Who better to speak to instruction-focused technology integration than the eLearning Contributor who developed the training on this methodology himself?
Guest Blog Post by Ron Farrow, eLearning Contributor
I think as educators we are always looking out for what will have the most impact on student learning. We want to reach every student, all the time. When it comes to technology, most teachers are not hesitant to include technology in their instruction, they just simply do not have the time for the major learning curve that often comes with the various programs or devices. The issue with many technology integration programs is 3-fold:
- Overwhelming approach with a technology focus
- No time for learning curve
- Blanket training
In the Integration series for Atomic Learning, I discuss an instruction-focused approach to technology integration. By focusing on instruction and student learning, you eliminate the fear and anxiety that comes from new programs and new devices. You also begin to eliminate the learning curve for technology. The focus is on instruction, so the technology is targeted towards a specific goal. Finally, rather than struggling to find time to train every teacher on a large number of topics, you utilize the targeted, low-barrier training available through Atomic Learning. Here, teachers can get specific training for different areas of need, or different technology solutions.
Our number one goal as educators should always be to improve instruction and learning. We often lose that focus in the rapid storm of educational change with things such as content standards and technology implementations. However, by using an instruction-first approach, and the powerful, targeted tools of Atomic Learning, I hope this series will help you find a much smoother path towards technology integration success.
I started as a music teacher for the Farmington School District in 2002, where I taught 5th and 6th grade music as well as High School Percussion. As a music teacher, I had the opportunity to experiment with many forms of technology in the classroom including smart boards, tablets, recording studio equipment, etc. I took this passion for technology and education to the district-wide level in 2010 as part of a leadership cadre for our district, then, in 2012, I became the Educational Technology Facilitator for the district. I joined the Cape Girardeau School District in the Summer of 2013.
I believe technology is the future of education. But it's more about the change in instruction than the devices themselves. We are in a very exciting time for education! It can be scary to have such a paradigm shift in teaching. However, students now have tools to access a world of information that was previously inconceivable. Through technology, we can foster more creative learning environments, differentiate instruction to meet the needs of every student, and create productive, responsible, digital citizens for future generations.