Integrating Technology Into Lessons Essay
The purpose of this study is to make a technology plan that will enumerate the technological needs of the institution and assess feasible solutions for each with optimum benefits for all users. The Instructional Technology Plan is designed to assess the needs of the school in terms of technology and instruction. It should be noted that schools are becoming more sensitive on global needs. Technology is a global issue that education cannot put off.Description of the CommunityFlowers Academy is a public high school. Flowers Academy is one of 4 elementary schools in Mississippi. This school is open to all students in Mississippi. This community covers a large geographical area, which is made up of urban, suburban and rural subsections with housing ranging from single family to expanded family.Description of Work SettingThis research project will take place at one elementary school, Flowers’ Academy located in the urban area of Mabry School District . Currently 450 students within this first through sixth grade elementary school are enrolled. All classes are self-contained. Special education students are inclusive There are 2 gifted teachers. Teacher Assistants are in classrooms up to 3rd grade-6th grade. Third grade- 6th grade share one assistant. This project took place in three classrooms, all grade 5 students. There are currently 23 students in each of these classrooms making the number of students in the study 69. The classes consist of 31 girls and 38 boys. Our primary focus was to make sure all teachers are integrating technology in their lessons. Students’ benefit from technology based lessons and is more interested. As a result, the school population is consisting of 95% African American, three percent Caucasian and one percent Native American and one percent Asian. ELL students receive 65% of their education in a general education classroom and are taken out for small group English Language development 35% of each day. Student handbooks have been translated in Spanish and English. Flowers’ Academy encourages all students and teachers to be technology savvy.Writer’s RoleThe writer holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in elementary education. The writer is currently working towards a M. A. in Curriculum and Instruction. The writer has taught 6 years and with the present employer for 6 years. The writer’s role at Flowers’ Academy is a self-contained educator. The writer teaches all subjects. As a teacher of all subjects, the writer is responsible for teaching all material listed in the Mississippi Curriculum of Studies.The writer will be responsible for developing and implementing the new plan to help teachers implement technology in their lessonsChapter Two: Study of the ProblemProblem DescriptionThe Instructional Technology Plan is designed to assess the needs of the school in terms of technology and instruction. It should be noted that schools are becoming more sensitive on global needs. Technology is a global issue that education cannot put off. It is imperative for schools to make a technology plan that enumerated the technological needs of the institution. There should be feasible solutions for each with optimum benefits for all users.Problem DocumentationOne form of documentation was the percentage of schools that have contributed technology in their lessons across the southern states. Forty Four Percent of all Teachers incorporate technology in their lessons. Teacher questionnaires and observations, student questionnaires and interviews, parent income and student background were all taken into consideration. School resources were used, as well as articles that provided proof that technology should be included in lessons.Surveys were given to students. The study required the researcher to gather quantitative data of participating elementary school teachers and students of mathematics courses. Surveys were distributed to teachers and parentsLiterature ReviewThe problem is technology is not being integrated in lessons. New technology is transforming the way that schools and parents communicate with each other (Debbie, 2008). Cardinal Wiseman Catholic technology college (CWCTC) in Birmingham estimates more than 30% of parents regularly log on to its ePortal to check their child’s academic progress (Debbie,2008).That number is set to increase significantly as it has just provided every pupil in years 7 to 10 with their own personal laptop which will boost computer access, at home and in the classroom (Debbie, 2008).At Nottingham’s Djanogly City Academy children have, for the past three years, had access to their own online learning space or eportfolio which means they and their parents can access their school work from anywhere in the world ( Debbie,2008).While the internet may be revolutionizing parent’s links with schools there are other non-technological ways of keeping in touch (Debbie, 2008).INVENTION is a natural part of the human condition. It does not exist outside our everyday activities, and it certainly does not come like a bolt unexpectedly. As Edison said, it is “99 percent perspiration and 1 percent (Roman,2008 ).The prepared mind, as always, is favored for success. Setting the stage for invention is as important as carrying it out (Roman,2008).Perhaps your classroom can provide a conducive environment, a creative space for examining unstructured problems and exploring solutions (Roman,2008).Teachers must be willing and able to use technology effectively in their teaching to realize the benefits that the technology can offer.Issues in the social dimension of learning emphasize the importance of communities in supporting the use of technology and sharing experiences among teachers for probing the analyses of pedagogy and student work for integration (Lih-Juan, 2007).Enrichment of experience and facilitation of teachers and students in their involvement and appreciation