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## How Can Instructional Technology Make Teaching and Learning More Effective in the Schools?

In recent years, research on instructional technology has resulted in a clearer view of how technology can affect teaching and learning. Today, almost every school in the United States of America uses technology as part of teaching and learning, and each state has its own custom technology curriculum. In most of these schools, teachers use technology as part of integrated activities that are part of their daily school curriculum. For example, instructional technology creates an active environment in which students not only learn, but also identify issues that interest them. Such an activity would integrate the subjects of technology, social studies, mathematics, science and language arts with the possibility of creating a student-centered activity. However, most educational technology experts agree that technology should be integrated, not as a separate subject or as a one-time project, but as a tool to promote and extend student learning in everyday life.

Today’s classroom teachers may lack personal experience with technology and present an additional challenge. In order to integrate technology-based activities and projects into their curriculum, these teachers must first find the time to learn how to use the tools and understand the terminology needed to participate in projects or activities. They must have the ability to use technology to enhance student learning as well as to support personal professional development.

Educational technology empowers students by enhancing skills and concepts through multiple representations and enhanced visualization. Its benefits include increased accuracy and speed in data collection and graphical representation, real-time visualization, the ability to collect and analyze large volumes of data, and collaborative data collection and interpretation. data, and a more varied presentation of results. Technology also engages students in higher-order thinking, builds strong problem-solving skills, and develops a deep understanding of concepts and procedures when used appropriately.

Technology should play a vital role in academic content standards and their successful implementation. Expectations reflecting appropriate use of technology should be built into grade level standards, benchmarks and indicators. For example, standards should include expectations for students to be fluent in numeracy using paper and pencil, technology-assisted methods, and mental methods and to use graphing calculators or computers to graph and analyze mathematical relationships. These expectations should be aimed at supporting a curriculum rich in the use of technology rather than limiting the use of technology to specific skills or grade levels. Technology makes subjects accessible to all students, including those with special needs. Options for helping students maximize their strengths and progress in a standards-based curriculum are expanded through the use of technology-based supports and interventions. For example, specialized technologies improve opportunities for physically challenged students to develop and demonstrate math concepts and skills. Technology influences the way we work, play and live our lives. The influence technology in the classroom should have on the efforts of math and science teachers to provide each student with “the opportunity and resources to develop the language skills they need to pursue life’s goals and participate fully as informed and productive members of society”, cannot be overstated.

Technology provides teachers with the instructional technology tools they need to operate more effectively and better meet the individual needs of their students. The selection of appropriate technological tools gives teachers the opportunity to develop students’ conceptual knowledge and connect their learning to problems encountered in the world. Technology tools such as Inspiration® Technology, Starry Night, A WebQuest and Portaportal allow students to employ a variety of strategies such as inquiry, problem solving, creative thinking, visual imagery, critical thinking and practical activities.

The benefits of using these technological tools include increased accuracy and speed in data collection and graphical representation, real-time visualization, interactive modeling of unseen scientific processes and structures, the ability to collect and ‘analyze large volumes of data, collaboration for data collection and interpretation. , and more varied presentations of the results.

Technology integration strategies for content instructions. From Kindergarten through to Grade 12, various technologies can be incorporated into daily teaching and learning, where, for example, the use of measuring sticks, magnifying glasses, temperature probes and computers are becoming an integral part of who teachers and students are. learn and do. Teachers should use technology in ways that allow students to conduct inquiries and participate in collaborative activities. In traditional or teacher-centred approaches, computer technology is used more for the exercise, practice and mastery of basic skills.

The instructional strategies employed in these classes are teacher-centered because of the way they complement teacher-controlled activities and because the software used to provide exercise and practice is selected and assigned by the teacher. . The relevance of technology in the lives of young learners and the ability of technology to improve teacher effectiveness are helping to improve student achievement in new and exciting ways.

As students progress through the grade levels, they can engage in increasingly sophisticated, inquiry-based, and personally relevant hands-on activities where they investigate, research, measure, compile, and analyze information to draw conclusions, solve problems, make predictions and/or seek alternatives. . They can explain how science often advances with the introduction of new technologies and how solving technological problems often results in new scientific knowledge. They should describe how new technologies often extend current levels of scientific understanding and introduce new areas of research. They must explain why the basic concepts and principles of science and technology should be part of an active debate on the economics, policies, politics and ethics of the various challenges related to science and technology .

Students need grade-appropriate classroom experiences that enable them to learn and be able to do science in an active, inquiry-based way, where the tools, resources, methods and technological processes are readily available and widely used. As students integrate technology into science learning and practice, the focus should be on how to think about problems and projects, not just what to think.

Technological tools and resources can range from hand lenses and pendulums, to electronic scales and up-to-date online computers (with software), to methods and processes for planning and carrying out a project. Students can learn by observing, designing, communicating, calculating, researching, building, testing, evaluating risks and benefits, and modifying structures, devices, and processes – all while applying their knowledge by development in science and technology.

Most school students at all age levels may have some expertise in using technology, but from K-12 they need to recognize that science and technology are interconnected and that the use of technology involves an assessment of benefits, risks and costs. Students must acquire scientific and technological knowledge, as well as the skills necessary to design and build devices. Additionally, they must develop the processes for solving problems and understand that problems can be solved in many ways.

Rapid developments in the design and uses of technology, especially in electronic tools, will change the way students learn. For example, graphing calculators and computer tools provide powerful mechanisms for communicating, applying, and learning mathematics in the workplace, in daily tasks, and in school mathematics. Technology, such as calculators and computers, helps students learn math and supports effective math instruction. Rather than replacing learning basic concepts and skills, technology can link skills and procedures to deeper mathematical understanding. For example, geometry software makes it possible to experiment with families of geometric objects, and graphic utilities make it easier to learn the characteristics of classes of functions.

Learning and applying mathematics requires students to become adept at using a variety of techniques and tools to calculate, measure, analyze data, and solve problems. Computers, calculators, physical models and measuring devices are examples of the wide variety of technologies or tools used to teach, learn and do mathematics. These tools complement, rather than replace, more traditional ways of doing math, such as using hand-drawn symbols and diagrams.

Technology, used wisely, helps students learn math. Electronic tools, such as spreadsheets and dynamic geometry software, expand the range of problems and develop understanding of key mathematical relationships. A solid foundation in the concepts and skills related to numbers and operations is necessary to effectively use calculators as a tool for solving problems involving calculations. Appropriate use of these and other technologies in the math classroom enhances learning, supports effective teaching, and impacts emphasis levels and how certain math concepts and skills are learned. For example, graphing calculators allow students to quickly and easily produce multiple graphs for a set of data, determine appropriate ways to display and interpret the data, and test conjectures about the impact of changes in the data. .

Technology is a tool for learning and doing math rather than an end in itself. As with any tool or teaching aid, it is only effective if used correctly. Teachers must make critical decisions about when and how to use technology to focus instruction on math learning.

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