why identifying learning goals is crucial for technology integration

Why identifying learning goals is crucial for technology integration

*Stephanie Fitzwater

Apprehension to incorporate technology into the classroom is widespread among K-12 classroom teachers. Many teachers experience an initial excitement when they are shown the possibilities with technology implementation. However, the lack of experience utilizing new technologies coupled with the reality of the time required to write new lesson plans is overwhelming for many educators. Additionally, at one time or another we raise the point, “That works for _____ (subject area), but it will NEVER work in ______ (subject area you teach)!” Since I taught mathematics, this frequently came out of my mouth!

No need to start over: review previous lesson plans

Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch with new lesson plans in order to infuse technology into your classroom. In fact, you can adapt your current lesson plans to enhance the teaching and learning in your classroom by incorporating technology. The process of adapting pre-existing lesson plans to boost engagement and ensure that your students are gaining the best learning experience is simple.

Initially, you will need to review your lesson plan and identify the learning goal and objective addressed in the lesson. This is key! An example from my classroom is “students will be able to collect and interpret survey data, including finding the margin of error and confidence intervals”. SAY WHAT?! Don’t worry; this is the same reaction my students have.

Work on incorporating technology into each lesson

Identifying the learning goal and objective will provide you with the purpose of incorporating the technology. Ultimately, you want to enhance your lesson to provide the best learning experience for your students, not just incorporate technology for the sake of using it. By identifying your learning goals, you can tailor your technology selection to suit the specific goals of your lesson.

Hopefully this will inspire you to review your pre-existing lessons to incorporate technology. Start small. Work on incorporating technology into one lesson at a time based on your comfort, then progress to adding more or incorporating more frequently. As you begin incorporating technologies, you may find the technology integration matrix helpful to assess your level of integration as well as assessing the level of engagement required from your students. You can access it on University of South Florida website.

Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged and keep trying to enhance your current lessons through the simple integration of technology. We want to hear from you! What are some technologies that you incorporate into the classroom? What learning objectives and strategies do they satisfy?

Stephanie Fitzwater
*Stephanie Fitzwater earned her BS in Mathematics Education from University of Central Florida and is currently earning her M.Ed. in Educational Technology at the University of Florida. She have taught mathematics in both traditional and virtual schools. Currently she is the Product Development Executive at Mosyle.