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What Is the Importance of Technology Integration in Education?

5 Min Read
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Technology in education mirrors the fast-paced world we live in. In modern classrooms, it’s rare to find students all working on the same exact activity. Instead, many of today’s schools are technology-rich learning spaces that promote diverse activity. They’re abuzz with collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication, all thanks to technology.

Ask an administrator about using technology in the workplace, and you might hear about EdTech as a tool for going about the business of school. Technology facilitates scheduling, coordinates services, tracks students and teachers, and helps with data gathering and analysis. Digital devices and apps make previously unwieldy administrative tasks easier.

Teachers, however, see technology in education differently. EdTech is a necessary tool in modern classrooms, but not just for the teachers themselves. Technology has become an invaluable instrument for students. It supports the learning process by engaging students in interactive lessons that delve deeply into content and require problem-solving skills.

Of course, there’s a lot more to technology integration than installing a few rows of computers in a lab. We want students to use EdTech as a tool that continuously supports their learning. Technology integration in education is most effective when it’s mobile and versatile. In the hands of students, technology becomes an inseparable part of the learning process.

Why Is Integrating Technology in the Classroom Important?

Education requires a lot from teachers. They not only teach content but also juggle (and model) a host of other skills while trying to get their students to fall in love with learning and be successful at it.

A single day in the classroom consists of taking attendance, teaching academic content and positive behavior, empathizing with students, looking out for their emotional and physical well-beings, reporting grades, and more. Amid all of that, teachers must guide students in becoming self-directed learners who can work independently and think for themselves.

The Four Cs

Teachers triumph when their students master what the National Education Association (NEA) calls the “Four Cs”:

  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity

These four skills ensure the likelihood of learner success, now and in the future. Those who can work in teams and communicate effectively while solving problems are more likely to succeed in the modern workforce.

So how does the already overburdened teacher pull off a challenge like this? With integrated technology!

Classrooms that immerse students in technology are more likely to produce learners who are competent in all four Cs. Integrated technology enhances learning by facilitating discussion and group work. Collective problem-solving requires critical thinking and creativity.

Developing 21st-Century Skills

Here are some of the necessary 21st-century skills require that we develop:

  • Personal and social responsibility
  • Planning, critical thinking, reasoning, and creativity
  • Strong communication skills, both for interpersonal and presentation needs
  • Cross-cultural understanding
  • Visualization and decision-making
  • An understanding of how and when to use the right technology for the task at hand

Knowing how to solve problems, build rapport, and communicate clearly are all important skills that have always been in high demand. Without knowing how to use these skills, adults who complete school may then struggle to enter the workforce. Articulate, creative thinkers will find themselves staying ahead of technology—and employed.

Integrating technology into education assists students in building the competencies they need for the future. Therefore, it should be a basic requirement in all classrooms. Have you wondered just how effective technology is when integrated into learning environments?

Improving Learning with Technology Integration

Integrated education technology improves academic achievement, but only when done right. For that to happen, the technology must be pedagogically aligned. Classroom teachers must use technology with deliberate skill and purpose in the classroom. Technology allows teachers to customize learning and create varying levels of scaffolded support rather than merely deliver a one-size-fits-all approach to instruction.

4 Initiatives to Expand Technology Access

1. Give your students one-to-one access to technology.

Not every student needs a cutting-edge computer, but every learner needs a digital device to stay engaged in the lesson. Incorporate polls to check for understanding and hashtags to summarize content. Active learning promotes better retention.

2. Provide opportunities for your students to go beyond the curated lesson.

You’ve selected the lessons your students need, but now it’s time to encourage creativity and innovation. Encourage the learners in your classroom to create their own content and share it with others in class, across the school, and beyond the boundaries of the campus. As part of the communication process, teach how to give and receive feedback.

3. Optimize your class time.

Try using a blended learning environment, and give students the support they need through technology interaction. Ask your students to preview materials before class so they can use EdTech in your learning space. Consider students with limited or no technology access at home, and make the most of the time you have together accordingly.

4. Prioritize having a robust internet connection.

Slow connections frustrate students and teachers alike. Whenever having to make priorities due to constraints in budget and time, start by ensuring that all students have instant access to the web, regardless of what devices they’re using.

Try It in Your Classroom

You can help your students improve their critical thinking skills and achieve greater academic performance. If you’re concerned about teaching your students the skills they need for the future, try using technology in your classroom. However, keep in mind that technology integration is for every classroom. You’ll see a higher success rate among your students if there’s schoolwide support for such an initiative.

This article was adapted from a blog post initially developed by the education technology company Classcraft, which was acquired by HMH in 2023. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of HMH.


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