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INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY INTO THE

CURRICULUM
By
Michael D. King

For more than two centuries, schools have used printed paper materials such as
textbooks, dictionaries, and encyclopedias to educate students, but today learning
resources are reaching a limitless realm. Participatory learning and Literacy 2.0 has
introduced a plethora of new teaching opportunities for educators: multi-media
presentations, computers, streaming video resources and web-based collaborative
lessons and units. With emerging technological resources, students also face new
challenges and opportunities. Today's world demands that students learn how to
access, manage, apply, and evaluate rapidly growing banks of information.

This newly developed technology-based learning must provide students with a wide
range of expanded opportunities from the basics to the complex. The school’s
technology curriculum should address Literacy 2.0, digital storytelling, collaborative
culture and computer ethics as well as word processing, database use, graphics,
and data analysis. It must give students experience in social networking as well as
accessing and organizing information for future use. "Teachers must work together
to ensure that every young person has access to the skills and experiences needed
to become a full participant, can articulate their understanding of how media
shapes perceptions, and has been socialized into the emerging ethical standards
that should shape their practices as media makers and participants in online
communities. In order to meet these objectives, teachers should begin to build units
of study that merge traditional learning with Web 2.0 learning. "1

The lessons and units developed will be integrated into all areas of the curriculum,
not just computer, business or technology classes. The process of blending
traditional internal content with the external Web 2.0 participatory learning world
will require all members of the staff to develop technology-based learning units. The
school’s teachers will be vital partners in curriculum development as teams of
teachers are selected in the development of at least one technology-based learning
unit.

Using the process outlined in this section, teachers will be asked to develop virtual
learning units to be included in the overall technology plan. In order to accomplish
the development of these virtual units, the school must first train key members of
the instructional staff. Once these key members are trained in the unit
development process, the next step will be to ask individuals or teams of teachers
to develop virtual learning units using the Technology-Based Learning Unit Planner.
The instrument requires the teacher to identify instructional standards, purpose for
the unit, learning tasks, types of assessment, technology tools and methods for
integrating technology into the curriculum.

As the process of technology unit development begins, the unit developers should
use the school’s current curriculum frameworks as benchmarks for achievement at
specific grade levels. The unit developer should identify ways to incorporate
technology so that the school will achieve both state and national standards. The
units the teachers develop using this process will serve as samples of what is
possible when technology steps outside the computer lab and moves into the
classrooms.

Integrating technology and unit development will encourage a curriculum that is


both challenging and meaningful for students. This process also will create a
coherent, workable framework for teacher instruction. In order to integrate
technology into the curriculum, the school must follow six essential steps: selecting
content standards, establishing purpose, developing learning tasks, defining
methods of assessment, identifying technology tools and applying technology
integration. The final step in the process is to submit all technology- based learning
units to the steering committee. These units will be made available to teachers in all
subject areas once the technology equipment is installed. The author has provided a
model of this process in Exhibit 1-1; Model for Technology Unit-Based Development.

Exhibit 1-1
MODEL FOR TECHNOLOGY UNIT-BASED DEVELOPMENT

Selecting Content Standards


Establishing Purpose

Identifying Technology Tools


Defining Methods of
Assessment
Applying Technology Integration

Technology Steering Committee


Submit all units to be included in the planning
document

Developing Learning Task

Selecting Content Standards


A content standard is an ability or skill that students can demonstrate, usually in a
variety of ways. Using the content standard component of the Technology-Based
Learning Unit Planner, the unit developer should outline the desired content
(proficiencies) in a selected subject area or areas. In Exhibit 1-2 Content Standards
Component, the author hasdefined the content standards for a unit entitled, “Black
History Month.” In this Language Arts Unit, the culminating activity will require
proficiencies in student use of technology to produce an original work, drawing
conclusions, demonstrating an understanding of various cultures, and applied
concepts of effective writing. The unit developers must select specific content
standards or expectations for student performance as illustrated in Exhibit 1-2. The
author recommends that unit developers choose content standards that are
required by the state and/or district.

Exhibit 1-2
CONTENT STANDARDS COMPONENT
Subject Area Choosing Proficiencies: What content standards does this unit address?

_X_ Language Arts UNIT TITLE: “Black History Month”


List all content standards below that this unit will address:
___ Math
Use aspects of technology to produce an original work.
___ Social Science
• Incorporate multimedia into student presentation.
___ P.E.
• Choose multimedia most appropriate for specific purpose.
___Arts Draw conclusions and make generalizations based on research findings.
__ Other • Explain the purpose of the research.
• Defend a conclusion based on the research findings.
Demonstrate an understanding of value systems from various cultures
reflected in literature.
• Compare and contrast daily living experiences, customs, and beliefs of
diverse cultures.
• Identify connections between personal experiences and experiences
reflected in literary selections.
Apply concepts of effective writing.
• Compose an effective introduction and conclusion.
• Organize ideas into paragraphs using correct usage, spelling, and
capitalization.
• Add "effective transitions."

