Technology Can Include:

  • Analog Technologies - Chalkboard, pencil, and microscope. In the current technological world, we tend not to think that these materials are "technology" but they surely are tools that students and teachers use daily in classrooms. Webster's dictionary defines technology as "the practical application of knowledge especially in a specific area." Given this definition, it makes it easier to see that even simple tools can be considered technology.
  • Digital Technologies - Computer, blogging, and Internet. Digital Technologies are protean in nature so that the digital technologies are many things to different people. This gives them their strength as multi-use tools but also increases their complexity, making them difficult to learn and use.

Technology and its Complex Role in Teaching

There are social and institutional contexts that impede a teacher's use of technology in the classroom. The inadequate training of teachers in technology impacts the use of technology in the classroom. In order for teachers to use technology, they must understand the affordances and constraints of different technological tools and what functions they can serve in the classroom. It is important that the technology is looked at based on what they can do, whether analog or digital technology, and use this in order to explore, create, and share how to implement this into the education setting. This idea is shown in the video below.

Overall, educators must gain a profound understanding of the term "technology." The protean nature of technology is also an issue that makes integrating technology complicated because it adds to the problems and issues that teachers face. Another complexity is that digital technologies are functionally opaque. Teachers are not aware of the inner working of the technological tools at their disposal. This quality makes interaction with computers arbitrary. In addition adapting general-purpose tools created for business use further adds to the opacity. Teachers must learn to re-purpose these tools to suit their educational objectives. The unstable quality of digital technology further disrupts the use of technology by teachers because it requires them to be life-long learners who are willing to cope with change. Technology changes quickly and teachers find it difficult to keep up with new literature, programs, and software. It is found that educators progress through the many stages of using and integrating technology before they become an "expert" educator incorporating content, pedagogy, and technology using the TPACK model.

It is quite relevant for instructors to understand the true essence of incorporating technology into daily activities. Through technological equipment, minds are stimulated, engagement among student students and the learning process progress and facilitates. If the difference between a classroom without the use of technology and the opposite were truly and thoroughly to be examined, the outcome results would be tremendous an this is proved by multiple studies and teacher-student feedback.


The Journal - The Fours C's of Technology Integration

•Requirements are incomplete, contradictory, and changing.
•Unique and contextual
•Have complex interdependencies are nonlinear
•Solutions are hard to recognize, and will always be custom-designed

Defining a Wicked Problem

Most educational frameworks are created in a very tidy fashion that offers everyone the possibility to understand the concepts and what the thought process is that they need to go through in order to achieve it, but in the end, is time consuming and hard work. In order to be able to reach TPACK, one has to pass through different obstacles, learn various ways to incorporate technology in conjunction with the content and the pedagogy and test out what kind of technology works with what kind of concepts. Even then, still more work needs to be done to reach TPACK. To illustrate this complex model and how it contributes to a wicked problem see the picture below.

One should know that although the TPACK model may be fairly easy to understand, the discussions and brainstorming of how to begin using TPACK in a classroom for the students' benefit and learning is neither neat nor simple. Some teachers may have to work harder than others because they do not have access to new technology. Others may encounter problems when students are not familiar with the technology and the teachers have to take time out of the class to teach these students how to manage technologies. Such problems can not be solved in a traditional linear fashion. The problem also may not be limited to how much technology is in the school or lack of technology knowledge from the student. Teachers may also have low technology knowledge. Koehler and Mishra describe the gap between the fluent teachers in technology and affluent teachers as "digital natives" and "digital immigrants." Because of this gap, the comfort level for these teachers is much different when integrating technology into the curriculum (Koehler and Mishra 2008:10).

(picture from David Jones' Weblog )