Integrating Technology through the lens of a Learning Designer

In the last research module of this quarter, “Co-Planning 21st Century Learning Activities”, I decided to focus on the idea of integrating technology through a learning designer lens. As I read through my weekly reading of Les Foltos’ book “Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration”, I learned more about the Learning Design Matrix and how coaches had inadvertently achieved the fourth quadrant of integrating technology just by focusing on the other three quadrants. This prompted me to question how coaches can help their learning partners to work through other ways to integrate technology in their classes, purposefully.   What is technology integration?  As I began my research on technology integration, I came across an article “What is Successful Technology Integration” that cited a great definition written by the International Society for Technology in Education of what technology integration is: “Effective integration of technology is achieved when students are able to select technology tools to help them obtain information in a timely manner, analyze and synthesize the information, and present it professionally.”   But how can begin to integrate technology into our classrooms? And how will we reflect on our integration? Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura has created a reflection model intended exactly for this purpose.   This model, named “SAMR” (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) represents the different levels that technology can be integrated into a lesson. This model shows the lowest level of enhancement being substitution and reaches a level of transformation in which technology has breached redefinition of a learning activity.   Here is another model for how educators can begin to understand the necessary knowledge to begin integrating technology. This model known as the TPACK framework (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) shows the need to have technological knowledge, content knowledge, and pedagogical knowledge before you can reach a level of understanding needed for integration of the three.   Designing learning based on technology integration  Now that we have looked at technology integration and some frameworks that help us to reflect on the basic levels of integration, we can look at designing learning based with technology integration.   Throughout my current Graduate program, I have learned about the Six “A”s of Project Design. I believe that a great start to designing learning through a technology integration lens could be to take-a-peek at how technology can help to achieve Steinberg’s the Six “A”s.   Here is a printable version of the Six “A”s along with a Project Examination Tool: HERE.   Let’s go through the different key aspects of the Six “A”s to see how technology can be integrated to achieve the criteria. (Each figure is found from and gives prompting questions to guide in the reflection of that aspect of project design).   Thinking of a project you have used or are planning, how can technology help to increase the authenticity of the problem or question? How can students become in the know about the authenticity? Can students reach out to others to see if this is a topic that others in the world value? How can students use technology to create or produce something that is personally valuable or socially valuable?  How can technology substitute or augment the type of engagement or application that students are participating in with this project? Can technology assist in the activation of higher order thinking skills? Can students use technology to assist in relating the content to a separate discipline or subject?  How can technology bring learning outside of the general classroom atmosphere? How can students use technology to assist in their personal organization of information and resources? How can technology help students to develop social emotional skills such as collaboration, problem solving, communication, etc.?   What technology is available to push students into the real-world? How can students interact with technology to reach into the world and push their learning to what is happening around the community or the world? How can technology help students to demonstrate what they are learning?  How can technology help in the gathering of students with experts in the fields surrounding the project? What technology is available to help link students with adults to collaborate on design and assessment?   What technology allows students to self-assess? How can technology be used for students to access and understand clear project criteria? What technology is available for students to present and be assessed both inside and outside the classroom?  There is currently a world of opportunities for technology integration in the classroom… and with each day that passes the number of options grows and grows.   In “Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration”, Les Foltos states, “I remember listening to nationally recognized leaders in the early 1990s telling us that technology was like a steamroller headed down the street, aimed right at educators. Educators had two choices: jump on the steamroller or become part of the pavement. Apparently, they overlooked a third option; educators could step aside. And they did.” It is time for us to choose the option of jumping on the steamroller.   How do you integrate technology into your classroom? What learning design framework have you found useful in the journey of becoming a “techy” classroom?  Resources  ISTE Standards for Coaches | ISTE. (n.d.-b). ISTE. Retrieved November 5, 2020, from  Larson, A. (2016, August 31). The Six “A”s of PBL Project Design. New Tech Network.  Miller, A. (2011, September 26). Game-Based Learning Units for the Everyday Teacher. Edutopia.  Puentedura, R. R. (2014, December 11). SAMR and TPCK: A Hands-On Approach to Classroom Practice [Workshop]. 21C Learning Conference, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.  What Is Successful Technology Integration? (2007, November 6). Edutopia. 

Continue reading