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Best Practices and Trends for Technology Integration

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a dotivala

on 21 June 2016

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Transcript of Best Practices and Trends for Technology Integration

(Picture, Public Domain)
Creating change in organizations
Examples of recognizing true technology integration
Ways to provide outreach to the community using technology resources
Increasing information to and involvement of families
Funding opportunities available to schools and school districts for integrating technology
Budgeting and funding considerations for technology integration at an organization of learning
Edutopia (Dec, 2012)
The world of education is a fast changing just like the world of technology. The integration of technology in classrooms has now become a necessity, where it is simply not enough to teach students how to use various forms of technology but, enhance their learning with the help of technology. According to Edutopia (2012),

Technology must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts. Effective technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is routine and transparent and when technology supports curricular goals.
(Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many)
Increasing Information And Family Involvement
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Educational institutions have a moral responsibility of providing and making sure of the integration of technology to benefit the 21st century learners.
According to Moeller and Reitzes (2011), the intent to expand education beyond traditional boundaries, student-centered learning focuses on educational practices and principles that:
Provide all students equitable access to the knowledge and skills necessary for college and career readiness in the 21st century
Focus on mastery of skills and knowledge
Align with current research on how people learn

It is also extremely important that the technological changes are supported by
Providing technology tools and continuous support
Regular professional development
Understanding, unpacking, and aligning of technology to state learning standards
Decreasing the Digital gap amongst students
Enhancing learning opportunities, deeper thought process, of the curriculum rather than focussing on simply integrating technology.

Creating Change In Organizations
Best Practices and Trends for Technology Integration
Arnaz Dotivala, Christian Davis, Jenna Speer, Jessie Angelle
UoPX/CUR 545
June 20th, 2016
Ms. Cheryl Franklin

(Picture, Public Domain)
“Successful technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is: routine and transparent, accessible and readily available for the task at hand, supporting the curricular goals, and helping the students to effectively reach their goals (“What is successful technology integration?,” 2007, para. 1)”. Technology that is seamlessly embedded into daily classroom practices and becomes an integral part of the institutions culture is a technology that is truly integrated and recognized as a key player in education. Children within these environments will not put much focus on the fact that they are using a technology tools instead they are actively engaged in learning and enjoying the fact that they are learning new material.
On-line blending classrooms, project based activities which incorporate technology, game-based learning and assessment, learning with mobile and handheld devices, incorporating interactive technological tools such as whiteboards and the use of collaborative on-line tools are shear examples of how technology can be truly and successfully integrated in classrooms with ease.
Examples On Recognizing True Technology Integration
Providing Outreach To The Community Using Technology Resources
Integrating technology into the classroom is very beneficial but can be very costly as well. When an instructor’s financial resources are limited alternative methods often times have to be investigated in order to meet the classrooms technological needs. Funding is needed to not only purchase equipment and software but also to pay for the continuously education/ training of teachers that is needed when operating newer versions of products. In order to remain competitive, relevant and up to date in educational technology; educational institutions must be willing to view the funding of technology integration as a great investment.
Funding Opportunities Available To Schools
Budgeting And Funding Considerations
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Community of Learners
Technology opens the door for electronic communications within the school and the community. Research shows, “Electronic communications invite students to join a community of learners who are exploring topics of interest (Maloy, Verock-O’Loughlin, Edwards & Woolf, 2014, p. 191). Technology allows the community to join in on the students learning and understanding.
Blogs for Outreach
Blogs allow for teachers and students to come together to talk about experiences from the classroom. Blogs also allow the community to join in and see what is going on in the classroom. Maloy, Verock-O’Loughlin, Edwards, and Woolf (2014) state, “Blogs produce a similar type of collective experience by providing an electronic space for people to share ideas and interests together.” The community can join in and share their ideas and interests. Research shows, “A teaching blog serves as an online journal where teachers post information and ideas related to education and learning. It can also be a site for online interactions between you and students or between you and other educators” (Maloy, Verock-O’Loughlin, Edwards & Woolf, 2014, p. 196). Online interaction that can include the whole community and the community of teachers.
Including the Community in Accomplishments
Technology allows those to interact and it expands outside of the walls of the classroom. Technology allows the community to read and understand the accomplishments and celebrations of the community. Maloy, Verock-O’Loughlin, Edwards and Woolf (2014) state, “Yet all students benefit as classrooms expand beyond the walls of the school to include events, celebrations, accomplishments, and struggles facing people in local, national, and international settings.” Students can learn about the community and the community can learn all about what is going on at the school. The school can reach out to the community to be part of what is going on in the schools as well.
Service Learning
Teachers and students can involve the community in service learning opportunities presented through the Internet. Whether it be collecting cans for Harvest Hope food drive or raising money for cancer awareness, technology can get the community involved in the service learning projects and allow them to reach out and join the cause.
Parent Communication
Technology opens the doors for more parent communication. Smaldino, Lowther, and Russell (2012) state, “As computers become increasingly popular in today’s homes, teachers have greater opportunities to communicate with students and parents.” Teachers are able to open lines of communication with students and parents through technology.
Class Websites
Class websites allow parents to view what is going on in the classroom and what is expected throughout the year. Research shows, “Many teachers maintain class websites that contain teacher contact information, calendars, assignment sheets, parent notices, links to Internet resources, and social networking tools to encourage ongoing communication” (Smaldino, Lowther, & Russell, 2012, p. 290). On a teachers website, they can include “basic skills practice, online demonstrations, or content-specific reference information” (Smaldino, Lowther, & Russell, 2012, p. 290). Teachers can include this information on the website to help parents be more involved in what students are learning at school. Teachers can also keep parents “informed about homework requirements” (Smaldino, Lowther, & Russell, 2012, p. 290).
Lengthen Learning Time
Smaldino, Lowther and Russell (2012) state, “With this increased communication between school and home, it is possible to lengthen the time devoted to learning. Technology permits teachers to send homework and assignments over networks to homes.” This helps support lengthened learning time extending into the students home life. Research shows, “Parents, students, and teachers are able to interact about the assignment. Students can access their personal data files from home and also connect to instructional materials housed on the school’s computer” (Smaldino, Lowther, & Russell, 2012, p. 291).

