Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Chapter 13/13.6.2

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Technology: The Future of Education

By: Alicia Merritt


In almost any school across the country, you are bound to find at least one piece of technology that is being used in the classroom. Society is flooded with the latest technological expansion that assures to make our lives easier. “In 1965, Gordon Moore, predicted that the capacity of a computer chip will double every 18 months” (Hofsterrer, 1995). When he made this prediction, he surely didn’t expect it would become literally true. Living in a world of constant change is not easy, and predicting the environment of the coming changes brings about the acceleration pace of technology advances. From classroom settings to home use, technology is now a part of how children learn, play, and communicate.

Integrating Technology in the Classroom[edit]

The word integrate, according to The Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (2001, p. 401) is defined as “to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning whole.” It is obvious that if the world depends on technology, children should be educated in how to use this technology and educators should teach using this technology. Sprague, Kopfman, and Dorsey noted that technology integration occurs when a teacher draws content knowledge and instructive knowledge to provide a learning experience (1998). Technology integration involves effective computer use in the general content areas so that can computer skills in meaningful ways” (Dockstarder, 1999). Much of the discussion about schools and information technology in the 1980s and 1990s has focused on how the technology could be integrated with the existing well thought-out life in schools (Dias 2001). If the mission is to plead with teachers to use them, then it is reasonable to try to position them into schools as they are now.

Professor James J. O’Donnell quotes on his idea of integrating technology in the curriculum “It should support student performance of an authentic task and it should be integrated in activities that are a core part of the classroom curriculum"(O’Donnell, 1997). When schools first introduced technology into the classroom, it was basically for drills, practice, games, and busywork. As the demand for K-12 technology use increases, many teachers feel unprepared to integrate technology into the classrooms (Rodrigues, 1997). Technology integration is a necessity in preparing teachers for today’s and tomorrow’s world. Teachers must learn to use technology and must allow it to change their present teaching paradigm.

Sandholtz, Ringstaff, and Dwyer (1997), produced the Stages of Instructional Evolution, an adoption model for the use of technology in the classroom. The model illustrates the five stages of the thought and practice exploits when integrating technology. The five stages are entry, adoption, adaptation, appropriation, and invention.

•Entry- Teachers learn the basics of using technology

•Adoption- Teachers use technology to support traditional instruction

•Adaptation- Teachers integrate new technologies into traditional classroom practices and students use technology, such as, word processors, databases, and computer-assisted software for instruction.

•Appropriation- Teachers begin to recognize the helpfulness of technology and students work at computers regularly as cooperative, project-based instruction

•Invention- Learning becomes more student-centered. Discovering new uses for technology occurs.

Future Technology in the Classroom[edit]

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."

-Gordon Moore, Intel's Chairman, 1965

Schools are aware that buildings need to replace aging structures and/or to support increasing student enrollment. Classrooms are also needed to not only meet the teaching and learning needs of today, but are flexible enough to adapt to new pedagogies, learning technologies and instructional tools (Community Learning Network, 1996).

With an ongoing debate as to what role technology should play in the classrooms give school administers a tough decision. Administrators and teachers should realize that waiting to apply a technology plan only deceives students of important learning opportunities. Administrators should support their teachers by formulating a strategic planning committee and find ways not only to provide their schools with hardware, software, and networking tools but also to provide all staff with much-needed technology training. As Joel Baker states in Discovering the Future “Those who say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those who are doing it”(Barker, 1993)!

The technologies currently available now will change and merge, at an increasingly rapid pace. Referring to acceleration, many practices from the past are now rarely used or even considered, because there are now faster, more proficient, and interactive ways to complete the same responsibilities (Herdman, 1995). Traditionally, schools and classrooms have tended to discourage many forms of collaboration. In contrast, success in school relies on collaboration and teamwork. A number of schools in the nation have invested in technology such as: overhead projectors, VCR’s, computers, digital cameras, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), and etc. Johanson from Western Illinois University states that we should now expect to prosper and develop with collaboration applications between desktop computers, which may be hooked to a projection system so that many people in the same location can participate (1994). All desktops will be connected through the Internet. An instructor will be able to sit at a desktop workstation and communicate with a “ classroom” of students, each of whom has workstation in front of him and a connection to the Internet. The students no longer have to be in the same room; they can interact with other students and teachers in different locations (Lick, 2001).

