Understanding the Difference Between “Using Technology” and “Technology Integration”

Technology provides innovative learning opportunities for students and teachers alike, but it’s important to recognize that there is a difference between technology integration and simply using technology in the classroom.

The 2-P Rule
When you integrate technology, its use inside the classroom should be planned and purposeful. We like to call this the “2-P Rule.” Make it a best practice to think of technology in the same way you think of other course materials.

Don’t Put Technology First
While technology is a very exciting element to add to the classroom, it’s most effective when it fades to the background. If you’re spending more time learning how to use the technology, your classroom time will likely not  be as productive as it could be. Remember to keep it simple, making the goal of any new technology to foster the learning experience.

The Main User
It can be very easy to slip into the habit of facilitating the technology and, as a teacher, become the main person using it. Technology integration means getting the students to not only use it, but interacting with them, other teachers and parents both inside and outside the classroom.

Getting students involved is just the first step. Next, make sure you get them working in groups in more collaborative ways. This allows for knowledge sharing and retention and can transform the classroom where learning happens in a more dynamic way.

Introducing your students to technology to facilitate learning is one of the smartest steps you can take. Remember, however, that learning and positive student results should always be the desired outcome.