Successful technology integration doesn’t end at the blackboard. Interactive whiteboards, LCD projectors, web-tours, may be considered as a part of technology integration; however, they are nothing more than supplementary teaching technologies. They do nothing more than re-enforcing the traditional lecture-based learning experience.
Meaningful change requires that changes are made to the core – the pedagogy. Educators need to shift from teacher-centered classrooms towards student-centered classrooms.
In such models, generally, teachers let go of some control of their classroom, and pay attention on creating student-centered learning environment. Students are allowed to learn at their own pace, and spend most of their time discussing solutions. Moreover, students take their own learning decisions, like, which concepts to practice, which instructional tools to use, their time of study, and practice, etc.; while teachers spend time providing support and guidance to the class.
Such an environment generally requires deeper levels of technology integration. Teachers not only use technology to facilitate learning, but they use it for ongoing assessments too. They use it to gauge student’s strengths and weaknesses, and tailoring their own instruction to meet student needs.
One of the successful approaches of developing such a classroom is to create a ‘technology-rich’ learning environment. In such classrooms, technology isn’t used as an instructional supplement; instead, it becomes the core component of the learning process. These classrooms provide students with regular access to computers, various educational software packages, and other technology tools that foster 21st century skills. Technology becomes a tool for learning. Students use technology for activities like, writing, research, collaboration, analysis and expression.
Such technology-rich learning environments provide teachers with enormous pedagogic advantage. However, it must be noted that just building up a great technological infrastructure won’t do the job. Schools must endeavor to create content, assessments and learning standards that are capable of quantifying learning and student-achievement in a digital environment.