The Information Technology and Communications (ICT) have been present in the classroom for more than a decade. One of the main concerns about the effective use of ICT in school education is the preparation of teachers in this field, specifically the transition that they should make use of computers for repetitive practices towards a more integrated approach with regular curriculum.
teachers are bombarded with the idea that computers should be an integral part of the activities of its class. A key challenge for many teachers is how to use the computer in creating innovative learning opportunities for their students. But most teachers receive no training on the subject. Some lucky attend a course on the management of “hardware” and “software“, but very few are trained to integrate their programs TIC’sa. Specializing in Educational Technology, I have seen that there are four common questions that are not made or are not answered, when schools and colleges begin to implement the technology in the instruction they provide.
1- What is and what is not integration technology?
2- Where, when integration occurs?
3- What are the barriers to integration?
4- What are the steps in the integration of ICT?
These questions can affect how teachers perceive the integration of technology, they use computers and accept the changes that occur when technology comes into their classrooms.
These questions can affect how teachers perceive technology integration, use computers and accept changes that occur when technology comes into their classrooms.
1. WHAT IS AND IS NOT THE INTEGRATION OF TECHNOLOGY? A very common assumption is that educators know the answer to this question. It is expected then that integrate ICTs without even a basic definition of this concept. Morton (1996) suggested that the integration of ICT is not simply consider the computer as a tool. He argues that this view promotes the notion of the computer as something marginal. This concept also confuses education planning because it implies that ICTs can be considered like any other tool, like the board or overhead projector they need to use very little or no preparation. On the other hand consider the computer as a tool, it allows those planning the curriculum continue working with the traditional concept of education based on the subject and the teacher as a transmitter of knowledge. The computer is then maintained as peripheral and marginal. (Morton, p.417). In other words, take students for 40 minutes per week to classroom computer is not necessarily integration nor is use the computer as a sheet of calculation electronic or allow their use to students who have completed the work assigned to them in other areas. on the contrary, ICTs are integrated naturally when used to support and extend curriculum objectives and to encourage students to better understand and build learning. It is not something done then separately but must be part of the activities daily that take place in the classroom. For example if the subject of the class has been geometric shapes and want students to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts studied, they may be asked to take with a digital camera Photography s of geometric shapes that are in school. They were then asked to make a multimedia presentation with slides, which explain each geometric shape found. The main objective is not the use of ICTs themselves; the goal is to engage students in building their learning and be able to check their understanding of geometric shapes. ICTs enrich the activities and allow the student to demonstrate what he knows about new and creative way.
2. WHERE THE INTEGRATION OCCUR? The integration of ICT into the curriculum is not happening in a particular place, but rather a specific learning environment. To build an environment that is ripe for integration, we should focus teaching and learning differently. Many believe it is easier than the integration is happening in the classes that promote in students build their own knowledge, in which the teacher acts as a facilitator. according to Jonassen (1995), this type of classroom environment has seven aspects that make learning meaningful. The seven areas are:
Active: In her students participate intelligently processing Information. They are responsible for the results and use the computer as a tool to acquire knowledge or to increase their productivity in order to achieve those results.
Constructive: In her students integrate new ideas to their acquires prior knowledge, giving meaning and significance. They use computers as tools or means conjunctivas production.
Collaborative: Here students work in a community learning in which each member makes its contribution both to achieve the goals set by the group as to maximize the learning other. It facilitates cooperation. Use the computer for conferences or using the Software that supports teamwork.
Intentional: In her students they are trying to reach achievements and clear objectives in knowledge. Computers help students organize their activities and to use the software they facilitate achieving the goals and objectives that have been proposed.
Conversational: Here students benefit for belonging to construction knowledge communities in which its members enriched with the ongoing exchange of ideas and knowledge. The Internet, e – mail and Video conferencing allows construction expand these knowledge communities beyond of the classroom walls.
Contextualized: They students perform tasks or projects that have to do with real life situations or where
these are simulated through activities focused on the solution problems. The Software for Simulations reconstructs scenarios that can be analyzed by students.
Reflexive: In it, each a project or task is completed, the Students make a reflection of the processes carried out and of the decisions they made trying to articulate what they have learned.
