What Should They See? Part II by Bob Sprankle

A few weeks ago, I posted a question to you --- my Professional Learning Network --- to help me prepare for an upcoming presentation to administrators on “What should they see as evidence of Technology Integration in classrooms?” I want to first thank you all for your replies posted at my own blog site, the TechLearning site, and at the survey provided for your answers. There's still plenty of time to answer the question at any of the above sites as the workshop won't take place until later this summer, so please jump in to the conversation if you haven't already!

The responses have been thought provoking and varied and will serve as excellent topic points for administrators to consider. You can view the responses to the survey HERE. Again, thanks to all who have contributed.

Reading through all the responses so far, certain themes stick out for me in answer to "what administrators should see during a 3 minute walk-through":

  • It is the students, more than the teacher, who are using the technology.
  • The teacher's role is that of facilitator/coach.
  • Technology is being used to interact/collaborate with others (inside the school community as well as outside; locally as well as globally).
  • The technology should just be another tool in the classroom and not stand out anymore than any other tool (i.e., as natural as the pencil).
  • Technology is used for reflections and sharing of learning.
  • Technology is used to enrich the learning.
  • Students have "transliteracy" skills: able to "search, gather, analyze, synthesize and apply and create information from many different formats."
  • Students are able to transfer skills across platforms/software.
  • Technology is used spontaneously and is seamlessly integrated.
  • There is evidence of digital products/publication (namely, on the Internet).
  • Students own the learning.
  • Evidence of critical thinking.
  • Tasks should have "real world" connections.
  • Students are engaged, creative, and excited.
  • 3 minutes is not enough time to effectively assess technology integration.

One of the quotes that really had an impact on me was from Tammy Morris, an Educational Technology Specialist from Inspired Impact, LLC:

"I prefer the term “infusion” over “integration” because we have been integrating technology for years, and the picture we have of technology integration is still a rather disjointed scene. Technology infusion, on the other hand, flows smoothly in the classroom. It’s the heart, or the base, of student learning."

I really like that term infusion over integration as well. "Infusion" suggests a bonding to the curriculum, so intertwined that you can no longer separate it. (Tammy Morris has also published her thoughts about what an administrator should see over at her own site.)

Another key point that responders made is that many of the observations mentioned above have absolutely nothing to do with the technology integration, but rather illustrate "effective teaching." As Tammy asks, "Isn't it the same [thing]?"

Thanks again for your all current and future responses!