Technology Integration Across Curriculum


The term “Technology Integration” the term is commonly used by teachers and professors to describe the efficient usage of technology in student’s daily lives and make students understand the effective use of each technology. Not only do university teachers use these tools in classrooms but the K-12 teachers also try to take full advantage of advanced technology. Learners also benefit when their teachers use new technology, this builds up an interest in students and they participate actively in the lectures (Technology Integration, n.d).

Educators take such approaches when they integrate technology into their classrooms so that students could clearly understand the meaning of the lectures delivered. Recent statistics show that the amount of information that is available today would grow to double in the next three years. The statistics also referred to the fact that the fresh graduates today have more information than what their grandparents had in their lifetime. They also claim that the technology we might use in the next decade has not been invented yet. Every new thought is a challenge to the old one that is the reason many of the technological integrations have been criticized for being ad-hoc and theoretical. So, “The International Society for Technology in Education” (ISTE) was established to set standards for students, administration, and teachers and declares that how and when to use what technology in the K-12 classrooms. The International Society for Technology in Education helps and guides the educators so that they could make the most out of the technology and teach the students most effectively. The International Society for Technology in Education has set up few paradigms to distinguish between the old patterns of teaching and the new way of teaching in the light of new and advanced technologies. The table below shows the differences.

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Old Paradigms New Paradigms
Teacher centered instructions
Single sense stimulation
Single path progression
Single media
Isolated work
Information Delivery
Passive, receptive learning
Factual, knowledge-based
Reactive response
Isolated, artificial context
Student-centered learning
Multi-sensory stimulation
Multi-path progression
Multimedia
Collaboration work
Information exchange
Active, inquiry-based learning
Critical thinking informed decision making
Proactive, Planned
Authentic, real-world context

(Technology Integration, n.d)

The table above clearly shows that how many changes technology has made into the real world and further it will make uncountable changes in the universe. The old paradigms were information-based and usually had one-way communication, where students were only supposed to listen and concentrate in the boring, dry lectures, while, today students are asked to participate, learn actively in teams. They are asked to exchange information with not only their classmates but with the teacher as well; this helps in creating a frank and warm environment where students learning ability increases – in earlier times the teachers were only used to deliver whatever information they had. They were asked to teach whatever they know and fix the information in the minds of students. Whilst now, students have a clear understanding, authentic proves behind every reason while in old paradigms teachers had artificial context and had no evidence for their reasonings.

When technology is integrated effectively into the classrooms it can benefit students and can extend learning in very powerful ways. If we take an example of the Internet has been one of the greatest technologies commonly used by many people of different ages in the world today. The Internet provides the latest up-to-date and primary information.

Laptops proved to be a powerful tool for learning for students as well as teachers. By the use of such laptops, teachers can use new teaching techniques so that any particular topic is well understood by the students. Apart from this, laptops can assist students in their research and other assignments that need lots of searching and gathering of information worldwide. It was proved that the students using laptops were much more proved to be geniuses than the ones without laptops. One of the primary usages of a laptop is to have full-time access to the “real world” which also provides and facilitates learning. On the other side, Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint also play a great role in the development of students through their numerous advantages such as for the development of presentations and other formal letters and applications. By such software in laptops, one can also get aware of such techniques which others cannot gain without the help of laptops. On the other side Laptop also have some advantage of its physical features. In many cases, students use heavily weighted books for reading and finding their information. But now by this technology, it is quite easy and only one chip lots of material and data.

Technology is used by the teachers in several subjects such as Arts, Social studies, Mathematics, and Sciences. This allows the students to actively engage in those subjects. Technology allows educators to take the constructivist approach to the learning style. Many schools and universities use Multimedia projectors for the presentation of a particular topic. This is used mainly because this allows an unlimited audience to visualize the particular screen. Before the invention of Audio Visual Devices the teachers were using the old-style 17-inch monitor or the use of chalk and board was common but after this and especially the video conferencing technique the number of students is greatly increased and one class can be held by a lecturer who is at other city and the students are at another city, this technique is also called eLearning (EUROPA – Education and Training – eLearning – Designing tomorrow’s education, 2007).

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A well-developed website known as Virtual Field Trip is established to enhance the curriculum by allowing the students to visualize those areas and those places which one can not think of due to any of the reasons. This website does not want a passport. This means that anyone can visit any place for free. Many traditional field trips are held for the students to gather information or learn from those events which held there, such as after the Second World War the heavy bombing let the people of Japan still restless and still, the radioactive rays are affecting their crops. Through this Web site, the students will have the opportunity to explore the world outside their imagination.

