Casting a Net over the NETs: Meeting the Standards

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The way in which technology integration manifests itself in the classroom is always changing. New tools arrive at a staggering pace and are constantly redefining the way in which we do things in the classroom. However the way in which technology integration itself works remains constant. Boni Hamilton describes integration in her 2007 book “IT’s Elementary!: Integrating Technology in the Primary Grades” as when “teachers use technology to introduce, reinforce, extend, enrich, assess, and remediate student mastery of curricular targets.” The key point that Hamilton makes is that in order to actually integrate technology we need to go way beyond simply using the tools that our schools provide but to actually use them in constructive ways while embedding them into the schools curriculum.

All of this cannot be done on a whim. It requires teachers and administration buy in. Inserting the NETs standards into curriculum mapping is a common start to “ensuring” that teachers are at the very least thinking about integrating them into the classroom. It doesn’t however mean that they are meeting them. In order to ensure that they are being taught teachers need to plan for their use. They need to take advantage of the vast resources already available to them in their schools and/or online in order to extend the learning that is already meant to be taking place in the classroom all the while actively engaging all students involved. Collaboration amongst colleagues across the curriculum and/or their network of experts on the Internet is also essential to guarantee a rich and far reaching experience that ensures that students are in constant contact with the technology standards regardless of subject area. In planning for the inclusion of NETs teachers are able to see how they align with their own subject standards or that of their collaborators. This would make assessment of the NETs simply part of a teachers regular assessment tools. Common assessments across the curriculum could also be established and used a certain number of times throughout the year. The school would then be able to self assess their level of success through the collection of data on a regular annual cycle. Appropriate adjustments could then be made to help solidify the successful integration of technology standards throughout the school.

One comment

  • February 18, 2012 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    How do teachers do this? What are you doing to make this happen in your classroom? What are the challenges? The advantages?

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