Avoid Teacher Technology Integration, Work with Students Directly

Technology Integration Efforts

As I reflect on my role this year in doing “technology integration” in a school district as part of my university duties, I realize that I have been more successful in past years in terms of having students improve in their academic learning through technology. I realized that this year I had focused on the wrong audience. I focused on teachers.

Why do we train teachers on technology when we want students to use technology? Why not just train the students directly and have them help their teachers in the technology? The teachers plan for the technology-infused standards-based learning but let’s not spend hours training the teachers when we can train the student. Students learn the technology faster, are willing to experiment with it, can troubleshoot it, and enjoy using technology. They can help their teachers as the teachers want to learn the technology.

This focusing on students system is highly beneficial since their students learn the standards through technology through the teachers’ curriculum design and the students become the mentors for their teachers.

Where do you focus your technology integration energies? On teachers or students? Whom is the real audience of technology integration?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007



3 Responses to “Avoid Teacher Technology Integration, Work with Students Directly”

  1. 1 realstrings May 1, 2007 at 5:50 am

    Ooh – 2 comments in 2 days, that’s a record for me! Yes – focus on the students, if for no other reason that you get more positive response from them than than the teachers that seem stuck in the rut of their working practices and unable to break out.
    I reckon I’m quite savvy about the technology but I still learn so much from my own students and once you’ve got past the fear of ‘being found out’ it’s a great experience – there’s a real sense of sharing development in the classroom. Take the technology-in-learning training into the classroom, to deliver it to the students and teachers at the same time.

    I believe 1-to-1 laptop programmes are a great tool in establishing technology integration directly with the learners – I’m trying to roll one out now.

  2. 2 hgtuttle May 1, 2007 at 11:43 am

    I agree that when teachers do not have an “I’m perfect and all knowing” attitude, the classroom becomes a very different place. They learn from the students and the students learn from them.

    Students engaged in and producing high-quality standards-based work through technology is a wonderful picture.

  3. 3 Danny Maas May 21, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Your point about working directly with students is definitely taken, and I agree that they’re typically far easier to work with.

    I don’t, however, see this as a choice of either-or and see both as equally important. An effective teacher with a sound understanding of how students learn (which to me is THE most important prerequisite skill to using technology effectively with students) combined with having the available technologies within the classroom setting, the required technical support, and a base understanding of how to operate the hardware/software is the recipe for success.

    While I agree that the students will help the teacher with the detailed ‘how-to’ instruction and the teacher need not be the sole expert in the class, having a teacher devoid of skill/training and relying on an external trainer to come in to work with the students is wrong. The person to work directly with students you speak of will not be in the classroom at all times, yet effective use of technology for learning need be embedded (or at least available) at all times.

    Great post – excellent food for thought!

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