EDTECH: TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION
OBJECTIVES OF EDTECH SPECIALIST
The objective of the Educational Technology Specialist is to facilitate teachers in effectively integrating technology into curriculum and instruction in order to enhance student learning process and outcomes. Integrating technology provides students with the opportunity to develop skills that are essential for lifelong learners, such as research, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and problem solving. Technology integration also assists students in acquiring information, media, and technology literacy, which is crucial for our rapidly changing media and technology driven world. As an EdTech specialist, I use the ISTE Standards for Coaches, a document that clearly states what is expected of me as an effective technology-integration facilitator.
TECH INTEGRATION WITH CLASSROOM TEACHERS
EdTech specialists facilitate teachers in two methods. First, specialists and classroom teacher can collaboratively plan and implement proven methods of integrating technology into instruction and curriculum. This method involves three key stages: Preparation, Instruction, and Reflection.
The preparation stage requires the specialist and classroom teacher to examine technology standards and see if they can be implemented into existing or new lessons/units. The specialist would then offer innovative ideas for technology implementation that would enhance student learning of core subject knowledge, and meet technology standards. Next, the instruction stage involves the implementation of the technology-integrated lesson/unit. This step can involve both the specialist and the classroom teacher co-teaching simultaneously, or the specialist providing technology support while the classroom teacher independently leads the lesson. Finally, the reflection stage involves the specialist and classroom teacher meeting to see whether the integration assisted students in meeting lesson/unit objectives. This final stage allows the specialist and teacher to make the needed changes to improve their lesson/unit. All three stages of technology integration involves safe and responsible use of technology. The specialist makes sure to educate students and teachers about the issues of using online resources and tools, and instructs them in online safety procedures.
Professional development training is the second method of facilitating teachers in technology integration. These professional development sessions help teachers acquire the knowledge and skills needed to implement technology into their instruction and curriculum. Teachers learn how to use technology to enhance student learning and creativity, create authentic learning experiences and assessments, and improve their students' 21st century skills. Professional development experiences can be provided in the following ways:
Model the use of a new technology tool or strategy for teachers so that they have a better understanding of how to approach technology integration themselves.
Coach and mentor lead teachers (grade-level or department leads) so that they can mentor others in their team.
Lead a short training session to clarify and address immediate technology concerns.
Lead an EdTech learning community of teachers that promotes collaborative inquiry to solve specific problems or meet goals (online or face-to-face meet-ups).
Similarly to how classroom teachers use student-centered lessons and hands-on learning activities in their instruction, specialists should also try to resemble the same environment for their professional development sessions. The attending teachers are given the opportunity to collaborate and actively participate in their own learning to gain a better understanding of the session’s topic.
SAMR MODEL: LEVELS OF INTEGRATION
Screenshot from Dr. Puentedura's "Transformation, Technology, and Education" Presentation
The SAMR model guides EdTech specialists and teachers in designing technology-integrated units to transform the learning environment. It is also a reflective tool for teachers to fine-tune their practices and pedagogy that involve technology.
Dr. Ruben Puentedura, a consultant in education technology, developed the SAMR model to categorize technology usage into four technological levels: substitution, augmentation, modification, and redefinition.
1. The Substitution level is the lowest level of technology usage in the model. Students use a technology that replaces a traditional tool, but results in no change in functionality.
2. In the Augmentation level, a traditional tool is also replaced with a new technology, but the result is a small enhancement in functionality.
3. The Modification level is the first level that exhibits transformation in a learning environment. This level of technological use alters the whole design of a learning activity, which results in an increase in teacher/student productivity.
4. The highest level of technological use is the Redefinition level. This level consists of creative and innovative learning activities that were impossible to execute previously. The technology in this level allows students to perform authentic tasks that require students to communicate, collaborate, research, and think critically. The new technology helps students gain a deeper understanding of the content and help master important skills.
It is important to note that it is fine to be in the first two technological levels (known as the Enhancement levels). Teachers may need to start at these levels to transition into the higher technological levels (Transformation levels).
PROFESSIONAL & PERSONAL QUALITIES
Content from Korea International School's EdTech Team
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