is a key to curriculum implementation (Lih-Juan, 2007).The introduction of new computer technologies has been based on various assumptions about the nature of technology integration and its relationship to improve teaching and learning (Lih-Juan, 2007).The adoption of computers in teaching is a complex innovation in which many obstacles need to be overcome (Lih-Juan,2007).The analysis of teachers’ perceptions, their involvement and the manageability of the factors influencing their use of computer technology become important in understanding the relationship between how these factors are perceived and managed (Lih-Juan,2007).Contemporary technology education curricula serve to enhance the development of such core subjects as mathematics, science, and reading by adding variety, relevance, and purpose to a student’s academic program of study( Litowitz & Warner, 2008).As educators, parents, citizens, and members of the human race, it is important for all of us to remember that our technological world will only become more so with the passage of time ( Litowitz & Warner 2008). Providing all students with the tool of technological literacy is perhaps the best gift that we can give to prepare the next generations for what lies ahead ( Litowitz & Warner, 2008).It was clear that the issue of technology being integrated into the education curriculum of Flowers’ Academy has been the subject of discussion among the teachers, the board of governors and the students. The literature has supported the move to introduce technology in the curriculum. Today, teachers are finding it very difficult to teach students especially with the advent of technology and the computer era (McTagart, 2003).In a specific case study, technology was pointed out as being the solution to the present and future worlds (Moir & Jessel, 2006). The study pointed out that schools that have technology in their curriculum are producing well-baked graduates and students who are ready to join the outside world with the necessary skills. Another research on the same issue, indicated that the present world, in terms of business, employment and social errands require technology oriented personnel (Robinsen, 2006). Through technology, teachers are able to interact with students via the Internet and their cell phones instead of always meeting physically to even arrange for make up classes and assignments (McTagart, 2003). Assignments are uploaded by the teachers to the students’ respective accounts and the students will be able to down load them and attend to the assignments (Moir & Jessel, 2006).Causative AnalysisThere are a number of reasons that that lead to technology not being integrated into the curriculum. Technology is often seen as exciting, cutting edge, and extremely important for the future of today’s students. Yet, many teachers are unsure of how best to integrate technology into the daily routine, especially in classrooms that include learners with diverse abilities and skills ( Keramidas, 2006). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching can serve as a guide for prospective and practicing teachers for using technology appropriately in everyday situations. Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching , is very informative and includes many resources that both prospective and practicing special educators will find useful, whether in clinical experiences or in their own classroom (Keramidas, 2006).Chapter Three: Outcomes and AnalysisGoalsThe goal is to increase the number of teachers who integrate technology in their lessons. The goal of the proposal is to champion for the integration of technology into the curriculum of Flowers’ Academy. It is also aimed at addressing the necessity of technology related subjects to students and teachers as well. Expected OutcomesThree specific outcomes were achieved when teachers started integrating technology in their lessons. Administrators received less negative feedback on instruction methodology, student attendance, participation, and other issues about mentors and students. Students are more positive about their lessons. They are inclined to try new ways to apply what they have learned to real life applications, even outside the classroom. Teachers are more creative and inventive with the way they teach and instruct. Students in Flowers’ Academy had the chance to enhance their careers by starting a little bit earlier than expected (Merenbloom, 2007).Students in Flowers’ Academy had the chance to enhance their careers by starting a little bit earlier than expected (Merenbloom, 2007). Teachers benefited because they had ample time in their teaching exercises. Students had the opportunity of improving their grades in other subjects. The technology related subjects opened up the minds of the students because the subjects are a little more demanding in terms of dedication and time allocation (Merenbloom, 2007).Measurement of OutcomesThere are a number of strategies that have been employed to measure accurately the outcomes of effectively integrating technologies into the curriculum. Teacher interviews have been conducted to determine attitudes and perceptions of integrating technology into the curriculum. A student survey have been conducted to determine biggest areas of concern when integration technology into the curriculum. Test scores and student attendance have been compared from previous years. Some students were exposed to the technology subjects in other schools that offer the subjects. Their performance were measured and compared against the results of their colleagues back in their school (Hufman, 2005). The other strategy analyzed the performance of the students in other schools against those in Flowers’ Academy. Lastly, questionnaires and interviews were conducted in order to get the feeling of the students and the teachers about the technology related subjects. Analysis of ResultsThe survey for students