Teacher Blogger | By Brad Skeet
It was 2010 and I was teaching grade seven science for the first time. I had been a successful fifth grade teacher for the previous fifteen years and had taught science before. My grade five students and I would discuss the different concepts. They would perform hands-on experiment activities and would write wonderful lab reports about what they had learned. My students were engaged and happy in their learning. Or so it seemed. Fast forward two grade levels and I saw a very different group of students sitting in front of me. While they did the work for me out of what can only be described as compliance, one could see that they really were not interested nor invested in the work.
I had an extensive technology background for the time period. I thought that in order to engage my students, putting the course into Moodle (a learning management system) would engage my students because they were on computers. I was wrong in my assumption. Simply making an assignment electronic without changing the purpose behind the assignment did not make it more engaging for students. I had the technical skills but I did not have the technology integration skills.
It was about this time that I began to take a deeper dive into conceptual understanding as a teacher. Our school division had begun a shift toward students developing a mastery understanding of their subject areas. This meant that they would have a deeper understanding of what they were learning along with an understanding of why they were learning it. Ultimately, we wanted our students to be able to apply what they had learned to new and novel situations.
There are many educators who use technology in the classroom. It can be argued, however, that simply consuming information is not what we mean by technological integration. Simple literacy and mathematical software have their purpose, but they do not necessarily promote a deeper understanding of concepts. We want our classrooms to use technology to empower our learners. We want those students to be engaged in their learning and to be motivated to push further. The question can be asked: “How do we help teachers move practice forward to allow for technology integration?” Continue reading “Bringing it all Together – Using the TIM for Technology Integration”