Integrating Technology in the Classroom


     From cell phones and MP3 players to SMART boards and home based computers today’s students are usually more techno-savvy than their “digital immigrant” teacher counterparts, who in many cases struggle to make technology relevant to the classroom. As a result successful educational technology programs have shifted from being teacher-centered to constructivist. The teacher of today simply designs instructional material, supplies and website resources, videos, etc. that direct student research, reading and activities.  The teacher then groups students in pairs and directs them to present a summary of their experiences.    The results are usually very impressive as the students actively learn and engage themselves in a truly relevant manner.

   There are many steps teachers should take to make sure they are up to speed with the technologies:  get the proper training, be informed about (AUP’s) and copyright issues, know about on line safety, and integrate the technology with the curriculum are but a few that come to mind.   In short the teacher’s role is to make the relevant technology available to the students, provide proper oversight and then get out of the way.

     One area where the teacher and the school can and must be more effective is to change facilities to keep pace with the times.   Large sums of money in the form of grants are available to pay for the cost of the new technologies.  Teachers must spearhead the programs for attaining these funds.  Local civic organizations, local leaders in the business community and, local governmental officials should also be included in the process.  Thinking about the big picture and the willingness to change is required to make an educational technology program successful.