determined whether the students would like to integrate technology into the curriculum. It will also provided information as to whether the children have access to technology at home. The students’ record determined whether students’ grades increased because of integrating technology into the curriculum. It determined whether the number of absences had decreased. Compiling this information will help the researcher to determine if the integration of technology actually has the many benefits stated. The parent surveys will address whether parents feel we should implement this technology plan. In addition, observations will take place frequently to determine if technology is being used effectively.Furthermore, observations were made periodically to make sure teachers are taking advantage of the new curriculum. The researcher gatheredcholarly articles on the integration of technology in classroom and the benefits. This study addressed he students and teachers concerns with technology and make certain proper training is received. In addition, this study investigated the schools resources to equipment. Grants and donations for lack of lack of technology were addressed. The teachers and administrators worked together to help to ensure technology is being handled appropriately. Teachers benefited from the same, as they will have ample time in their teaching exercises. Students’ performances were compared against theoretically generated results to see if the results are acceptable or not.A control classroom was set up and the performance will be used as a control of the other students’ performance that does not take the technology related subjects (Borer et al 2000). Results of the students from the other schools were compared at the end of the term in order to see if the performance of the two sets of students is the same (Godwin, 2003). The percentage of students going through the curriculum that has incorporated technology and has improved greatly was compared against the students of Flower’s Academy. All these result were analyzed using the correlation method of analysis to determine whether the results are significant (Bringsrud, 2004).Chapter Four: Solution StrategyProblem StatementThe problem is that technology is not being integrated in lessons. The problem in this study is that technology is not integrated in the Flowers’ Academy curriculum. The technology related subjects need to be incorporated into the curriculum in order to improve the students’ performance and make them realize their career dreams as early as possible (Miles & Huberman, 2004).DiscussionIt is quite evident that this form of communication and interaction made things easier as it cuts down on resources that were otherwise used in the process (Ralabate, 2005). The literature also indicated that teaching technology related subjects have negligible harm and effect in as far as the school is concerned. It cost more but the results are proportional to the input (Nichani, 2003). It is inevitable that technology cannot be ignored in whatever circumstances, as research has shown over the years. Students are able to be self-employed ones they finish their school education (Peterson, 2003). It is through research that it has come out clearly that some students make careers out of the technology that they learn while at school (Ralabate, 2005). This has made more and more students in other schools to like the subject out of curiosity and eagerness (Nichani, 2003). Over the years, curriculum developers have tried to advice teachers on the importance of such a subject but it has been taken lightly repeatedly (Miles & Huberman, 2005).While most students are already familiar with the use of computers and the internet, no student should be assumed knowledgeable or an expert in the field. Oftentimes, teachers have access to different technology, but do not implement the use into the current curriculum due to lack of knowledge.Teachers were taught about access restrictions, security, and ethics in using the instructional equipment. As much as teachers need the guidance, students also need the same. There is no better person for this role but the teachers who act as the facilitator in classes. Teachers agreed to implement the use of technology into the curriculum. Teachers followed up withministrators every grading period to ensure that test grades, and attendance are up to part. Most students are denied their dream careers because of them having no access to the necessary subjects in their school’s curricula (Godwin, 2003). The benefits that come with technology are so many that they cannot be ignored by whatever means (Bringsrud, 2004).Calendar Month 1 Teachers and students will receive adequate training. Month 2 Teachers will go over ground rules of technology use. Month 3 Teacher will group students in groups of 4 to work on project together. Month 4 Teacher will assign individual projects for student to complete to ensure their understanding of technology. Month 5 Teacher will assign assignments weekly based on curriculum. Month 6 Teacher will assess students.Chapter V: Results and Recommendations Learning of technology in schools requires both theoretical as well practical experience. Inclusion of technology as subject alone in class curriculum is not sufficient whereas there should be practical computer labs and small or big projects that teach students as to how to work on projects of technology. As a matter of fact, it is in the school that basics are taught and children who receive maximum exposure to education are better equipped individuals when reach to a stage of employment and for teachers this is a massive and a responsible effort to train students to give a better shape as technology students. Teachers first and foremost must be fully proficient in curriculum lessons of technology and must prepare in advance before teaching students, due to the fact that students must be free to ask