schools not to count with defined procedures for the various executable processes. The same effect can be manifested in several other types of companies as well. The truth is that creating, implementing, documenting, and following processes and procedures require an extra effort continuously from the employee. And not a few of them are in the workplace only to do what they have to do and nothing else.
By reviewing several good practices for technology integration in education over the past few years, I have realized that it falls into the same category as in any production company. In the logic that tech integration requires a well-defined process that has to produce a result; and that this effect has to be measurable similarly as in another type of industries.
A college professor pointed out that shortly human teacher might not always be considered necessary due to the apparent increase in the use of robot teacher, especially in South Korea. Initially, the research on this subject was based on some links made available from the professor, and also on other interesting and thought-provoking news about this topic on the Internet.
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When schools address the issue of integrating technology into their educational programs and become 21st century focused classes, they are confronted with technical components which are indispensable. That is what I like to call, ‘IT platform for 21st-century education’.
An efficient technological platform entails several components that are required as a base for what will come next, the incorporation of technology in the curriculum.
Writing about this topic might seem unusual for almost everyone; I didn’t find bloggers writing about it, or other people interested in the subject.
It seems that the IT Department’s role in schools is completely clear and that it’s okay as it is. I reviewed a number of school web sites in the “technology” section to find out what these schools are doing and in general they have the same “sense” of it.
21st Century technology development has triggered a new educational concept composed of new learning styles and requirements, and with several tools and resources intended to significantly improve students learning. Almost all of them were not conceivable in the early 90’s.
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