What, exactly, makes technology perfectly suited to be integrated across the curriculum? Why is technology uniquely primed to enhance learning across subjects in ways that, say, grammatical skills in Language Arts or problem-solving approaches in Math are still most often taught as an isolated subject? How should students learn technology-related skills, and when should this learning take place?
These questions haunt me. They have been discussed in thousands of amateur blog posts, and also in a limited body of rigorous, peer-reviewed research. I read ISTE’s Journal of Research on Technology in Education every publishing and contrast its findings with the flashier tech-related Edutopia headlines, but the clarity I seek remains ahead of me.
Because this is the year I am trying to examine the semantic discourse of technology in education-related contexts, I should be as precise as possible and mention here that when I say Technology, I really mean the skills of using digital technology – the various applications of devices or pieces of software. When I refer to Integration, I mean the a model of embedding digital technology into classes and activities to support the learning of other subjects – and though I do say ‘other’ subjects, the essential issue is that Technology is not itself a subject with it’s own curriculum – not in Ontario, and not until Grade 9 – so the ideas that underpin a scope and sequence for a ‘Computers’ curriculum oriented towards the elementary and intermediate divisions of student learners is somewhat enigmatic to me, still. Continue reading “Advancing the Integration Agenda”