Computer Integration in the Classroom

The world in which we live is rapidly changing. Technology has permeated nearly every aspect of our lives. As educators technology has revolutionized the way we teach, communicate, and manage information. Gone are the days of Blue Masters and hand written report cards. The educator who is not staying current on the application of technology is making his/her job harder and to a degree, limiting their student’s possibilities. Computer integration may seem like a daunting task to some, while other find it to be the “Holy Grail†of education. Where you are on this spectrum will usually depend on your own skill level, access to technology, and technical support at your school.

What is computer integration in the classroom? This is a common question amongst educators who are new to this concept. There are several ways to answer this question. The easiest answer, and the one I subscribe to, is computer integration in the classroom is the application of technology to assist, enhance, and extend student knowledge. This can take many different forms, as varied as the technical savvy of the educator applying it.

Some educators are resistant to computer integration because they are uncomfortable with technology. Others are resistant because their access to technology is limited, and yet others resist because their students have little or no access to technology. These are all poor excuses. As educators we ask our students on nearly a daily basis to be uncomfortable, for that is inevitable when learning something new. Should we not role model to our students that learning is a life long process? Limited access to technology is no longer a valid argument for not integrating. Nearly every public library has computers available to the public and, according to several national surveys; the majority of middle and high school students have computers at home. The last argument against computer integration I will address is lack of technology at the school site. There are several ways to teach computer integration without computers. First, the teacher can always use our “old friend†the overhead projector. For example, you can print a PowerPoint presentation and transfer it to overhead transparencies. Second, you can print the information yourself from the Internet at home or the public library, bring it to school, and then copy it on the photo copier.

There is always a solution to be found. Creativity has always been the teachers most valuable tool!

As educators we have a duty to prepare our students for the future. If we do not adequately prepare our students for the emerging world of technology, we are not doing our job. I am not advocating abandoning many tried and true educational strategies and techniques. I am simply saying we must adapt to the changes happening in the world! Our students need the skills of today, not just yesterday, to be successful in the world of tomorrow. Does this place an extra burden on teachers? Yes, to a degree; but we as educators did not go into this profession for the high pay or easy work.

Listed below are a few websites that will provide ideas and rationale for computer integration.

ENT: Education with New Technologies

NCES Electronic Catalog

Jo Cool or Jo Fool for Teachers

Email: Stephen Anderson

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