Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Module 3: Integrating Digital Technology

Integrating digital technologies into your curriculum is much more than just adding a computer to the lesson. Technology must be considered as a tool that will support learning experiences. It must be selected based upon pedagogical needs rather than the other way around.

Effective learning involves challenging learners with situations that are relevant to their lives and are challenging enough to interest them and engage them in the learning process. When educators discuss levels of intellectual challenge, they typically compare higher-order thinking to lower-order thinking.  These terms are best described by using Bloom's Taxonomy.

Thinking Blooms
Bloom's Taxonomy was first published in 1954 when Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues wanted to create a hierarchy of terms that they could use when they were describing various types of questions that they might use on a test.  Since then, the taxonomy has taken on a broader meaning which educators used to also describe educational activities.


Kathy Schrock is an educator who is a pioneer educator who has been enhancing learning through technology from the very beginning. Visit her Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything site for ANYTHING on tech integration.  More specifically, she has modernized Bloom's taxonomy by aligning it with apps. Take a look at her Bloomin' Apps page for a plethora of possibilities when it comes to supporting learning through technology.  

Is there any sense in classifying teaching strategies, questions, Web tools using an organizer like Bloom's Taxonomy? Can pedagogical activities actually be restricted to one of 6 classifications? Probably not. Grouping tools like these are designed to provide vocabulary for discussions between professionals.  Using these classifications we can distinguish teaching for memorization or developing problem-solving skills.

Adding Technology to the Mix
Technology can be used in a learning environment but will it make a difference? It all depends on HOW technology is used. Like Bloom's Taxonomy, technology can be integrated in a variety of ways. These may include teachers who operate at a basic level by using PowerPoint presentations to support their lecture-driven methods. They also include the teachers who step back and encourage students to use these tools in innovative ways to create new projects and experiences.

The problem has been to find a vocabulary to define these various levels of integration.  Apple Computer sponsored a decade-long research project entitled Apple Classrooms of the Tomorrow (ACOT). This project involved providing technology-rich classrooms by filling them with Apple IIgs computers AND providing one for each of the students' homes (20th century 1:1 computing.)  As they examined the various levels on which teachers used technology, they identified a 5 stages including: Entry, Adoption, Adaption, Appropriation, and Innovation. You might want to refer to this article by Debra Rain.  It is from the 90s but it shows how Apple unveiled the various levels of learning with technology, What is Effective Integration of Technology, and Does It Make a Difference. Please note that these levels of adoption exist in any teaching/learning situation whether it is in corporate, PK-12 or post-secondary settings.

SAMR -  Substitute/Augment/Modify/Redefine
Another model that is popular in the schools today is the SAMR model. It was developed by Ruben R. Puentedura, Ph.D. to describe a ladder of implementation that occurs as you integrate technology into your curriculum. 

Here is a Lynda Tutorial that describes the four levels of SAMR:


Did it make sense?  Would you be able to identify and define the 4 levels of SAMR?

Visit this Sophia.org website to review SAMR and take a quiz to ensure your SAMR knowledge.

How would you match the ACOT 5 stages and the SAMR model?  Do they directly link to one another?

ACOT 5 Stages (TIM)                       SAMR
Entry                                               Simulation
Adoption                                         Augmentation
Adaption                                         Modification
Appropriation                                  Redefinition
Innovation

How would YOU compare the ACOT 5 Stages (TIM) and SAMR?  Explore your ideas using this Google Drawing.  You can't change the original, but you can make a copy of it and then modify it anyway you can imagine.




Technology Integration Matrix
The key to successful integration requires a system to integrate the research on Learning Environments with what has been learned about technology adoption. In 2005, the Florida Department of Education created their Technology Integration Matrix (TIM).  This is a matrix that uses a series of 5 steps in technology adoption that is similar to the ACOT set.  It also has a set of desired learning environment characteristics which include Active, Collaborative, Constructive, Authentic and Goal-Directed. 

USE THIS MATRIX: While the Florida TIM was the original, I would like to suggest that you savor the  Arizona flavor of this matrix. It is essentially the same but it has video examples sorted by grade level.  Past students have noted that this matrix is easier to understand and use.

Go see Arizona TIM and play around for a while to see what they have to offer.  You will find video examples of lessons and lesson plans in a variety of subjects.

NOTE: I have been looking for such a matrix that displays this in a corporate training format, but to no avail.


Here is an 11-minute video shared by the developers that they developed to explain it.  It provides a useful background for understanding TIM.  It is based upon the Florida version.



Here is a quiz to test your mastery of the Technology Integration Matrix.  There is no grade associated with it.  There is an explanation with your answers so you can learn from it - you can take it as many times as you want.  You may want to refer to this Table of Summary Descriptors for the TIM. 

All Together Now

Here is a Technology Integration slideshow referred to me by Michelle Cowell which covers SAMR, TIM, TPACK, and a variety of other thoughts about technology integration.  You can click on the link below or scan the QR code on the opening page.  Look for the recurring theme and consider the vocabulary that it provides for you.  How will you use this with your teachers, colleagues and administrators?

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Barriers to Technology Integration
Change is not always easy.  Even if an innovation can obviously improve learning situations, there are a number of things that can get in the way.  In some cases it has to do with institutional barriers that get in the way.  Review (look for the highpoints) an article, Barriers to Adopting Emerging Technologies in Education by Rogers.  This article looks at potential problems in the PK-12 as well as the University level schools.

Sometimes the problem is in the attitudes and belief systems of the teachers. This is another article which explores the Beliefs and Practices of teachers in the ACOT study.
Changes in Teacher's Beliefs and Practices in Technology-Rich Classrooms by Dwyer, Ringstaff and Sandholtz  (Note: This information won't really be used until next module, but I wanted you to have it to ponder for a while.)

Extra Resources: (Not Required)
Here are a few resources that I found that you might find useful when you are working with your colleagues and you are looking for materials to introduce SAMR and TIM.  (This is NOT additional required reading.  These are just some resources that could be useful.)
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Assignment:
Your assignment will ask you to use the Technology Integration Model to assess lessons/learning experiences and decide how you could move them to the right along the technology axis in the TIM matrix.

You will submit the link to your Google Doc in the Module 3 submission forum. 

Refer to the Module 3 page in eLearning for specifics and rubric
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