The Difference Between Technology Use And Technology Integration

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The Difference Between Technology Use And Technology Integration

by TeachThought Staff

Using technology for learning makes sense. Technology creates access, transparency, and opportunity. Any smartphone or tablet is media incarnate–video, animation, eBooks, essays, blog posts, messages, music, games. The modalities of light, color, and sound all arranged just so to communicate a message or create an experience.

But there is a difference, claims this graphic from teachbytes, between using technology and integrating it deeply into the learning experiences of students. This is, of course, what models like the SAMR model are based on–that idea of mere use to automate, to redefining what’s possible.

This is not a new idea, but what makes this graphic useful is the indicators offered that clarify Dos and Don’ts–kind of like an educator’s Goofus and Gallant.

Goofus gives iPad to students so that they can Google topics for a “research paper.”

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Gallant helps students design their own open-ended and collaborative learning experiences, and uses apps like Behance or Storehouse to share them with the world. 

The chart continues this pattern, but misses the opportunity to make Highlights allusion for nuance:

Technology usage is random, arbitrary, and often an afterthought. 

Technology usage is planned and purposeful.

In all seriousness, it’s easy to say to “be purposeful.” It’s another to know what that looks like–which is where all of the indicators as a whole can be useful to you as an educator.

To the comments with anything you’d add. Or to make Highlights references no one else will notice.

The Difference Between Technology Use And Technology Integration

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24 Comments
  1. Sue Houston says

    I would suggest that sometimes one must go through a few of the items on the left hand list to get to the right hand list. For example, time spent by a class learning to use the tools is well invested, so that later on the Ipads and so forth are used as fluidly as pencil and paper. It is only when students (and teachers) really master the mechanics that the full possibilities can be realized.

    1. Technology Integrator Advocate says

      Sue
      I agree with you that we need to invest in ensuring that both teachers and students are knowledgeable about the tools before we focus in the integration.

  2. Geoff Siave says

    I agree in the main, Sue but we (teachers and learners) don’t need mastery before adventuring into authentic learning experiences. Learner level will get us going and the children in particular will usually fly faster than us adults. So be wary of holding them back in the name of “pass marks at “mastery” level.

    1. Sue Houston says

      Absolutely! In my experience for example, kids can pick up what they need to get started with “notability” on their Ipads with just a 10 minute intro, then they are off and running. After that, they tend to learn more by trying things, or from each other. The more they learn, the more they are able to pick up new skills. I’ve found the same thing myself. Once I mastered the “smart board” then I-pad was pretty easy, because all these things tend to work in similar ways. After a while, everyone is cruising along and picking up what they need to know as needed. And of course it never ends because there is always more developing that we can learn about!

  3. Walter says

    Tech integration was a goal 15 years ago. IMHO if we’re going to raise the bar and push the discussion forward, the next level is tech fluency: http://mrmck.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/future-fluent/

  4. Teacher4Life says

    I always integrate technology into my classroom–I think its a minomer that we need to be experts before we can share things with the kids. I most recently introduced a new educational app- TowerStorm for math and literacy. They’ve taught me how to play! By the way-I HIGHLY recommend this app for you math and English teachers. Saves all their work and gives me a report! Amazing. Its in the app store for iphone and ipad–also they have a web version thats at http://www.dimensionu.com

  5. Patricia says

    How do we find out about the authors of these pieces?

  6. Chris Ogilvie-Taylor says

    The difference that I like and that we promote with our market leading
    Interactive Flat Panel Displays (CleverTouch LED) is “Technology is used
    to facilitate collaboration in and out of the classroom.” This surely
    is one of the three primary purposes of classroom technology as teaching
    evolves from the preach and teach model to the new learning and
    discovering together paradigm. As teachers themselves evolve from
    instructors to learning facilitators using the creative and multi-media
    support that edutech so brilliantly and remarkably provides.

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  8. Learning Bird says

    Edtech needs to be implemented in a way that makes it organic inside the school and organic in a student’s education. An added extra is just extra, with little added.

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  22. Pete Kramlich says

    IMHO, technology integration is when the content transcends the technology. It is simply the message. Like when we tech geeks go to a concert and say “that’s cool!” without noticing the projectors, lights or speaker arrays… Rare. On both counts.

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