No one can accurately predict what new technologies will appear over the next 15 years. But Storslee, Yohe, and Matte 2003, defines the basic and advanced classroom. The basic classroom has the least amount of technology accessible for every classroom. Faculty will have contact to media from the Internet and from standard video sources. The classroom is designed for subjects that do not require advance technology on a daily basis. The room has the capability of adding new technology as needed for instruction (Storslee, Yohe, and Matte, 2003). The basic classroom will consists of various type of equipment such as the ones listed below.

Basic Classroom Equipment List

• Wireless Internet Access

• Projection Overhead Projector or Digital screen

• Instructor Computer or Computer Docking station will the connections for new technologies

• DVD/CD/Cable TV access

• Tables and Chairs: Will be movable so they can be rearranged for different types of collaboration. The table can be rectangular or circular in shape.

The advanced classroom includes all the technology of the basic classroom except these rooms will be setup for videotaping and direct access to various educational material at your fingertips. These rooms have tables, wireless access, and a large video screen. Each table is wired for polling while still being able to move. The room includes a protected area able of storing laptops for circulation to the students. The room is prepared to handle distance-learning classes with live video broadcast capability and a wide variety of educational classes. The class can be used for seminars, workshops and a wide variety of special events. The equipment for these classrooms are listed below (Storslee, Yohe, and Matte, 2003).

The Advance Classroom Equipment List

• Wireless Internet Access

• Projection: Overhead Projector or Digital screen built into the wall for each section of the room.

• Computing System: Instructor Computer or Computer Docking station with all the connections.

• DVD/CD/Cable TV access (through projection system)

• Laptops for each table (stored in a secure area for distribution)

• Printer

• Video camera for TV based distance education programs

• 3D Holographic Projection (displays an image floating in space)

• Display system (capable of 3D representations of people or objects)

• Tables and Chairs: The tables and chairs will be movable for different types of collaboration. The table can be rectangular or circular in shape. The room can be divided in several rooms or opened for large group interaction.


Computers, the Internet, distance learning, and other educational technologies are a fact of life. Traditional textbooks and worksheets, along with traditional learning environments may soon fade away. Administrators, teachers, and parents that hope the technology trend will pass them by because they do not understand how technology can be integrated into the traditional educational system. The longer they delay, the more they are depriving their children’s futures. One thing is clear: “Time waits for No Man.”

Multiple Choice Question[edit]

It is time to test your knowledge with these multiple choice and essay questions!

1. What is a way that computer technology can assist teachers with scheduling classroom events?

A. Sending parents review copies of educational software to be used in the classroom

B. Using a word processing program to make a table of when students leave for pull-out

C. Keeping exam grades on a spreadsheet.

D. Taking notes on a word processing program about a new sstudent's initial progress in class.

2. Which of the Stages of Integration is a teacher likely at if he is using computers for administrative ativites and for some learning activities, but does not communicate with other teachers often about technology and lacks the confidence to move past traditional teaching roles?

A. Adaptation

B. Appropriation

C. Adoption

D. Entry

3. What classroom situation illustrates a key benefit about using computers in the classroom?

A. Students spend their weekly computer time learning how to open and save files in a piece of fraction software.

B. Teachers use technology only to support traditional instruction

C. Teachers attend after-school training on new digital cameras and scanners.

D. Students use a piece of educational software to simulate exploring a rain forest.

4. Integrating technology in the classroom takes various steps, according the Sprague, Kopman, and Dorsey (1998) what two combinations will help this process?

A. Invention and Entry

B. Teachers and Administrators

C. Content knowledge and Instructive knowledge

D. Advanced and Basic Classroom

5. With the ongoing debate on the role technology, what should administrators do to make the transition easier?

A. Provide all staff with much-needed technology training.

B. Support teachers by formulating a plan

C. Find ways to provide schools with hardware, software, and networking tools

D. All of the above

Quiz Answers[edit]

1. B

2. C

3. D

4. C

5. D


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