Some of the other advantages include zero cost, zero liabilities, and zero time restrictions. Teachers can make a new world for the students to let them understand more easily or can use the existing tours. As mentioned above Video conferencing is an advantage to students who live in mobile areas. The central part of videoconferencing is the software and hardware which is being used to establish the link between the two or more users. Video Conferencing is only possible if Video input, Video Output, Audio input, audio output, and Data transfer system are present. Video Conferencing also provides an opportunity to have 2-way communication with others. As shown in the image above there is a meeting held and an executive is having a 2-way communication with several other employees at a single time without any geographical barriers. Furthermore, teachers from all over the world can be gathered as a designated place. Students from diversified areas and other remote areas are also gathered, where they share their ideas and their thoughts. This also allows students to speak with other students who are living in another part of the world. Small schools can also take the advantage of teaching courses that are not been offered in that areas such as foreign languages. Few more examples of video conferencing are as follows: many of the guest lecturers are introduced in the class. Other than this many of the other institutions are collaborates in research work without the loss of time for travel. On the other hand, students can interact with any person who is outside their native lands.

On the other side of the picture digital cameras are also been widely used in classrooms in many ways. It is a tool that is also helpful for the lower grades even. The third-grader can take photos which can later be used in the school newspapers and other competitions. The digital cameras also allow the other grade students to use the snaps for their persuasive or informative writing assignments. Especially digital cameras allow them to shoot videos which are later used in many ways such as video can be used to make a better presentation which is in written words as well as in the form of video and sound. This also allows them to communicate effectively with other students through the use of images.

Moreover, the technology also helps teachers and also facilitates them. As we take the example of CBE (Computer Based Examinations) this helps teachers a lot and as a result, the time is saved as well as the cost. This is a type of examination which is done on the computer the test is sent through web or software where students have multiple choice answers and students have to solve them and at the end, they are graded at the same time and the score is submitted to the examination board directly.

Computer-based examinations also save time for checking the assessments. And students all around the world can get engage with it. As we take a live example of the Association of Charter Accountancy also known as ACCA few papers are Computer-Based and the result is given as soon as any student submits all the answers to the board by clicking submit at the end of the questions. This also decreases the lead time which is the difference between the result date and the examination. However many students are not satisfied with this kind of paper because they believe that the computer is not the one to grade them which is why manual examinations are also there to overcome such obstacles. (******this has been observed)

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Technology can assist those students who cannot read or cannot see there is much software named Talking Machine etc which reads whatever you paste or write in their text box. This also facilitates those students who have to read many pages and they do not have enough time to read all the reading speed is adjusted in that software. Many students who have problems with their language can also learn from that software there are numerous language options by which the voice can be adjusted. Apart from this the software also allows the user to learn new records his software helps the user to translate some of the words which are spelled wrongly. Reading is also facilitated by the use of such software. Any student can purchase a book from the web or can copy the book from the internet and then paste it on the talking machines text box then just a click on the play will help him enjoy all the reading.

The above mentioned are some of the examples of the latest technologies and how these technologies are affecting the curriculum. Up till now, we have discussed the basic idea behind technology integration across the curriculum and the greatest examples of new technologies that have made our lives easier. We have also discussed the best practices that are also associated with this process. Now, let’s have a look at how technologies have changed the major curriculum i.e. how it has affected Math, Science, Reading, and Social Studies.

A recent study has shown that video programs have also proved to be beneficial for students. In this regard, it has been proved that video programs can solve many problems. A test was conducted between the nine states. Students were divided into two groups; one used the Jasper video software for three to fours weeks for mathematical instructions and the other group did not use the Jasper video software. The research resulted that students who used the software were far better than the students who did not use the Jasper video software. They solved the most complex problems in a couple of minutes while the other group was not this fast. (Cognition and Technology Group, 1992)

A new system was also introduced, known as the PLATO learning system. Remedial High School purchased the PLATO system; the system contains mastery tests, tutorials, applications, etc. The school had PLATO module classes apart from the normal classes that students were supposed to take for math. The results from the PLATO programs were:

  • In between the years, 1998 and 2000 Scores were enhanced on the Oregon Statewide Assessment Test (OSAT).
  • There was a significant difference between the students who used PLATO and the students who did not. The students who used; were the top scorers in the Oregon Statewide Assessment Test and the students who did not use it were far behind them.
  • Students were now more willing and had a positive approach to learning computers.
  • The management was also satisfied with PLATO and said “PLATO contributed to learner improvement on the OSAT courses” (Sugar, 2001)

PLATO comprises some modules as well, to move on to the next module a student must score eighty percent on the mastery test. Students were attracted to the PLATO software that they started using the program daily Forty-five minutes at their own pace.

Mathematics

Another program has also been discovered for math. The program is known as “Intelligent Tutor” the software intends to show an improvement in learning. The research says that Intelligent Tutor supports an algebra curriculum (PUMP) in Pittsburgh, which focuses on the use of Computers and mathematical analysis. Intelligent Tutor software Program (PAT) is treated as a curriculum part for the 9th-grade algebra. “On average, the 470 students in the experimental classes outperformed students in the comparison classes by 15% on the standardized tests and 100% on tests targeting the curriculum-focused objectives” (koedinger et al., 1999).

An article says “Classroom use of computer applications was demonstrated to be more effective than lab use for teaching mathematics. A set of fifth grade students had access to computers with standards-based software in their classrooms, along with teacher-led standards-based instruction (Basic Skills/Computer Education). These students had higher gains overall and in math on achievement tests than did students who experienced the same curricula and technology in lab settings” (Mann et al., 1999).

