Teaching with Technology
Many districts are looking to seamlessly embed technology into learning environments in order to redesign classrooms and redefine tasks to enhance student learning and engagement. Teaching with technology is about leveraging technology to meet instructional goals, and is highly dependent on the subject area. Additionally, educators are sometimes challenged to move beyond simply substituting analog materials for digital tools. School leaders and staff are at different points regarding their knowledge of and confidence using technology to transform teaching and learning in compelling and powerful ways. Further, educational technology is often not designed with a deep enough understanding of the workflow of classrooms and needs of teachers and students. In this context, some educators find it difficult to make best use of available technologies in their teaching practice, while others are unsure how to structure and manage a classroom with student devices.
In the Words of District Leaders
“Part of the problem has been the rollout of devices. One of the big problems is when everybody’s getting everything all at once, it’s really difficult to make sure that the devices are not just door stops. To make sure that they’re being used in the methods intended and that the kids are not sitting in class kind of daydreaming and going off into these other spaces. …It has really forced us to think differently about instruction.”
“How do we know we’re utilizing the technology in the best way possible? And how do we measure the use of the technology in the classroom?”
Ideas from the Field
- In one approach, a team of educators not only adopts major instructional goals, but also considers what type of technology is most appropriate and effective for achieving those goals.
- Instructional technology coaches are integral to many districts’ success with embedding technology. Many districts agree that not only should these coaches have excellent technology skills, but they also need to be strong in the classroom.
Check out the following research-based resources for more information about integrating technology into teaching:
Technology Integration Matrix – From the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, the Technology Integration Matrix provides a framework for describing and targeting the use of technology to enhance learning.
CIRCL Primers – From CIRCL, primers offer brief research summaries of key topics in the Learning Sciences, with special attention to learning technology.
Online Learning topic page – From Digital Promise, an introduction and key findings from the research on technology in teaching and learning, including links to additional resources.
Fostering Powerful Use of Technology Through Instructional Coaching – Research findings from the Dynamic Learning Project suggest that instructional technology coaching is a promising approach to help close the digital use divide, and ultimately improve student learning.
Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Educator Resources – From Digital Promise, these resources help educators understand WHY and HOW technology supports learning, connect with and learn from other educators, and use research and data to improve teaching and learning.