Integrating Technology to Enhance Content Area Learning

Using the many options technology offers us nowadays can greatly enrich our curriculum and the quality of the instruction we provide our students with. Technology can be integrated in any content area- social studies, math, science, PE, the Arts, etc . Technology integration can take place in many different ways- may it be for student research, to learn about people and places of the past or far away, to display our work in a fun, exciting, and engaging way, etc.

According to Glencoe.com, effective use of technology in the classroom allows for:

  • Increased student motivation for learning;
  • Improved communication of learning goals;
  • Facilitation of higher-order thinking skills;
  • Building of valuable skills that students will use in college and in the workplace; and,
  • Expanding of students’ understanding from novice to mastery.

More specifically, when speaking about particular content areas, the integration of technology offers benefits that are often unique to that subject area. For example, according to Roblyer and Doering (2013), the use of technology in language arts, for example, can support students’ word fluency and vocabulary development, comprehension and literacy development, writing instruction, and literature learning. Through the use of digital publications, blogs and wikis, concept mapping software, eReaders, and other resources, the above goals can be reached in a more efficient and engaging way than without the use of technology. Roblyer and Doering further explain that it is important to remember that in order to effectively integrate technology into a language arts program, the teacher must have a combination of English and language arts content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and technological knowledge (2013).

In order to support student development and success in science, for example, the use of technology is extremely important. As Roblyer and Doering put it, “Technology supports science, and science makes new technology possible” (p.308). In addition to the variety of state and/or national standards that technology helps us to address in our teaching, the use of technology in science allows our students to experience more authentic science, and allows them to take part in phenomena that otherwise they would not be able to experience. Digital microscopes, graphic calculators, simulations, games, robotics software, etc. are just a few of the tools and software available to enhance students’ understanding of scientific and other concepts.

The relative advantage of integrating technology into different content areas has improved student motivation, increased student engagement and improved overall achievement.

 

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References:

Melville, Elizabeth. Technology Integration Strategies. Retrieved from: http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/subject/tech_integration.phtml

Roblyer, M.D. and Doering, A.H. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (6th Ed.). Pearson.

 

 

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