First, remember that technology use is not necessarily technology integration. Technology integration is not about just using the tools, it is about what we can do with the tools in our classrooms to improve instruction and learning. You must align your curriculum objectives with the appropriate technology tools to be effective. As you think about using technology in the classroom, see if you can answer yes to the following questions. If you can, then you are integrating technology with your curriculum:
Will this technology lesson, tool, or resource:
- provide opportunities for my students to investigate and apply the things they are learning in the classroom?
- allow my students to interact, create, or present?
- provide a meaningful and purposeful learning activity that is connected to my classroom curriculum and goals?
- engage my diverse learners?
- engage my students in critical/higher level thinking?
- teach my students through real world applications and communication?
If you are hesitant about using technology, start slow and find one way to integrate technology meaningfully and purposefully in your classroom. Try something new this year and I guarantee that you will not only become more comfortable the longer you use it, but that you will also wonder why you didn't try it sooner. Don't worry about the technology not working or that you will make a mistake- teachers can learn from their attempts and failures, too.
I hope that my blog helps you to find new resources and tools that you can use to bring technology into your classroom in fun, meaningful, and engaging ways. Please let me know if you would like for me to feature resources for a particular topic or unit of study. And...have a great new school year!