Establishing Purpose
Students need to know the rationale for learning, and teachers should take the time
to explain it. The purpose for providing a rationale on the Technology-Based Unit
Learning Planner is to help the developers justify the purpose of the unit. If the
purpose for the unit lacks relevance or a real-life application, this step in the
process will reveal these gaps. Exhibit 1-3 Example of Unit Purpose Component
illustrates how this process should be conducted.

Exhibit 1-3
EXAMPLE OF UNIT PURPOSE COMPONENT
Define your instructional purpose in terms of relevance to real life applications.

The purpose of this unit is to require students to write news releases, a skill that will probably be needed
in their professional lives. The unit will require students to work cooperatively and to evaluate their own
and each other’s work. In order to write a news release, they will have to gather pertinent information
from various Internet sources, compile the information, and communicate it using proper conventions of
the English language. Through this units, students will explore influential African Americans and their
contributions to history. Students will use resources provided through various web links designed by the
instructor for conducting their research. The unit will feature a writing webpage for students to use submit
their work online.

Source: Author

Developing Learning Task


A good task is authentic and requires the student to perform in a real-life context. It
can be multidimensional and require not only cognitive skills but also interpersonal
skills and abilities. The tasks should always reflect the content standards as can be
reviewed in Exhibit 1-3 Content Standards Component. The task will not elicit
quality work if it requires knowledge and skills that the students do not have. It will
also result in considerable frustration on the part of the students and the teacher. In
Exhibit 1-4 Learning Task Component, unit developers are to specify what
knowledge will be gained through the development of learning text.

Exhibit 1-4
LEARNING TASK COMPONENT
Identify Learning Activity Identify the learning task that the students will be experience.
Domains1
 Experiential • The 5Ws of news reporting: Who, What, When, Where and Why

Learning • The components of an expository paragraph.


• The conventions of properly written English
 Inferential
• The writing process
Learning
• Cooperative learning strategies
 Hypothetical
• Evaluating and Proofing Techniques
Learning

 Analytical At the end of this unit, students will work in small groups to write a
news article, which reports their findings about an influential African
Learning
American leader.
 Evidential

Learning

 Virtual

Learning

 Illustrated

Learning

 Performance

Learning
 Collaborative

Learning

 Authentic

Learning

The unit developers also should identify the learning domains (See Exhibit 1-
4a Learning Domains Defined) that will be assigned to task within the unit. It
should include information about the levels of learning by identifying learning
activity domains that will support the unit. These domains are virtual
resources on how technology will be used in the unit to support the activity.
For example, one of the identified learning activities for this unit is data
gathering and synthesis. Students experiencing this unit will be required to
interact with technology to obtain the information necessary to complete the
assigned task. They will be asked to research information and then report
their information electronically.

Exhibit 1-4a
LEARNING DOMAINS DEFINED
____________________________________________________________________________________
_

Experiential Learning
• Ideas, theories, principles of information systems, bodies of knowledge
Inferential Learning
• Deductive powers, inferential reasoning, testing assumptions, decision making
Hypothetical Learning
• Contextualization and interpretation using texts, documents, pictures, objects
Analytical Learning
• Evaluation of systems by observing and analyzing simulated situations or processes

Evidential Learning

• Research skills, methodology, evaluation and reporting, quantification


Virtual or Exploratory Learning
• Testing and evaluating information through experiments and in situ examination or searching
• Skills SQ3R
• Word Identification
Illustrated Learning
• Demonstrations, overviews, framing, setting forth of key information or salient points
Performance Learning
• Production or performance of representative knowledge by students
Collaborative Learning
• Sharing knowledge, collective decision making, forming learning communities
Authentic Learning
• Learner as practitioner, connecting theory to practice, taking responsibility for knowledge
____________________________________________________________________________________
_
Source: Author

Defining Methods of Assessment


After designing the task, the unit developers should decide what student learning
skills will be measured. The decision on how content standards will be measured will
determine the overall development of the assessment strategy. Methods including
writing samples, portfolios, rubrics, interviews, observations, surveys and tests
should be considered. Unit developers should remember that assessment is only as
good as a teacher understands of the purpose of the task and why it is an effective
assessment of the standards of learning. The authors have included an example of
how to identify assessment methods in Exhibit 1-5 Determining Assessment.

Exhibit 1-5
EXAMPLE OF DETERMINING ASSESSMENT
Identify methods of Identify the performance assessment content standards that are
assessment measured.
Writing Rubric 1. the ability to explain a process in writing
Portfolio 2. the ability to compose a news release in an expository writing
Observation mode
3. the ability to work cooperatively to perform a task

Source: Author

Selection of Technology Tools


Identifying the types of technology tools the teacher will use to deliver the unit
allows the developer to analyze the different technology capabilities. This process
will allow unit developers to identify important technology tools they can include in
their units. They can select from a variety of resources that include available
hardware, software and the availability of online resources. In Exhibit 1-6
Technology Tools, the unit developer has selected a variety of technology tools to
use in the delivery of the unit. These tools include networking, various presentation
software and the incorporation of constructed websites that give students selected
resources from which to work.

