This year, during our summer trainings, we focused on technology integration in the content areas. We posed a question to the teachers that attended the training. What are the challenges faced when integrating technology into your lessons?
We received a variety of responses. The majority included access to computers, projectors, software and support. The overwhelming number of responses indicated that they needed time to learn the technology and time to plan the integration into their lesson plans.
Time is always a crucial factor when developing lessons. This time is more important as teachers try to learn the technology. Most teachers grasp the technology concepts during a training but, teachers don’t always go back and practice using the technology. Learn a little and stretch it out over several lessons. In this way you wont feel like there is not enough time to learn the technology. Learn a little and become proficient at using the technology. Apply it in a variety of contexts and learn how to form it to your classroom environment and teaching style.
Grasp a useful technology concept and use it regularly. Take blogging as an example. Try to integrate blogging into as many lessons, and into all the content areas like math, science, and history. This practice will help you as a teacher become proficient with the technology. You will also learn through trial and error what some of the best practices are for your classroom environment. Every teacher has his or her own style. Technology needs to fit your classroom environment and teaching style. Take the technology and mold it to suit your needs.
Once you feel comfortable using a piece of technology go on to another. Each step you take will lead into an even greater comfort level. Don’t be afraid to try new technologies. Ask yourself this question. How can I use this technology in my lesson to help students grasp the concepts, help them retain those concepts and connect learning to the way they want to learn?