Integrating Technology into K-12

This entry is a reflection and summary on the article. Integrating Technology into K-12 Teaching and Learning: Current Knowledge Gaps and Recommendations for Future Research. The article covered some of the barriers that teachers and schools run into with technology, and suggested improvements or solutions.The majority of the articles this study draws from are peer reviewed articles, and all deal with teaching in the classroom. the barriers and strategies were then grouped together and then analyzed

According to the article, there were 6 main barriers affecting technology integration (organized from greatest to least):

  1. Resources
  2. Knowledge and skills
  3. Institution
  4. Attitudes and beliefs
  5. Assessment
  6. subject culture

Reflecting on my own experience in the educational system, I found these barriers to be accurate. The lack of adequate hardware and software was prevalent throughout all of my education with the exception for the classes that were computer based. My 3D design, and photoshop classes where the only times I used a computer in High school, with the acceptation of 1 math class and 1 physics class. Programs like the arts and humanities were obviously lower on the pecking order. Although if the resources had been available, I don’t know if my teachers would have known how to use them anyway!

The paper covered some methods for teachers to gain the knowledge and sills needed, and provided a pedagogy for integrating technology. I’ve included a list with an example for each item in the pedagogy.

a) Replacement – Rather than taping a poem to the wall, project the poem from the computer.

b) Amplification (Accomplishing a tast more effectively or efficiently) – Typing a story rather than writing it down.

c) Transformation (Provide innovative educational opportunities) – Students use databases and graphing software for testing their own hypotheses.

 

For many schools, class times are short. Half hour to 45min. It is very difficult for to organize a technology activity around such time barriers. Booking labs and moving students are often seen as not worth the trouble. For many teachers, their view of technology isn’t such as to make the bother. Their attitudes are those of using technology to keep kids quiet or as rewards rather than for a key portion of education.

Although this article provides an accurate portrayal of the challenges involving integrating technology into schools, the article didn’t seem to uncover anything extraordinarily new to me. The information seemed dated in regards to their recommendations for computers to have wireless networking, as even in 2006 when this article was published this was becoming common feature. Even all these years since this article was published, the same barriers are present and the same solutions are still being offered. As a pre-service teacher, I feel that it is my duty to learn as much as possible about current technologies that I can be a resource to my school in helping others in the transition.

Technology integration is, and will continue to be a crucial part in the education system. The sooner we can overcome the barriers, the sooner our students can reap the benefits. I believe that technology will continue to become a greater part of the success of the 21st century learner.

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