Philosophy of Technology Integration in Education

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“Educational technology, especially computers and computer-related peripherals, have grown tremendously and have permeated all areas of our lives” (Valdez, 2005, ¶ 3). Computers are a prevalent part of most people’s professional and social lives. They serve an essential role in a myriad of industries including but not limited to, finances, health care, and retail. On the personal front, social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace have gained a popularity that few could have predicted a decade ago. With technology, particularly computers, present in nearly every aspect of the average person’s life, why wouldn’t it be as prevalent in the education? Similarly, as it is a large part of the typical student’s life, it would be natural for that to translate to their classroom experiences. While there are some disadvantages to integrating technology into schools, they are strongly counteracted by the benefits of its addition.

A team of scholars at the University of Amsterdam quote a fourteen year old boy describing his experience with using technology at school: “I like working with computers at school. It is nice to be active, to determine your own way of working and to not have to listen to the teacher all the time” (Heemskerk, Dam, Volman, & Admiraal, 2009, ¶ 1). The student has found many gratifications in his use of technology, all of which are alluded to in a brief response. He has gained autonomy. He has felt less sedentary and passive. Rather than being a passenger in his education, always a listener, he has become proactive participant and director. Another student, this time a girl, says “It is nicer than the usual lessons …” (Heemskerk et al., ¶ 1). While her words are less descriptive, she ...

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...students who are equally or more so. Obviously a teacher cannot pass on skills to the students, that he or she does not possess (Valdez, 2005).

As seen both the arguments for and against the use of technology in schools have validity; however, it appears that the strengths overshadow the weaknesses. In hopes of receiving appropriate training she plans to begin using her school’s newly acquired remote control devices which have proven successful in other schools (Curtis, 2003). She has already been implementing technology in her lessons in other ways, such as projected slide shows, occasional web quests and research projects, and video clips. The remotes are the only technology that her school has to offer that she has not yet utilized. Hopefully they will bring the ability to engage students, while helping them learn that other technological media offers.

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