Availability of Online Information
Maloy, Verock-O’Loughlin, Edwards and Woolf (2014) state, “An electronic communication system extends the impact of your teaching far beyond the information taught in the classroom or presented in the textbook.” They also point out, “researchers believe that the availability of online information may promote greater family involvement in student learning.”
Helps Colleagues and Administration
Administration and colleagues can also join in on this collaboration and “Teacher colleagues and building administrators also benefit from seeing that information is being communicated to students and families in ways that are consistent with the mission and goals of a school.” This increased information and family involvement will then be a mission of the school to keep families involved in all classes.
Edutopia (2012, December 12). An introduction to
technology integration [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube website: http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction-video
Hertz, M. (2011). Fundraising and grant resources for technology integration.
Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/grants-fundraising-tech-integration-mary-beth-hertz
Maloy, R.W., Verock-O'Loughlin, R.E., Edwards, S., & Woolf, B.P. (2014).
Transforming learning with new technologies (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson.
Moeller, B., & Reitzes, T. (2011, July). Integrating technology with
student-centered learning. The Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.nmefoundation.org/getmedia/befa9751-d8ad-47e9-949d-bd649f7c0044/Integrating-Technology-with-Student-Centered-Learning
Smaldino, S. E., Lowther, D. L., & Russell, J. D. (2012). Instructional Technology and
Media for Learning (10th ed.). : Allyn & Bacon.
What is successful technology integration?. (2007, November). Edutopia. Retrieved
from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description
Apply for curriculum development grants-
Government grants on state and federal levels are readily available in mass numbers. Grants can often be extended, continuously applied for on annual bases, are may offer a matching programs.
Although this method maybe the oldest in the book on how to raise money; it is still very effective. The Key to successful fundraising is being creative in the methods used and the ability to partner up with local community resources, churches, and individuals. It is also very important to educate community stakeholders on the needs of the school and the benefits the school will receive by gaining their support.

One time large sum investment (bonds)-
When aiming to start a large technology integration project, applying for a bond would be a smart idea. Although bonds will not cover ongoing updating or system maintenance, they surely will give schools a good running start in their development process.

Donors choose grants-
are also an options teachers can post their current technological/ classroom needs and donors can view them and select the which needs they would like to fulfill.
Equipment Donations-
One of the easiest ways to gain technological equipment is by asking for the donation of gently used equipment such as: laptops, computers, and printers. Although all donations are appreciated, schools need to ensure that they are only accepting products that are modern, fully functioning, and do not require significant maintenance. There are a number of organizations that are willing to donate to schools without hesitation.
Yearly Operating Expenses
Reports and data should be evaluated to properly consider the amount of expenses needed to fund all technology resources that are efficient for the learning organization. In some cases, schools or districts or awarded grants or some type of funding to initially integrate some resources, but provisions should be made to continue with operations on a yearly basis.

Software Costs
Different software programs are used for learning and interactive activities, teaching resources, holding student records, and administration purposes. Districts must determine the amount allotted in the budget for these expenses. Considerations made should include finding programs that are within budget, as well as effective for learning.

Replacement/Repair Expenses
The lifespan of most computers and technological devices are not infinite, repairs or replacement of equipment is another expense to consider. Due to wear and tear of devices, it is certain that parts or components will malfunctions. Planning for such occurrences are mandatory to ensure funds are available when replacements or repairs are needed.

Professional Development Costs
In order to effectively integrate technology, teachers must be knowledgeable of some resources to use it an addition to effective learning. Professional development focused on technology will be most helpful to educators. School and district administration leaders must budget an accurate amount of funds for staff training, presenters, and training materials.

The integration of technology within educational settings has the ability to open up so many doors and knock down so many barriers. In order for there to be great success within this task a collaboration of stakeholders and community partners must occur. Technology integration within local school districts will not only be beneficial to students but also members within the community. For instance; computer labs within schools can offer allotted hours where members within the community can use the computers to perform job searches, check emails, or research educational options. Technology also opens up the lines of communication to residents within the community and keep them informed about changes, accomplishments, and upcoming events that the school may have. This creates a perfect platform to foster community engagement.
From a caregiver perspective; schools that have high levels of technology integration create multiple avenues to stay informed and in communication with schools. Classroom Social media websites and blogs allow caregivers to stay connected and have ongoing communication virtually from any location. As a result, caregiver involvement rates increases and so does their child’s success rate.
Having reliable ongoing access to the World Wide Web, is a must when aiming to develop the minds of 21st century learners. However, the ability to make this a reality for all students within a particular district is a costly venture. In fact, many schools do not have the funding to support such a massive task which is why they look for outside funding options such as: grants, fundraisers, and the acceptance of gently used donations to meet their technological classroom needs. Once their equipment attainment needs are met; additional funding will also be needed for the annual operating, updates, and system renewals of each piece of equipment.
This paper explores the importance of the integration of technology within not only educational environments but also within the communities in which these environments are housed. Technology integration is a true investment into the lives of so many; it not only allows people to connect to the world but be a contributing factor in the movement/ development of it as well.
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