Tech Integration: Where am I?

The Stratford Board of Education answers the question,  ”What is technology integration?”

Integration is an instructional choice that generally includes collaboration and deliberate planning—and always requires a classroom teacher’s participation. It cannot be legislated through curriculum guides nor will it happen spontaneously. Someone with vision—an administrator, a teacher, or a specialist—needs to model, encourage, and enable integration, but only a classroom teacher can integrate technology with content-area teaching.

I added the bold.  Yep, fits with the reading and conversations of this class.  But how to coordinate school wide?  How do these classroom teachers who are working toward integration encourage or even find “someone with a vision”?

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These are the terms that Stratford uses for technology integration:  Introduce, reinforce, extend, enrich, assess, and remediate.  Immediately I thought, well, these are terms that historically describe any teacher’s role!  So is this applying “new ideas” (the tech), to an “old way”? Hmmmm

When I compare the Technology Integration Matix with the SAMR model, I find the Matrix more detailed (almost overly so!) which gives me a better picture of where I stand with integration of technology.  What I learned though, is that my integration level is all over the place. Here are some examples that stood out:

Entry Level:

  • Students receive information from the teacher or from other sources. Students may be watching an instructional video on a website or using a computer program for “drill and practice” activities.
Adoption
  • The setting includes access to technology tools that allow students to plan, monitor, and evaluate their work.
Adaptation
  • The setting includes access to information outside of school and primary source materials.

Infusion

  • The teacher guides, informs, and contextualizes student choices of technology tools and is flexible and open to student ideas. Lessons are structured so that student use of technology is self-directed.
Transformation
  • The setting includes robust access to a wide variety of technology tools, robust access to online resources and communities, and the ability to publish new content online.  (Not quite sure of the “robust” definition here…)
I think that this “all over the place” on the matrix makes sense given that teachers and students are “shifting” in their practices.  The shift isn’t lock step or prescribed as we reach for that “Transformation” goal.  Being able to find a “cell” that describes the current integration of the student, teacher, or environment gives us a place to start in assessing how to take the next step.  The videos supplied for each subject area give clarity to the strands, which is quite helpful.
I like how the integration matrix is divided into the three categories of Environment, Teacher, and Student.  I do however, think that the level of integration within the three categories is interdependent of the others and that there might be even some sort of sequence to follow.  For example, doesn’t the right environment promote teacher and student integration and doesn’t much of student integration rely on the model and expectations of the teacher?
As always, when I am throwing my random thoughts onto this blog, many questions arise: Does the overwhelming scope of the matrix limit it’s use? Will the “transformation” column transform/look different as integration increases and technology changes?  When are video examples updated? Do my colleagues know about this matrix?
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I got lucky during the last class when I was playing “follow the links” in searching for some math cast examples.  After fruitless searches for Middle School math blogs to follow, I found one and on the blog was a linked BUNDLE of blogs to add to your reader!  So I grabbed them all,  (Sorry, in my treasure hunt I got lost and forgot where I found the bundle…)
I have been doing some reading from these math blogs, and one title caught my eye for this week, “Technology Engagement for Math Integration” by Dan Bodwin.  His blog is highly relevant in that he teaches 6th grade math and that he has TONS of tech ideas to share from iPad use, homework checks, communication, and using a standards bases assessment system.   As I continue to reflect on my use of technology and work toward goals of greater integration, I find that studying just one teacher’s program at a time and getting the big picture of how they are embedding the tech, gives me perspective, inspiration, and jumping off points.

2 thoughts on “Tech Integration: Where am I?

  1. I like your added bold to the quote. Schools can hire all the Integration/facilitator/coordinator/coaches they want at the end of the day….the teacher is the only one who can decide on integration. It’s great to have help, and it’s there if you need/want it. But that’s all it is is help.

    I agree that sharing is the most important part of learning. Glad to see you studying what others are doing and figuring out ways that this or that piece might fit into your classroom….I believe we call that learning? :)

  2. Ok, so now I’m writing this comment for a second time– the first comment was “spammy” and no matter how many times I reworded things or used different browsers, it wouldn’t post. Ugh!
    Anyways, I agree with what you’ve written. I think Stratford and Jeff make great points about the classroom teacher being the one who has to decide to add technology within their curriculum. The Florida matrix is a great reference tool and I hope to take my continuum and appendix down that road eventually.

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