Science

Innovations, technologies can help a great deal when it comes to the curriculum of Science. Science has uncovered many hidden truths that were hidden since 1805. Science drew out what was DNA; science discovered that the atom is not the smallest particle. When technologies are integrated effectively into the curriculum students would get aware of all the things they never knew before. Let’s now look at some of the tools that can be used in the laboratories by the teachers, so that students could get clear knowledge of each particle. Whilst teaching biology, teachers should use a Compound Microscope so that the students get fully aware of all the particles that are present in an object. A Compound Microscope helps in the study of cells and every tine organism that are not visible by the naked eye. It magnifies the entire tiny cell that a blood cell contains or bone marrow has and gives every detail of the cell that a plant cell contains.

Social studies 

That was how a science and math teacher takes advantage of the use of new technologies. Now the question here is how a Social Studies teacher integrates new technologies into his classroom. A social Studies teacher can benefit from technology by using the internet or spreadsheets on Microsoft Excel. The educator can benefit by creating charts or graphs or creating his web pages. He should teach his students, how to generate graphs and charts. This may sound interesting to the students as well and they might take it as a challenge and show more devotion in making assignments and dealing with quizzes. They would lead to a higher degree of competition and perfection. Students thinking elaborate and they become more and more creative.

A teacher should give assignments to the class and ask their students to search the topic from any source they want and should emphasize the internet. While giving the example of the internet, they should highlight the main advantages of using the internet. He should draw student’s attention to the fact that the internet is the most common tool that is used today and so on. By this students gain some knowledge about the internet and its facilities. The teacher should ask them to research the information using the internet and return the assignment in a printed form. Or he can ask the students to compare the literacy rate, population, poverty rate of different countries and show the results by using a pie chart or any in any graphical way.

Technology integration has proved to be very much beneficial for the students as after the technology integration students have now become better aware of the environment and are ready to face challenges and log-term projects, they are now focused on worth full learning and are fully motivated towards studies which are important for a country’s better future. This could be a dramatic change especially for those who are underprivileged; such people cannot survive in this fast-moving world. Not even an average student can thrive in this technological environment.

To solve such problems, some schools use technologies that are easily used by such economically disadvantaged students; they use technologies that are easy to focus on for the students. These technologies are introduced to increase basic skills. A common practice of drill and practice programs has proved to be beneficial for students and has resulted in increased test scores in reading and arithmetic.

Integration of technology does not only forces students to use the educational material effectively but also enhances their learning in all aspects of education. A TELE classroom helps students in taking a clear picture of what the teacher is delivering, they do it by performing particles. This helps students in making their thinking creative and challenges them so that they could have critical thinking. This does not only helps the student but also plays a great role in helping the teaching; it helps the teacher by providing them the knowledge on preparing the lesson plans. This generates curiosity among students for learning. It also makes the lesson more interesting and students also solve problems using their critical thinking.

Technology allows interaction between diversified people. It helps in communicating with those who belong to diversified cultures, religions, languages, etc. it helps in generating new ideas and thoughts; it helps in sharing and gives a warm and friendly environment. But this is not possible without the help of our teachers, according to a report by NCH Children’s Charities and Tesco Telecoms; they say that the use of technology is history. Many people started using computers when they felt there is a need for a computer. A survey by Kaiser Family Foundation claims that there are “31% of children of age three are already using computers. 16% use them several times a week, 21 percent can point and click with a mouse by themselves, and 11 percent can turn on the computer without assistance. What’s more, a third of children – as many as young as 11 years old – use blogs and social networking sites at least two or three times a week. Yet two-thirds of parents don’t even know what a blog is.”

Some educators believe that drill and practice programs are not sufficient for students because they can not prepare them for real-world competition. They believe that technology changes very rapidly, so, there should be a perpetual motivation for learning.

References

Alan Evas, Kendall Martin, Mary Anne Postay (2007), Technology in action, Introductory

Bitter, G., and Legacy, J. M. (2006). Using technology in the classroom Boston: Pearson Education.

Cognition and Technology Group at Venderblit (1992). The Jasper series as an example of anchored instruction: Educational Psychologist, 27.(3), 291-315

Eriavac J, (2004), Automative Technology: A system Approach EUROPA – Education and Training – eLearning – Designing tomorrow’s education (2007)

Gary B. Shelly, Thomas J. Cashman, Glenda A. Gunter, and Randolph E. Gunter (2005), Teachers Discovering Computers: Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the classroom, 4rth edition

Intelligent Tutoring Goes To School in the Big City. Web.

Joseph J. Lazzaro, (n.d.) Adaptive Technologies for learning and work experience”

Koedinger, K and Aderson, J (1999), PUMP algebra project: AI and High school math. Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University, Human Computer Interaction Institute

Mann D Shakeshaft, C. Becker J., and Kottkamp (1998). West Virginia story: Achievement gains from a statewide comprehensive instructional technology programe Santa Monica, CA: Milken Exchange on Educational Technology

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Technology Integration (n.d.). Web.

Technology Integration Across Curriculum
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