Technology is a ubiquitous part of children's lives. It is transparent. Most homes have connected computers or Internet-enabled devices. As prices of technology drop computers and other digital devices may replace television as we know it. When pioneering educational technology advocate Jan Hawkins wrote an essay for Edutopia in 1997, "The World at Your Fingertips: Education Technology Opens Doors" about how technology brings the tools of empowerment into the hands and minds of those who use them, she couldn't have known her words would be even more relevant today.
Now, walk into a classroom. Are there computers and if so, how are they being used? Are they being used at all? Technology has revolutionized the way we think, work, and play. Technology, when integrated into the curriculum, revolutionizes the learning process. More and more studies show that technology integration in the curriculum improves students' learning processes and outcomes. Teachers who recognize computers as problem-solving tools change the way they teach. They move from a behavioral approach to a more constructivist approach. Technology and interactive multimedia are more conducive to project-based learning. Students are engaged in their learning using these powerful tools, and can become creators and critics instead of just consumers.
NatureMapping brings real science to the classroom with hand-held data collection devices. Another reason for technology integration is the necessity of today's students to have 21st century skills.
These 21st century skills include
personal and social responsibility
planning, critical thinking, reasoning, and creativity
strong communication skills, both for interpersonal and presentation needs cross-cultural understanding
visualizing and decision making
knowing how and when to use technology and choosing the most appropriate tool for the task A great starting point for more information about 21st century skills is the Partnership for 21st...
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