Do Your Classes Allow for Tech Integration?
Whether you place it in your instruction or not, the learners in your classes are using tech. But, their access is not always school-related.
You can change that if you’re willing to require that learners use tech as part of their learning experience. The first step to authentic tech integration in any classroom is differentiating how learners use tech. Would you rather that your learners be entertained or be accountable?
Screen Time is Not Engagement
Today’s teens spend nine hours online daily. These sixty-some hours a week are not as productive as they seem. Most of the time it is spent gaming and interacting via social networks. Limiting the time learners engage in using tech isn’t the answer. We should be increasing the time our kids spend using purposeful tech.
Parents love seeing their kids meet milestones in development. So do educators. Just as there are milestones for crawling and dressing, there are milestones for integrating tech purposefully.
I recommend some of the following skills for each age:
· Toddlers: Engage in video conference calls, and learn basic mobile device control techniques.
· Preschoolers: Tell stories using stop-motion video tech, write and collaborate digitally with other kids, and make performances by using video features.
· Elementary age learners: Learn how to code, interact with simple apps, read ebooks, design products using 3D printers.
· Middle school learners: Engage in online research, develop presentations, make digital content for various purposes, make calendars, and use simple spreadsheet formulas.
· High school learners: Use a variety of tech tools that enhance their work, including apps, software, digital models
At every age, learners must demonstrate responsible digital citizenship skills. As the learners meet more milestones, their familiarity with tech will grow as well. So will their confidence. As a result, our learners will be better prepared for a future that is already here.
Tech Integration in Higher Ed
Unfortunately, most professors avoid requiring the use of tech in higher education. Why do so many college courses leave out tech integration? There’s a fear among some professors that tech integration will take up too much time. Others feel uncomfortable requiring that their learners use tools they themselves have not learned to use.
Even if our learners have grown up with tech, we must encourage them to integrate it into their advanced studies. To do anything less cheats our learners out of a tech-rich future that is sure to leave them behind.
College learners benefit from having balance in their lives. However, we do our learners a huge disservice if we do not challenge their use of tech and get them to incorporate it into their college assignments.