Tips for the Effective Integration of Technology
Here are five simple tips to help you use technology to support instruction.
- Use technology to support instruction.
Start with the content that you want to teach. Locate technology resources that you can use to teach the content. One place to begin is the Instructional Technology page. It has links to great educational resources for students organized by subject area and topic along with useful links for teachers. You may also look for video resources using Discovery Education Streaming . Once you have located resources, consider what activities and strategies would be useful.
- Let students use the technology. Using the projector to lecture from a PowerPoint is still lecture. Students need to be actively involved. Interactive tools such as the interactive whiteboards, clickers, handheld devices are engaging. Today's technology provides great opportunities for students to create products to demonstrate their understanding of content material.
- Provide direct instruction
Rarely will students benefit from unstructured time in the lab. When taking a group of students to the lab, provide direct instruction on what you want them to do. Activities in the lab should support instruction that is going on in the classroom. You may want to model the activity with the whole-group before the students even touch the computer or provide step-by-step instructions as the students follow along.
- Focus the students' use of technology
Rather than telling the students that they are to search to locate information on Thomas Jefferson, provide several links to sites with good information. This will help keep the students from getting lost in all of the information that is available on the Internet. When using software, provide specific directions for what you want the students to do. Instructional software can be especially effective if its use is directly related to instruction in the classroom.
- Vary grouping according to activity
It is not always necessary to have one student per computer; in fact, there are times when it is preferable to work in groups. Students frequently benefit from the discussion involved in making decisions when they are in groups rather than working alone. Many websites can effectively be used in the classroom with a multimedia projector displayed so the whole class can work together or with students working in pairs or small groups clustered around a computer.
- Ask for help
Remember that your friendly ITRTs are available to help you plan and implement technology-enhanced lessons. They love to help!