Once again we were asked in the online university course I am taking to discuss technology in education via a discussion forum. One of the questions this week was, "How can technology be infused into curriculum and instruction safely and effectively?" Following is my response:
I am fresh from a technology in education conference that I attended today and am ready and excited to participate in this discussion question for the week.
I love how this course gives me another forum to share my thoughts on this amazing transition in education. Every single moment that I spend learning about it, talking about it, viewing conference sessions and webinars about it and building my PLN based on it gets me even more excited and ready for this transition.
I think infused is much too light of a word when talking about getting more technology into the curriculum. I think technology needs to be thrust into the curriculum. And the faster this gets done, the more likely we are to prepare them for the world in which they exist. We are no longer preparing our children to survive in their world. We are preparing them to survive in our world. With social networking, collaboration, instant access to all information and so much more, education has GOT to change. And it MUST include technology. Once the world sees the benefit of having students take PART in their learning instead of being taught AT, we will wonder why we ever educated our youth in a way that made no sense to them.
How can technology be thrust into the curriculum? I think programs like edmodo make collaborating both easy and safe. Students love it and yet they are still learning while they are collaborating via a safe social network. Quizlet is also such an amazing tool that teachers should start using TODAY. Anybody with access to the internet could be using Quizlet right NOW and yet so many people don’t even bother to try it. Any online course environment includes all the tools needed for increased student involvement and performance – Moodle, Blackboard, Angel – these have the capability to do the blogging, wiki writing, forum participation, etc. There are new web programs coming out it seems almost daily that allow you to do many of these things in the classroom for FREE. You don’t even need to make your course in an online environment to do most of this (i.e. blogger, weebly, gaggle, etc.).
Adding technology to your curriculum is no longer saying, ‘I bring in the mobile lab to use word processing with my students’. Nor is it, ‘my students must create presentations for the content (of the course)’. This concept of ‘technology integration’ is at least a decade old! Changing the way we think, changing the way students learn, connecting real world meaning to education, giving students REAL world audiences and allowing students to collaborate – how THEY want to collaborate is where we have to be.