Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Technology Integration Matrix

This summer I was pleasantly surprised to work with a district in Georgia that was introducing our Technology Integration Matrix to their teachers. I was struck by the brilliance of not reinventing the wheel. If you are trying to show teachers and administrators what good technology might look like, the Florida Center of Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida in Tampa, is responsible for this incredible living document. It has emerged over the last seven years since I’ve known it, and it has been a work in progress that has now grown into maturity. As a technology coach for the Florida Digital Educator Program, the TIM has given us a great platform for sharing, modeling, and demonstrating the power of technology in the classroom. No matter what state you live in or what district you teach in, the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM), can give you a glimpse into everyday classrooms that are using technology effectively.  This “tuesdays” is a celebration of the most valuable technology measure available. (In my opinion, of course!)

A creative website
What is technology integration? There are measurable models of technology in the classroom that can be observed. The TIM (Technology Integration Model) is a tremendous tool to help teachers and administrators begin to understand the rigor that technology adds to the curriculum. It is much more robust than meets the eye. As you click on the TIM, you will notice that it is a 5 x 5 grid making 25 rectangles. Be sure to hover over the four icons that represent the core subjects because there are 4 video vignettes in each of those rectangles for a total of 100 classroom experiences. Dig deeply. Watch a few videos, click on a few success stories and dream of a way to make an impact at your school.  Technology integration is a process. Take your time, but try new project or emerging technology this year that you’ve never tried and make sure the students have an opportunity to become more engaged with technology. These are a few of my favorite videos from the TIM:

An image to share.
Students doing a paper slide project

A proverb
I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.  ~Lily Tomlin as "Edith Ann"

An encouragement
It takes time to integrate technology.  It takes patience and it’s well worth it.  Doing a digital project with your students requires risk taking.  It will never be perfect and because it is technology, you can be guaranteed that there will be issues, but the learning that takes place in a technology rich environment gives students that hook to keep them engaged and a unique sense of accomplishment. Probably the most powerful reason to go digital is the ability to share projects with a larger audience.  I want to encourage you to get help before you take on a digital project.  If you don’t have anyone at your school who can work with you on the planning and implementation of a digital project, ask for help at the district level or from community members.  If it is a matter of equipment, ask your Advisory Council, PTA or other school support group if they would help supply the school with more technology or write a mini grant through DonorsChoose.org  

How do you do that?
How will we ever effectively integrate technology in the classroom?  I believe that one of the most important factors that will raise the ROI (Return On Investment) for districts that have spent tons of money on technology is to have a technology coach at every school. A technology coach is not the network person, nor the one who fixes the computers, but instead works closely with teachers to recognize and implement opportunities to bring 21st Century skills into the curriculum.  The technology coach can work in a teacher’s classroom by helping design the procedures of the project, train the students on the nuts and bolts of caring for the equipment and learning to utilize software programs that will help them express their learning in creative and dynamic formats.  A school that is rich in technology without the support of a coach, risks having the appearance of 21st century tools without the reality of changing the learning environment. Unless the technologies are getting down to the students, there can be no real systematic change. When it is all said and done, it’s just good Harry Wong – let’s get the students doing the work!

As always, I am
Ubiquitously yours,

1 comment:

Khadija Muhammad said...

I love your Blog and the way you present such good ideas and thought for teachers..