Technology integration is the use of technological resources like computers, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, digital cameras, social media platforms and networks, software applications, the Internet, etc. in daily classroom practices, and in the management of a school.
When technology integration is at its best, a child or a teacher doesn't get to know that he or she is using a technological tool; instead they are more engaged in their class sessions and the projects. Technology integration is the best when adapted as the second nature and is a seamless part of the learning process. This integration not only helps in the classroom but also benefits the institution in other areas of work.
Successful technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is:
- Routine and transparent.
- Accessible and readily available for the task at hand.
- Supporting the curricular goals, and helping the students and teachers to effectively reach their goals.
Transformational school leaders can enhance the use of technology in their schools. For leaders, technology should not just be limited to the classrooms but also should be harnessed within the management and other fields. For this to happen, the staff, teachers and all should be up-to-date about the EdTech tools and platforms that may help in proper functioning of the work. The new 21st century teachers must master more than the curriculum to succeed in secondary and post secondary institutions as well as the workplace. The potential impact that technology will have, made leaders believe that increasing capacity of this integration depends on enhancing the technological skills of teachers and administrators.
In terms of utilization, technology has expanded from primary usage as an instructional delivery medium to an integral part of the learning environment.
For leaders, Technology must serve distinct purposes in their schools:
- To teach, drill, and practice using increasingly sophisticated digital content.
- To provide simulations and real world experiences to develop critical and creative thinking and to extend learning.
- To provide access to a wealth of information and enhanced communications through the Internet and other related information technologies.
- As a productivity tool employing application software such as spreadsheets, databases, and word processors to manage information, solve problems, and produce sophisticated products.
- Serve as an extension and enhancer for handicapped populations.
- Provide automated translators for multilingual populations.
- Evaluation that enables school leaders and teachers to determine if they are realizing their goals and help them adjust their practices to meet those goals.
For the optimum utilization of technology, institutions can take steps to provide guidelines for Img Src; and have developed standards for teachers and administrators that include technology.
However, successful technology integration can only be achieved when there is a willingness to embrace changes. It is an ongoing process and demands continuous learning by educators and learners. With regular advancement in technology, it is important that leaders and teachers must walk hand in hand with the latest additions made every day.
“I’m convinced that we as administrative leaders have an obligation to initiate new learning, become skillful in the use of new tools that accelerate and advance our learning work, and share with others what we are learning” - Pam Moran, Superintendent of schools, Albemarle County, VA.
In the book ‘Insights Into Action’ by William Sterrett successful school leaders show what ‘works’. Read more about the book and the successful school leaders and their experiences in Lyn ‘s review (Elementary School Principal and Technology Integrator/Coach.) here.
So, if you’re a school leader, ask yourself if your learning and teaching methods need to be transformed in order for you to grow your capacity as a leader. If yes, then turn your insights into action with the effective use of technology.