questions about technology, doubts in execution of projects or any kind of practical or theoretical reference that is required during the course of project. Table 1. Schedule of Teachers to train students on technology projects SnoMonthTask1JanuaryAdequate training for teachers and students2FebruaryTeachers to understand the rules and usability of technology3MarchTeachers to arrange students in groups of 4 as technology teams4AprilWeekly based curriculum assignments for students5MayAssessment of students and Results.A interview is conducted among children about the inclusion of technology in curriculum is as follows:Q. What is your view about technology? Is it required for children to learn?A. Technology helps people to get better and better. It is very important for children to learn about technology.Q. Inclusion of technology as subject in curriculum makes scoring very difficult. Is this correct?A. No. Technology is much easier to learn as compared to other subjects. More scoring can be made for achieving progress.Q. Inclusion of technology is in the interest of students. Is this correct?A. Correct. Students also like to learn and participate in technology sessions.Q. How often do you think technology classes should be in a week?A. Two to Three sessions per week.End of interview.The following is a questionnaire answered by students about technology.Learning of technology is good for students. Yes.Students are not burdended more with inclusion of technology as subject. Yes.Students always possess capacity to learn more at school. Yes.Working in teams would provide exchange of knowledge and also provides ability for team work. Yes.Even though teachers do not complete the lesson plan, technology can be learnt on self-preparation. Yes.Can children cope with other subjects in learning along with technology.? Yes.Does teachers require extra skills and proficiency in teaching technology? Yes.If technology is not included, does it result in any sort of loss for students in terms of knowledge? Yes.Technology learning improves better employment sources. Yes.Technology in curriculum is being included in many schools all over the world. Yes.Technology learning is also fun and joy. Yes.Technology will help in how to play computer games for students. Yes.Can students use technology for bad purposes. No.Internet browsing must be under parental guidance. Yes.Must never communicate with a stranger on Internet for the restoration of health for students. Yes.Table 2. Lesson plan for teacher SnoWeek dayLessonResult1.MondayIntroduction to technologyFeedback from children: good2Tuesday-3WednesdaySignificance of technology in daily life.Response from children: good4.Thursday-5FridayGroup discussionMore enthusiastic and positive.6Saturday-Table 3. Project Assignment for every 4 students SnoWeek dayProjectResult1.MondayPresent a power point chartFeedback from children: good2Tuesday-3WednesdayPaint a picture in paint brushResponse from children: good4.Thursday-5FridayWhat is google.com?More enthusiastic and positive.6Saturday-DiscussionSurveys, questionnaires indicate that students are very enthusiastic about learning technology due to the fact that students always watch parents and elders at home when browsing andAre very much interested in learning what is Internet and what is a power point and how a slide show can be presented. Before knowing and understanding about technology, students are not aware about its benefits and uses and once when these are introduced in curriculum, this improves the knowledge of students.Now that it is clear that students would always indicate much interest in learning of technology, it is the responsibility of teachers to take up assignments and prepare lesson plans thoroughly for the purpose of teaching to children. Proper lesson planning, clear methods in teaching, taking regular feedback and response from students are some of the best techniques to teach technology without boring the students. Students can also be assigned small projects in the beginning and later depending on the mastery and level of skill attained, bigger projects can be assigned for better knowledge promotion in technology for students. Schools are the best places for learning education and children spend most of the childhood in schools which is why schools have to practice professional education motives and schools have to be moral centres for learning.RecommendationsTeachers have to deliver quality work in teaching technology lessons for students. Teachers can introduce innovative education methods such as a program to do home work regularly, a flow chart to reduce eating more number of candies or a presentation for a plan to arrange a birthday party. The activities or projects assigned to children must be communicative, must bring out the in-depth skills among students and these must promote more I.Q among children.Students must be made to sit and work on computers either in typing, power point slide or paint brush initially to understand what are the useful benefits derived from a computer and how internet should be used by students.Further students should be able to score more in computer lab exams and also must be capable of presenting and designing mini projects. Teachers must provide lot of encouragement for students, in helping to learn teachnology at a fast pace. There should be at least one session to clarify doubts or problems that students may face while working on projects and these must be clarified by teachers.Both teachers and students must collectively carry partnership in learning technology as well in educating in technology. An equal partnership and contribution shall definitely make the learning of technology much easier and practical.A wider scope and wider opportunities must be revealed to students in order to adopt technology as careers in professions as there is going to be a huge requirement of technology professionals in future years.