Technology integration in the classroom is, truly, an area of passion for me. And I do believe that it is a continuous quest to seek to improve our skills in this area. Much of the negative feedback about technology integration speaks to its superficiality; that we are substituting the traditional and making no true pedagogical changes.
I don’t believe that technology integration comes easily, certainly. For me, it is absolutely a process in which we first start to develop this skill by doing the simple substitution tasks. To assume teachers to be capable of transforming their classroom overnight is an impossible task. There is much play and practice initially, general knowledge of the technology in question and truly understanding of what it is capable. Additionally, there comes with edtech the demand of learning the constraints of the system within which you work, and of course that is always difficult.
The pyramid below helps to explain the varied levels of technology along the Bloom’s Taxonomy model – starting at the base with tech tools that help with remembering up to the point of creating ones own project. During the PD sessions a couple of weeks ago we spoke about this pyramid and the fact that blogging is truly an act of creation, and should you be able to have students respond to each other and critique, you move their skill level higher up on the pyramid.
It is truly in the higher levels of the pyramid that more opportunities for deeper learning with technology can occur. I admit readily that I’ve struggled in my own classroom to apply technology in a way that promotes critical thinking and deeper exploration and really delves beyond the surface. It is absolutely a challenge. What I like about this infographic below about deeper learning (source:gettingsmart.com) is that it provides the three motivators for learning that we find with technology: personalization (meaning we can create an individualized learning experience for our students), motivation ( we can create varied, engaging and appropriate level assignments and activities for our students) and persistence (our students can continue to extend their learning beyond the walls of our classroom).
I spoke yesterday with a colleague about the role that school must play in the lives of our students. There are some things that I know to be true. Our traditional model is not working for many of our students. Technology can play a huge part in how our students learn. There continues to be a divide in our learners and technology does sometimes widen that gap, especially in terms of the flipped classroom model.