What do you see as the some of the benefits and challenges of technology integration, and using the TIP framework, in your teaching area?
Soujah (2014) makes some interesting points regarding technology integration that align with my pre-service, constructivist view of teaching. We have reached a point in the 21st century where technology is ubiquitous, and integrating technology across all disciplines is not only essential, but inevitable. Thus, technology should not be treated as a separate entity but viewed as a tool that supports and facilitates curriculum goals to develop skills required for successful participation in the 21st-century (Soujah, 2014, p. 445). It should be invisible; the focus needs to shift from why to how. According to Prensky’s definition of digital natives, students of today have learned predispositions with technologies, having spent their entire lives in the digital age (Prensky, 2001). To motivate and engage them in studies, the learning must meet them where they are. And that is on social network apps, on smart phones, on the web and we must do this using the tools already available to them.
Benefits: A key benefit of integrating technology into the study of History, is the speed at which students can access and explore the world around them. For example, the large volume of content in a single History unit such as World War II, can be accessed at a faster pace with technology to enable a broader perspective of events. History curriculum outcome HT5- 8 states that students must be able to select and analyse a range of historical sources to locate information relevant to an historical inquiry (Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW, 2016). Websites such as the National Library of Australia’s Trove provide uploaded books, images, letters, historic newspapers, archives, music etc. all from one database that students can access at any time. In a traditional print-based learning environment, this type of research would take a considerable amount of time.
Challenges: Challenges of integrating technology into History studies include teacher willingness, administrative barriers, pedagogical and personal constraints (Okojie, Olinzock, & Okojie-Boulder, 2006). Teachers of history must remain flexible to keep abreast of the broad content changes as they occur, as well as keeping up with the rapid pace of change in technology. To make the learning of history meaningful, students need to make connections with the past by relating it to themselves thus staying relevant requires teachers to constantly adapt content. What may work one year, may require a different pedagogical approach the next and having flexible practices may cause administrative problems and constraints on personal time.
Here is where the TIP Model and Tech-PACK provide a solid framework and theory for teachers to address the benefits and challenges of integrating technology, to ensure successful outcomes (Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p. 66).
Analysis of Needs
- By investigating the relative advantage of different tools, teachers can determine whether the chosen technology is relevant to the learning or being integrated for the sake of technology. Using the example above, a teacher may decide that too much time is being spent on locating resources and determines a technological tool to best provide a solution to speed up the process.
- Teachers can assess their Tech-PACK to assess gaps in their content, technological and pedagogical knowledge and how to fill these gaps so that they work cohesively.
Planning for Integration
- Teachers can strategise about how best to create a learning environment that supports identified outcomes and learning objectives. Technology may be used as part of the assessment process to meet the objectives.
Post-lesson Reflection & Revision
- Analysis of what worked best and make necessary changes. I think technology can be used well here to collect achievement data and gauge student attitudes.
Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW. (2016). History K-10: Outcomes. Retrieved from NSW Syllabuses: http://syllabus.bostes.nsw.edu.au/hsie/history-k10/outcomes/
George Lucas Educational Foundation. (2016). An introduction to technology integration. Retrieved from Edutopia: https://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction-video
National Library of Australia. (2016). Retrieved from Trove: http://trove.nla.gov.au/
Okojie, M., Olinzock, A., & Okojie-Boulder, T. (2006). The pedagogy of technology integration. The Journal of Technology Studies, 1-6.
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-6.
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2014). Intergrating Educational Technology into Teaching (6th ed.). Essex, UK: Pearson Education Limited.
Soujah, S. (2014). Technology integration in schools: Are we overinvested and underprepared? International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 4(5), 444-447.