Indeed, in all of my courses I am learning new information, skills, and trends in education, but none of them are as mentally overwhelming and stimulating as learning about the integration of technology in the classroom.
I am learning about this integration of technology in Ed. Media Apps. The integration of technology is just what it sounds like–using technology in the classroom to amplify teaching and better learning. The thing is, there are so many options out there in terms of technology. That’s the overwhelming part. I mean, a month ago, Google was just a search engine, Google+ was this boring thing my friend from Hungary showed me, and Google Docs and Drive were things we made in high school because the computers were as old as we were and apparently were prone to viruses from USB drives (What are those things even called anymore? Thumb drives? I’ve always just called them “USB’s”). Now I’m learning that Google makes virtual reality devices. When did that happen? I swear I haven’t been living under a rock. As I have stated before in this post, I didn’t see much technology while in primary and secondary school. Now that I, a future educator, am exposed to the many options and wonders of integrating technology into the classroom, it’s rather overwhelming.
Technology as a whole is making a huge impact on education. There are many ways and models to integrate technology into the classroom, such as the SAMR model. By integrating technology into the classroom, students and teachers are able to explore their subject more–and faster. Technology allows for on-demand learning. Technology opens a new world of projects. Sure, posters were always fun to make…but what about self-narrated videos? Further, teachers should really be on the lookout with a careful eye for new technology. Not only does it keep the teacher in-touch with their students both culturally and socially, but technology as a whole probably isn’t going to disappear any time soon. Technology is what kids are used to now-a-days. Why not bring that familiarity into the classroom? As I stated before, integrating technology into teaching gives students nearly endless opportunities to learn and grow. Of course, the “old” ways of teaching with a good ol’ white board and projects made of poster board don’t have to be thrown out the window–but let’s be honest, which of the following sounds both fun and educational: making a poster about a country or researching a country, looking up local places on Google Maps, and then making a green screen video explaining signification locations in the country? I’m not trying to swing your vote here, but I’m liking the sound of the latter option.
Now, integrating technology sounds fun, fine, and dandy, right? But..how does a teacher do such a thing? How can they if they don’t have the support or funding? Where do they start? When does technology stop becoming educational and start becoming just for fun?
Those questions overwhelm me a bit. Technology can be a wonderful thing in a classroom if it is used correctly. There are many, many things out on the Internet that are complete garbage, but there are many, many more things that are useful. It’s all about knowing where and how to look. First, you can Google it! Trying looking up educational apps for students. If there is someone out there who is knowledgeable about technology integration in the classroom (like Mrs. Brogley), consult them. Search for other teachers in your area–or not in your area–who may be having the same issues, or search for teachers who have integrating technology successfully into their classrooms and ask them how they were able to do so. Search for conferences on the topic (or many just the hashtag of a conference) and follow the conversation. Use technology to learn about technology!