As a result, students can use computers as tools to enrich knowledge, and to demonstrate their knowledge.
3. WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS TO THE INTEGRATION OF TIC’S?
What prevents teachers make of ICTs integral part of their teaching? They and administrators of the institutions where they work, they must understand that exist for both barriers to integration of ICT. Specifically, they should be prepared for the changes caused by technological integration.
The most common barriers include time, training, resources and support.
Teachers need time to learn to use the “Hardware and Software “, time to plan and time to work together with other teachers. Training is another concern. Some educators do not include options or facilities for training in the time left free.
The lack of resources is another obstacle. Without computers in the classroom without the software appropriate to support the regular curriculum, integration can not be performed.
The support is also critical. The lack of leadership, lack of resources, or the lack of a technology expert at the institution, become failure, many integration efforts.
One of the barriers most often ignored is change. When teachers are asked to integrate ICT, they really are asked is to change in two ways. The first is to adopt new teaching tools such as the Computer and the Internet, which are very different from the tools they are using, as a board, overhead projector or television. The second is to change the way they teach their students, which may include changing the role they play in the classroom and how their classrooms are organized Physics mind.
Over the past decade educators have tried to gain a foothold in technologies and integration models although dissemination of hardware, software and training in integration has been slow. Rogers (1995) in his theory of diffusion of innovation, explains what is the process that follows the adaptation of innovations such as computers or new teaching strategies. He defines diffusion as “the process by which an innovation is communicated in time and broadcast by certain channels, including members of a social system. This diffusion is a special type of communication because their messages are responsible for spreading new ideas “(Rogers, p.5). Innovation, which can be represented by an idea, concept or object is perceived as new by the potential user, although not necessarily new for the rest of the world.
Rogers summarizes five elements that must be innovation: 1) advantages. 2) Possibility of observation. 3) Compatibility. 4) Complexity and 5) Ability test.
The greater the number of these present elements in an innovation any, the greater the possibility that it is adopted.
The following questions and examples give you a clear idea of what potential users technologies are facing when they decide to adopt new computer tools and new teaching strategies.
Relative Advantages: The best innovation that what is replacing? What brings implicit risks? Is it worth the change? Initially a presentation in multimedia and plan how presentation are going to the class, it may take longer preparation required to give a traditional class. To the considerateness the relative advantages, teachers can really wonder if the extra effort involved in using the technologies worth.
Possibility of observation: are the results of innovation, visible or apparent to others? Can you see how they work and observe the consequences arising from their application? If teachers They realize that using the computer students are producing more jobs and better quality, they will be more inclined to adopt technologies.
Compatibility: What is innovation as consistent with the values, previous experiences and needs of potential users? Because we must bear in mind that most teachers current, they not exposed to training in technology within their professional training and often express their frustration at the difficulties of using computers in combined with new teaching methods.
Complexity: Is the innovation easy to understand, use and maintain? It can be easily explained to others? Initially, teachers They make comments on the challenges they face in managing new learning environments. Gradually as the they are adopting, anticipate potential problems that can present when they and their students to work with computers and develop strategies to address them.
Possibility test: Can innovation be tested without problems? In other words, if you do not like the teacher, can you discard? After a successful experience of technology integration, teachers are very willing to try more lessons in which using the technologies.
If teachers are to adopt technologies, they have to recognize and understand the above five elements and how they relate to computers.
In addition, attention to the difficulties of teachers as they learn to use innovations, they It will help greatly to integrate.
4. WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF INTEGRATION OF ICT’S?
It is very important to realize that technologies are not integrated in the overnight and often takes years to complete the process. How can then know teachers who have reached the goal, if they are not familiar with the signs that tell them the way? In view Sandholtz, Ringstaff and Dwyer (1997) integration technology has five stages: Adoption, and Invention Access, Adaptation Appropriation. Each of these stages has its own patterns of changes and their support requirements. At the stage of access, primarily teachers use the material in the texts. Their training is done through activities assigned to them by the instructor. Common techniques include training boards, books text books exercises and overhead projectors. When the teacher rehearses how to use computer technology in the traditional environment, typically you must deal with discipline problems and resource management. The problems have to do with the operation of equipment, they are also frequent. The support that teachers need at this stage includes the necessary time to plan with their peers and opportunities for the group of teachers committed to the new experience share it with those who are not. When teachers move towards the adoption stage, their main concern is how they can integrate technology into daily lesson plans. The training at this stage is still dominated by the conferences for the entire group and work desk. However , the technology is now being used to teach students technology. The activities with them generally include learning the keyboard , word processing or activities repetitive. Teachers begin to anticipate problems and develop strategies to solve them . Although technical problems still exist, at this stage the teacher begins to make simple arrangements on your computer, and unlock the paper, or change the ink cartridge from the printer (Sandholtz et. Al., 1997). The technological support and training for instructions using the computer and use the software for word processing, are necessary at this stage (Dwyer, Ringstaff and Sandholtz, 1990). in the following step, adaptation and integration of new technologies to traditional classes, practice occurs, although conferences, work desk and repetition continue to dominate practice in the classroom. However, 30 to 40% of the time of day the students use the word processor, database, some programs Charts and packages using the computer – assisted instruction. (Sandholtz et al. 1997). Productivity becomes very important. Students produce faster tasks. Teachers have learned to use the computer to save time rather than to create more demands. According to Dwyer et al. 1990, there are four support elements. First, encourage both observing colleagues as team teaching and develop a flexible schedule that allows to carry out these activities . Second, present and discuss educational alternatives. Third, as productivity is important at this stage, train group of teachers in the use of tools Software such as sheets of calculation , databases, Charts , hypermedia and email. Fourth, familiarize with Video discs and scanner. Sandholtz et al. (1997) describes the Appropriation more like a thread that as a phase. To convert to own the tools of technology by the student and teacher, is the catalyst for the shift towards the use of technology occurs element. Attitudes personal teacher to her, make up the crucial point of support for this fundamental change in the education of teaching. teachers understand fully the usefulness of applied technology and effortlessly as a basic tool for real work. Greater interactivity among students and they work on the computer frequently observed. Are evident the Learning Project , collaboration, cooperation and creative management of schedules. At this critical moment, encourage peer routine observation and group discussions. Explore other forms or methods of evaluation . Promote professional growth, through lectures and presentations. Finally, examine the goals they set out to achieve integration. The arrival to the top in this process is the phase of Invention. In her teachers experience teaching new patterns and new ways to interact with their students and other teachers. They make a deep reflection of what is taught, and question the old models of instruction. The teacher begins to see learning as something the child should build rather than something that is transferred. Based teaching interdisciplinary projects, group instruction and teaching adapted to the rhythm of each student form the core of this phase. The interaction between students in the classroom changes. Highlights that are more advanced who offer help in the problems that arise with technology peers or the teacher. Students work with each other in a more collaborative way. To support the teacher is at this level, promotes genuine teamwork among teachers and encourage them to write their experiences. As a permanent support mechanism, involving external to the school community who are able to make valuable contributions provided that the contacts with them via email or Internet can be established people. As a culminating part of this process teachers who have achieved do integration (integrators) should train other teachers. CONCLUSION Addressing these four essential questions when the integration process starts, it can help greatly to teachers clarify their expectations regarding the integration of technology into the regular curriculum. establish a shared vision of what should be the integration of technologies and how it should happen, starts the path towards integration. Equally important is to recognize the barriers that appear as it follows this path as well as changes to be given. the classes in which students are fully committed to a meaningful learning and are using a wide range of technologies to achieve their goals, are so to speak “electrifying”. We must not forget however, that integration Technologies is a growth process that takes time. Getting so that educators become aware of the answers to these questions is a crucial step towards the effective use of computers in education. REFERENCES – Dwyer, DC, Ringstaff , C., Sandholtz, JH (1990) Teacher Beliefs and Practices II: Support for Change. (Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow Research Report 9). – Jonassen. DH (1995). Supporting Communities of learners with Technology: A Vision for Integrating technology in learning in schools. Educational Technology, 35 (4), pp. 60-62. – Morton C., (1996). The modern land of Laputa. Phi Delta Kappan. 77 (6) pp.416-419. – Rogers, MS (1995). Diffusion of Innovations (4th ed..) NewYork, Free Press.