Factors That Must Be Considered
The Teacher Factor
The most beneficial way for a teacher to integrate technology into her classroom is by using TPACK. To learn more visit http://www.tpack.org. The main focus of the teacher is to help her students to grow and progress in all areas of their lives. In this century, that includes technology because it is an integral part of their world. Image: (Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by tpack.org)
The Learner Factor
It is no secret that children know how to use technology, sometimes even better than adults. For many, it is the main source of communication. Why don't we use this knowledge that they already have to further their learning? This also gives teacher a chance to show the learners how to use the technology safely and efficiently. The NET-S standards provide a great guideline for doing this. These can be found at http://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/20-14_ISTE_Standards-S_PDF.pdf. It is also important to keep in mind how important it is to make adaptations for students that need them. I learned about how to do this by visiting the Adaptive Technology Lab at Ball State University. To see some of the accommodations they have, visit http://cms.bsu.edu/about/administrativeoffices/labs/adaptivetechnology.
The Curriculum Factor
The curriculum these days seems to focus mainly on standardized testing. This changes the way that teachers must teach. There is so much more to a student than their score on one standardized test, but sometimes we seem to forget that. The video below shows the state that education is in and why it no longer makes sense to do things the way we have in the past. Technology should be used as great motivation for students. If we can hold their attention with the integration of technology, their learning will be much greater in the long run.
The School/Community Factor
It is important to consider the school district and surrounding community where a teacher is working. These things can have an effect on how easily teachers can integrate technology into their classrooms. To learn more about the demographics in the School Town of Highland, http://compass.doe.in.gov/dashboard/overview.aspx?type=corp&id=4720. They have a technology plan into place, and they are currently working to increase their technology integration at all grade levels. I would love to work there and see how I would be able to help them achieve this goal. For more information on the district policies, visit http://www.highland.k12.in.us/Page/1.