in Coaching, Education, techintegration

Making Technology Integration Awesome

It’s a challenge to make effective, transformative use of technology in the classroom. This year, I’ve been working with a small group of teacher representatives from various grades to curate/create a list of skills for every grade level that are realized through the integration of technology. We’ve looked at the ISTE Standards for Students, and lists of benchmarks and standards from other schools. We’ve also explore the Technology Integration Matrix from Arizona and will look at the (more mature) one from Florida. We’ve talked to teachers, and explored the landscape of technology integration at other schools. We’ve discussed how technology is used in our world, and how it is used outside of school by our students. I’ve come to realize that the particular skills on the list by grade level are a direct result of our approaches to teaching and learning, our beliefs and our local context.

We’ve collected a list of skills where students use technology that teachers at each grade level think are important for students to enter a grade with, and leave the grade with. Next, we will build on those lists, taking other sets of internationally renowned standards like those from ISTE and AASL into account. We will use feedback from teachers, and consider the coherence from K-5 to refine the lists. Finally, we will decide how to share the list with teachers in a way that’s user-friendly and dynamic. We have other documents that have been created in the past, but they are outdated and never referred to during instructional design meetings. One approach would be to categorize the skills by the phases of inquiry that we follow in our classes. Another would be to group the skills by the units of inquiry. We will get feedback from teachers about this. Might there be a third approach that we haven’t considered?

As part of this work, I will engage teachers in thinking about their vision of students who’ve experienced successful technology integration during their K-5 experience of school. I’m also interested in knowing your ideas.

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Note that this post is written for my participation in #EdublogsClub challenge. The prompt was to “write a post about challenging situations”.

  1. We have also been working on figuring out what skills go with which grade. Would love to see what you come up with and share our work as well!

  2. Love the post as I feel this is what our teachers need in our district. I am an instructional technology trainer for a district of 52,000 students. As a basic our teachers are asked to use the 4Cs in instructional design.
    https://www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/introduction-to-the-4-cs
    We dig deeper with a core set of teachers in Microsoft’s 21st Century Learning Design which allows them to really assess their lessons on a set of rubrics.
    https://education.microsoft.com/GetTrained/21CLD-1
    I am interested to see where this goes for you.

    • Hi Eileen, I think our teachers generally do a good job with the 4C’s. We focus on inquiry in our teaching. Thanks for sharing about Microsoft’s 21st Century Learning Design. I’m learning more about Microsoft’s Initiatives for Education due to a MOOC that I am participating in right now, but hadn’t yet encountered the 21CLF.

  3. As a teacher, I would be interested in having multiple methods of organization, actually. Organizing by units of inquiry would allow me, when teaching that unit, to scan the list and see what I could or should do with technology. Organizing by skill set could allow me to figure out how to bring more of that particular skill out with technology. Organizing by grade allows me to have an idea of what my students are expected to know and be able to do. You might also organize by “type” of technology (social media apps, blogging sites, what kids are currently using, word processing options, photography editing programs, etc.).

    I think one of the most important things, at least with _my_ colleagues, is finding ways of making technology integration both easy and clearly linked to curriculum. I don’t know your school district – perhaps technology is a requirement rather than an option – but I know that in many of my colleagues’ classrooms, technology is rarely if ever used.

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Christina. I’ll also ask my colleagues to see what they say. I have already done some organizing by type of technology. Our teachers regularly use technology within the process of teaching and learning, and I think that they do it as relevant in context, purposefuly, rather than just for the sake of tech.

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