Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How Integrated is Integrated?

Technology integration in the classroom is not a simple thing to understand. Does PowerPoint count as technology integration?  How about going to local merchants and video recording them to create an overview of Main Street?  What about using technology to send a Thank You card?  How do you rank it?  Is one better than the other?

This is an ongoing question that needs to be considered by teachers, technology integration specialists, and administrators.

What we need is a yardstick of some sort to measure the various levels of integration.  Fortunately, the Florida Department of Education created the Technology Integration Matrix. This is a table that cross references five levels of technology integration with 5 levels of characteristics of meaningful learning environments.

Become familiar with this chart and the various activities. This should take at least an hour. Here is a suggestion for learning about this matrix:

  1. Begin by learning about each of the measurement criteria. Start with the Levels of Technology.  Click on the box labeled Entry. It will take you to another page that will define Entry and then explain how the Student/Teacher/Environment are structured in relation to each of the Learning Environment characteristics.  Read through these to get the idea about what Entry level technology integration means in these differing situations.  There are some short videos dealing with different subject areas in the right column. Watch a few of those.
  2. Review the various levels in the Characteristics of the Learning Environment section.  Use the same procedure. Click on Active. Read how it is characterized by Student/Teacher/Environment in each of the Technology Integration levels. Watch the videos at the bottom.
  3. Return to the matrix and try to identify the various forms of technology-integrated teaching we observed or discussed at the Iowa R&D School. 
  4. Consider learning experiences you have observed in your classes at UNI or in-field observations and try to identify where they land in the chart.
Review this because we will discuss this in class on Thursday.

Thank You Cards:

It is important to express your gratitude about being allowed to have an experience as we had at IRDS. I have selected VoiceThread as a tool we could use express our gratitude.
If you haven't used VoiceThread, it is a website where you can post a picture, video, or document and then have others comment on it. Dr. Z has created a couple of VoiceThread sites and would like you to add your commentary. 

The unique capability about VoiceThread is that it allows you to respond using text, audio or video.   Please follow these steps to learn about VT and then contribute to the VT page.  (BTW, we will know who didn't do their homework by looking for those missing on the VTs.)
  1. Watch this video on how to add your contribution to the VT page.  You will have to register for an account at the beginning and then you can share your ideas.   Using VoiceThread for Thank You Notes.
  2. Visit the VoiceThread site for Mrs. Breitbach and leave your thank you.
  3. Visit the VoiceThread site for Mrs. Hanna and leave your thank you.
  4. Now that you have used VoiceThread, watch this video that tells you more about it.
I look forward to our discussions on Thursday.


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