Research-Based Tech Integration Strategies
When youngsters use digital devices, they frequently have difficulty transferring the abilities they have learned via the use of the gadgets to their regular life. In one recent study, for example, children who were shown how to do puzzles using the software were unable to complete the puzzles using real components; yet, when a human demonstrated the task, the children were able to complete it successfully.
What implications does this research have for my use of technology in the classroom? We utilize educational software, and instead of using the tutorials provided with it, I demonstrate my usage and create my video lessons because my pupils are more likely to learn a new skill when they hear my familiar voice and see me displaying the functions of that software.
Over the past decade, new research on technology in learning has developed, providing educators with information on the best implementation tactics to use when incorporating technology into the classroom. Listed below are three ways that instructors can use to ensure that they are employing research-informed strategies when selecting tools and integrating those resources into their students’ learning.
KEEP LEARNING SOCIAL
The one-to-one device experience has been popular in many schools; nevertheless, social learning should not be abandoned simply because pupils have a personal device. The use of digital technologies and instructional practices that allow students to conduct two-way conversations about what they’re doing and learning is critical to student success.
There are a variety of methods by which teachers can incorporate social learning into their technology integration lessons. Look for programs that allow for simultaneous collaboration and feedback, such as Collabrify Suite and Scratchwork, to save time and effort. Both of these applications assist students and professors in collaboratively creating documents, modifying them, and offering real-time feedback.
Social learning instructional strategies such as turn and chat, share aloud, think/pair/share (intentionally partnering students), and questioning techniques can be included in settings where students are working on devices by their teachers.
Students compose an argument in Google Docs, which serves as an example of social learning with technology in the classroom. Utilize the synchronicity of Google Docs by having them edit one other’s work and provide real-time feedback through the comment feature. This allows the students to participate in one other’s learning by participating in the writing process together through the use of technology.
ENSURE THAT THE TECHNOLOGY ADDS VALUE
To be effective, technology must bring value to the lesson by increasing the learning in ways that would be difficult to accomplish without the use of technology. Some tools, for example, assist with distinction or break down concepts to make them more understandable. Moreover, research has shown that software that assists students in eliciting higher-level thinking is more advantageous to cognitive development than drill and practice software.
Teachers should guarantee that technology integration is beneficial to students by looking for applications that assist students in engaging with higher-level cognitive skills and diverse learning opportunities.
For example, in Seesaw’s activity lab, teachers can select or design activities for students of varying learning levels and assign them to individuals or groups of students based on their abilities. The usage of math software, such as CueThink, encourages students to collaborate on math problems and emphasizes the process of performing arithmetic rather than drill and practice.
If students are asked to complete reflective notebooks, teachers can incorporate instructional strategies that elicit higher-level thinking into their lessons. These strategies include asking probing questions, using visible thinking routines and graphic organizers, and assigning students to complete reflective notebooks. The importance of this is magnified if pupils are using a drill and practice software.
Students use Audacity to record themselves reciting poetry to improve their fluency abilities as an example of how technology can offer value to the classroom. In several ways, the Audacity software adds value to the lesson: it allows students’ word enunciations to become visible in audio waveforms, it allows students to hear themselves so that they can make modifications, and it allows students to use their higher-level cognitive skills such as analyzing and comparing to enhance their learning.
MAKE THE LEARNING AUTHENTIC
Learning is most effective when it is rooted in real-world situations and experiences. Finding methods in which technology can assist in bridging the gap between school learning and students’ everyday life is beneficial in terms of making the learning more authentic.
Teaching with technology may bring real-world learning into the classroom by utilizing tools that allow students to collaborate with other students outside of the classroom setting. For example, the website iNaturalist enables students to investigate biological species in their backyards and to share their scientific findings with individuals all around the world. Furthermore, mobile treasure hunt tools such as GooseChase (which allows students to participate in field-based activities to acquire information about local communities) help kids create connections between what they learn in the classroom and the world around them.
Teachers can also incorporate instructional strategies that link authentic examples to the classroom activity, such as collaborating with expert organizations for project-based learning activities, asking students to come up with what they want to learn based on their life experiences, making text-to-self connections, establishing a pen-pal program, or bringing in subject matter experts on a variety of subjects.
The following is an example of realistic integration with technology in a lesson: To learn more about sea turtles and how the environment influences their lives, students studying environmental impacts on animals take a virtual field trip to an aquarium. While there, they learn about sea turtles and how the environment influences the animals’ lives. The students can ask questions of the aquarium’s professionals and observe how the turtles react to various elements in their natural marine environment by visiting the aquarium.