Today’s students have grown up immersed in technology and use it in all aspects of their life: entertainment, communication, and learning. There is a need for educators to make lessons of the major content areas engaging, relevant, and authentic. This can be done through the use of integrating technology into K-12 education. In a report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Using the Technology of Today in the Classroom Today,” Klopfer et al. (2009) describe the use of technology by businesses and government institutions to teach and train their employees. They stated, “Although that may seem a bit ‘off the wall,’ the fact is major corporations, the Department of Defense, and the medical community would not use these tools if they were not highly effective.” Effective, technology integrated lessons are what students need to be successful.
One of the major content areas is language arts. According to Roblyer and Doering (2012), “New technologies introduced in the era of the Internet have expanded the definition of literacy to include proficiency not only with texts in many different formats, but also with the devices that store them” (p. 267). Language arts is no longer simply learning how to read, write, and communicate effectively. Standards, such as the Common Core State Standards (2010), are evolving to include requirements of being able to use technology as part of demonstrating proficiency in language arts. Therefore, the most relative advantage to using technology in language arts is enabling students to meet the standards.
Mathematics is another major content area that can benefit from integrating technology. Roblyer and Doering (2012) stated that technology “provides learners with the opportunity to visualize and make more concrete the generally abstract world of mathematics” (p. 310). Using technology in math activities provides many advantages for students to manipulate, visualize, calculate, practice, and communicate concepts that enhance their learning.
Regardless of the subject area, technology can make learning more engaging, relevant, and authentic for students. Edutopia (2008) stated, “It also enhances the relationship between teacher and student. When technology is effectively integrated into subject areas, teachers grow into roles of adviser, content expert, and coach.” This is an important advantage in facilitating a learning environment that students enjoy being a part of. Technology is continuously transforming the way students are educated. Teachers need to understand the advantages of using technology to provide students with the knowledge and experiences necessary to be successful in the 21st century.
Common Core State Standards Initiative (2010). Standards for English language arts & literacy in history, social studies, science, and technical subjects k-5. Retrieve from http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf
Edutopia. (2008). Why integrate technology into the curriculum?: The reasons are many. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction
Klopfer, E., Osterweil, S., Groff, J., & Haas, J. (2009). Using the technology of today in the classroom today: The instructional power of digital games, social networking, simulations and how teachers can leverage them. The Education Arcade, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved from http://education.mit.edu/papers/GamesSimsSocNets_EdArcade.pdf
Roblyer, M. D, & Doering, A. H. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.