There are two divergent traditions in the philosophy of technology. Schatzberg places commentators into one of two camps. The first, instrumentalists, adopt the language of ends and means and paint technology as narrow, technical, and devoid of values. The second, critical tradition, is more expansive. In the end, both schools tend to conflate technology with its uses, and their critiques reflect these differences. But both are equally misguided.
Applications of technology in the classroom
While technology may not replace teachers, it can improve the way they teach. For elementary school students, gamification allows students to control their participation and collaboration in class. Middle and high school students may benefit from digital collaboration, while advanced students may be better served by traditional group work. Teachers should utilize technology when it enhances learning, not when it interferes with it. Here are a few examples of how teachers can use technology in the classroom:
Using computer software on an interactive whiteboard can enable students to create and present projects using widely accessible software. These applications can even be provided on classroom devices. One easy way to incorporate technology is to use digital signup forms. A digital signup sheet includes a list of dates for projects, and students can schedule presentations when they are free. This approach can increase student engagement in STEM subjects and open new avenues for them. Incorporate technology into the classroom can increase student engagement in all subject areas.
Criticisms of technology integration
While there is no denying that technology integration can improve access to information and student motivation to complete their studies, there are some critical points about this type of learning environment. Critics of technology-based assignments argue that it can limit socialization and character development. Others argue that it limits the scope of teacher-student communication. Whatever the criticism, it’s important to remember that the benefits of technology integration depend on other factors besides how well it’s integrated.
Whether or not technology is essential to learning depends on the definition of technology. Some critics point to the fact that defining technology as electronic devices can overly focus on digital technologies, which may not be necessary for learning. Rather, most efforts to integrate technology into the classroom focus on innovative and creative best practices. For example, educators should not limit their use of technology to only computer-based tools. Instead, teachers should access new and relevant digital technologies to help them understand and apply them to their own teaching.
Efficacy of technology integration
Incorporating technology in the classroom requires teachers to be self-sufficient and willing to take risks. As with any profession, PD can increase self-efficacy and prepare teachers to integrate technology into the classroom. However, it is important to remember that PD can only be effective if it is guided by research-based caveats. The following are four of the most common misconceptions about technology integration in the classroom.
The findings of research on technology integration in education tend to be contradictory. Some researchers have reported that there is no significant difference among teachers with regard to the use of technology. This may be attributed to flawed assessment procedures, broad definitions of technology integration, and problems with research design. In order to determine whether these findings are indeed significant, researchers conducted a series of inferential t-tests to determine whether selected variables explained a substantial proportion of the variance in the grand mean of students’ performance.
Limitations of technology integration
While many educators welcome the opportunities provided by technology, most are cautious about its potential downsides. The most common of these are the risks of over-use and the possibility that integrating technology will degrade student performance. The benefits of technology integration are more substantial than these disadvantages, however. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid when integrating technology into your teaching. Although some models can be effective, many of them are not. Read on to learn about the strengths and limitations of various technology integration models.
Most technology integration models fail to place the needs of students at the center. Instead, they place teacher pedagogical goals at the forefront. However, this ignores the needs of student-centered practitioners. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the needs of both students and practitioners to create a technology integration model that is beneficial to both sides. Nevertheless, technology integration models should balance comprehensiveness and parsimony, and they should not focus on aspects of technology integration that are not immediately applicable to teachers.