Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Metaphor for Technology Integration

                This year we are becoming a 1:1 iPad school, a move for which we have been preparing for quite a long time. Our program, called Imagine, is about to bloom into full reality. We considered other directions but went with the iPad for various reasons, one of which I believe serves as a nice metaphor for what we want out of meaningful technology integration.
                Until last August, many of our teachers never had used an iPad. But they are quite growth minded and willing, and they took to it rather quickly. A giant part of the reason is the touch screen. As one teacher explained, in many ways the device feels like it is an extension of herself.
                That can sound rather cyborg-ian, like Kurzweil’s singularity has finally happened. However, she meant it in a more abstract pedagogical sense. Because she was using her hands, it felt more natural. She also could move around the room. There was less of a barrier between her and the students. This, in turn, made the technology less intrusive.
                Here’s the really big point. Combine the above with some of the capabilities she discovered in some of the apps she tried. Put it all together, and she felt as if she could now really teach with technology the way she always has wanted to teach! The technology and the teacher were working in harmony.
                That’s what we need when it comes to technology integration. In fact, then we really shouldn’t be talking about technology integration at all. It should just be a natural part of what humans do as learners.


Anonymous said...

As a technology integration coordinator, I couldn't agree more! It should be seamless-integrating technology as a tool for teaching and learning. How wonderful that your faculty sees this as a positive direction for your community! Have a great year!

Mark Crotty said...

Thanks, Sarah. So far it's been a great roll-out, with many more successes than glitches. Our extensive preparation is paying off!