Exhibit 1-6
TECHNOLOGY TOOLS
Hardware Software Online Resources Materials
Network File Server Front Page Black History Links Paper

Computer Micro Soft Word Black History Web Site Ink

LCD Projector Power Point On line Writing Lab

Printer Electronic Grade Book

Source: Author

Technology and Curriculum Integration


The most important part of developing a technology-based unit is to identify how it
will be used in the curriculum. During this phase, the unit developers will identify
the technology methods and resources they will use to support the instructional
unit. Methods of technology integration should specify the way the teacher plans to
deliver the unit. Questions should be answered about how “presentations and
methods or presentations” will be made, where “technology resources” are located,
and what technology resources will be available when the unit is presented. An
example of how this can be developed is presented in Exhibit 1-7 Technology
Integration Methods.
Exhibit 1-7
TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION METHODS
Presentation Available Technology Resources Methods of Presentation
Online Library Computer Center Instructor will develop three web sites for this
Assignments Home Computer activity. Students and teacher will use these
Whole Class Power Point pages as a basis for learning and presentation.
Presentation LCD Presentations Additional technology presentations will include
Individual Web Links student projects using a variety of media
Small Group One Online Classroom Computer application resources.
Black History Home Web Resource Page
Assignment and Activity Web Page
Writing Lab Web Page

Source: Author

Once teachers understand the capabilities of the technology, they must then take
advantage of these resources as tools for learning, communicating,
handling/managing information, and solving problems. Schools must use computers
as a means, not an end. These new capabilities will allow the teacher and the school
to restructure the way instruction is delivered to students. In exhibit 1-7 a is an
example of a completed unit as it was developed through the six step process of (1)
selecting content standards, (2) establishing purpose, (3) integrating technology,
(4) identifying tools, (5) defining assessment, and (6) developing learning task.
Exhibit 1-8
TECHNOLOGY BASED UNIT DEVELOPER EXAMPLE
Subject Area Choosing Proficiencies: What content standards does this unit address?
UNIT TITLE: “Black History Month”
List all content standards below that this unit will address:
_X_ Language Arts Use aspects of technology to produce an original work.
• Incorporate multimedia into student presentation.
___ Math • Choose multimedia most appropriate for specific purpose.
Draw conclusions and make generalizations based on research findings.
___ Social Science • Explain the purpose of the research.
• Defend a conclusion based on the research findings.
___ P.E. Demonstrate an understanding of value systems from various cultures reflected in
literature.
___Arts • Compare and contrast daily living experiences, customs, and beliefs of diverse cultures.
• Identify connections between personal experiences and experiences reflected in literary selections.
__ Other
Apply concepts of effective writing.
• Compose an effective introduction and conclusion.
• Organize ideas into paragraphs using correct usage, spelling, and capitalization.
• Add "effective transitions."
Define your instructional purpose in terms of relevance to real life applications.
The purpose of this unit is to require students to write news releases, a skill that will probably be needed in their professional lives.
The unit will require students to work cooperatively and to evaluate their own and each other’s work. In order to write a news
release, they will have to gather pertinent information from various Internet sources, compile the information, and communicate it
using proper conventions of the English language. Through this unit, students will explore influential African Americans and their
contributions to history. Students will use resources provided through various web links designed by the instructor for conducting
their research. The unit will feature a writing webpage for students to use submit their work online.

Identify Learning Activity Domains Identify the learning task that the students will be experience.
 Experiential Learning The 5Ws of news reporting: Who, What, When, Where and Why
 Inferential Learning • The components of an expository paragraph.
 Hypothetical Learning • The conventions of properly written English
 Analytical Learning
• The writing process
 Evidential Learning
 Virtual Learning • Cooperative learning strategies
 Illustrated Learning • Evaluating and Proofing Techniques
 Performance Learning At the end of this unit, students will work in small groups to write a
 Collaborative Learning news article, which reports their findings about an influential African
 Authentic Learning American leader.
Identify methods of assessment Identify the performance assessment content standards measured.
Writing Rubric • the ability to explain a process in writing
Portfolio • the ability to compose a news release in an expository writing
Observation mode
• the ability to work cooperatively to perform a task
Hardware Software Online Resources Materials
Network File Server Front Page Black History Links Paper
Computer Micro Soft Word Black History Web Site Ink
LCD Projector Power Point On line Writing Lab
Printer Electronic Grade Book
Presentation Available Technology Resources Methods of Presentation
Online Library Computer Center Instructor will develop three web sites for this activity.
Assignments Home Computer Students and teacher will use these pages as a basis for
Whole Class Power Point learning and presentation. Additional technology
Presentation LCD Presentations presentations will include student projects using a
variety of media application resources.
Individual Web Links Black History Home Web Resource Page
Small Group One Online Classroom Computer Assignment and Activity Web Page
Writing Lab Web Page