A couple years ago – which is nearly a decade in Internet Years, the topic of technology integration was making the rounds. A colleague up in Canada had this to say about it almost two years ago today:

Stop integrating technology.

There are a couple of things you should note about this post.

  1. Dean references another blogger (Jeff Utecht of the Thinking Stick) and adds his own take on it.
  2. Dean is one of a collection of Canadian Edubloggers that is always pressing the envelope – not by pushing technology (altho he does) but by examining the practice in meaningful and metacognitive ways.
  3. We still talk about “technology integration” even after all this time.

Discuss.

10 Responses to “Just Do It”

  1. Ashley Pelfrey Says:

    I think that this”just do it” idea is great. I have to go back to an idea from an earlier post, which is the concern that we are spoon-feeding our students information. I know from personal experience that we learn from doing, not by writing down what we are expected to do. Today I reminded my students that we are having a text on Friday. I told them to collect their notes from the unit and create a study guide. They were astonished that I did not have a a study guide copied to pass out to each one of them. I reminded them that not all of them study the same way, not all of them need to study exactly the same material, and I was not put here to do their work for them. I look forward to comparing the results of this test the last.

  2. Tim Toews Says:

    my view on technology integration is something like the old buzz word “scaffolding”. Start with a paper and pencil. Then work in other forms of technology, once the students have proven that they have mastered that technology, then you add in something else. If you have students with needs, adapt existing tech (books and paper for instance) to spoken word methods such as audio cds, text readers, and so on. Tech for techs sake is a waste of your time and school resources too.

  3. Elizabeth Freeman Says:

    I still hear that teachers should make sure they are integrating technology into their classrooms. We have technology in our classrooms, we just need to and should be using it. Some do not consider the use of calculators, CD players, and projectors as technology. They think that technology has to be something elaborate like computers or Promethean Boards. I remember doing a lesson during my internship year and my university advisor marked me off because I had not used technology. I didn’t use any of the “fancy” stuff, but I did use and my students used a projector and a calculator in the lesson. Thankfully my principal stood up for me and the lady adjusted my score.
    I agree with the blog that we just need to give students access to technology and they will figure it out. They are in a technological world and they can figure out just about anything. If they are given the tools they will learn how to do it. Kids have that carefree spirit and are not afraid to try different things, whereas many adults think that computers and the software on them are evil. Many teachers at my school do not know how to use their Mac computers, but the kids can get on there and do just about anything.

  4. Amy Howard Says:

    I have to say that I always think I need to know something before I let my students use it. Students need to work and discover education and along the way I will learn with them. If I want students to create a story I should give them choices. If I don’t know how to use Microsoft Photo Story, it doesn’t mean a student shouldn’t use it. They can discover how to use it and make a creative story through photos and narration. We are scared of the unkown sometimes. Technology is as simple as language. We do not intergrate technology. We ues it everyday.

  5. Shellae Peters Says:

    I couldn’t agree more, as far as kids are concerned. If you will notice, when a kids get a new video game, they don’t look at the insert to see how to play it, they just do it. They figure it out as they go and that is really the best way to learn. In the school setting, I think they would have to get used to the idea first because the classes are usually so structured that they may feel like they have to wait to be told what to do and when. I have found that my non-traditional college students, however, are the complete opposite. They don’t want to explore on their own. They want you to tell them exactly what to do and how to do it. Many feel like the instructor should explain everything, down to the tiniest detail, up front. I think this may be, in part, to computers (and applications) being fairly foreign or new to them. They need time to feel comfortable with using technology before they are thrust into it. So, bottom line is, turning students loose to explore new applications is a great way to learn at their own pace, but you need to have patience with those who may need a little extra push.

  6. lowell Says:

    I think it’s how we train students. You’re seeing in your school setting that the students are waiting to be told what to do. By the time those students reach grad school, it’s not a question of waiting to be told — they’ve been trained to EXPECT to be told. Precisely. In detail.

    And then you get to my class and it all gets messy 🙂

  7. kim Says:

    I’ve been using a model from the “inspired classroom” to create a more collaborative learning culture in my class. My students work together to apply their math and language arts skills using technology. For example, instead of a teacher created study guide for a unit and having to make copies (half of which will never be used), my students use create a wiki to write their own study guide for the class. Using Google Docs has also helped me monitor their use of the writing process as I can look at their editing and revision (using the revisions tab). We use blogs for our reflective writing, and no one thinks anything about it.
    Technology integration is simply using the best tool to help your learners demonstrate and apply a skill.

  8. msujc Says:

    I will give you that students do learn rather quickly how to use technology such as software programs but there are some issues. It isn’t and can’t be just throw’em in and let’em swim attitude. When you do that you take the teacher out of the picture and your no longer needed. Why not just give students books and tell them to learn whatever they want?

    Students must have some direction with what to do with technology. Older students may be ok, but I had students in middle school and some had no clue how to access the interent on school computers. To just load software or open the interenet and let them do as they wish with no introduction to the usage of the tools is wreckless and time consuming. Time is something that can’t be wasted in most school computer labs because other classes are waiting to get in. I may sound like I actually disagree with the bloggers ideas, I don’t, I just do not feel that this is a realistic view. Whatever we take out of this class must be able to be put to use, and I’m afraid that this advice from the blogger Mr. Lowell cites would be difficult to implement.

    Look at it from one more viewpoint. When teens learn to drive you just don’t give them a car and tell them to have fun. You practice with an older driver, and then show you have gained proficiency before your allowed to go it alone. Certainly we don’t need months of practice on software like video editing programs, but a short instructional demonstration is useful. The author says that he practiced it before going in to the classroom himself, students trying to figure out the software if they are unfamiliar would use the majority of the class learning the software and then get little work done. This is similar to the “displacement” idea that i discussed on my blog earlier http://msujc.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/technology-overuse-by-teachers-over-reliance-by-students/

    Yo can read that post if you would like, there is a link in it to another blogger who mentions that sometimes teaching the technology takes longer than the content does. It is discussed mainly from the viewpoint of the time it takes teachers to teach the new tech tools, but similary it has to be learned regardless of students learning themselves or teachers demostrating new tech tools to students.

  9. Kim Clevinger Says:

    I think that teachers need to have an idea about the technology being used before they ask the students to use it. This ensures that if there is a problem, maybe it can be solved quickly–not always but it could save time. To me, it would be like going to class unprepared for a lesson. I do agree that children are good with technology and could probably figure it out (better than most teachers for that matter), but is it entirely their job to do so?

    I think that the teacher needs to be aware of ALL aspects of the classroom. He/she needs to be able to guide the students in what to do with the technology. Otherwise, they may totally be off task from what you are expecting them to learn.

  10. Ronn Varney Says:

    The major problem with our schools and why they don’t “Just Do It”, is because many teachers are unsure of the technology themselves. The students often have a better understanding of the technology and would be more comfortable using it than their teacher. We just need to give the students the opportunities to use it, and let them work and be a facilitator of learning.

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