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Using Technology to Design and Deliver Effective and Responsive Instruction in Culturally Diverse Classrooms
Unformatted Document Text:  deliver effective and responsive instruction so that teacher candidates can improve students’ learning experiences and their own teaching practices. Therefore, in the technology infused classroom, the role of the teacher shifts to that of a facilitator or coach rather than that of a traditional lecturer (Henriquez & Riconscente, 1998). Although teachers generally recognize the importance of technology integration into their curricula, successful implementation may be hampered due in part to what teachers beliefs and attitudes are as to what constitutes effective classroom practice in improving student learning (Ertmer, et. al, 2001). In fact, if teachers are to be effective users of technology themselves, they must believe that the technology is most appropriate and beneficial to their students. A report to the U. S. Congress entitled, Teachers and Technology: Making the Connection, the Office of Technology (1995) stated: First and foremost, teachers want to ensure that their students are learning. If technology can be a resource to enhance student achievement and interest in learning, teachers are more likely to invest the time and energy to learn to use it in their teaching. However, the relationship between technology and student learning is too often framed as a seemingly simple question: is teaching with computers and other technologies better than teaching without them? (p. 8) Sherry, et. al. (2003) in assessing the impact of instructional technology on student achievement, explained that teachers should “emphasize the use of meta-cognition skills, application of skills, and inquiry learning as they infuse technology into their respective academic content areas” (p. 3). The author’s conclusion would in part suggest that “teachers must become comfortable in allowing students to move into domains of knowledge where they themselves lack expertise, and they must be able to model their own learning process when they encounter phenomena they do not understand or questions they cannot answer” (Kozma and Schank, 1998, p. 2) Although there has been a dramatic increase in the number of computers found in schools, integrating technology throughout the curriculum has not been accomplished because of a number of other factors, including but limited to, lack of teacher training and professional development, teacher attitudes, cost of implementation, availability of equipment, equipment upgrades, time, funding, administrative and technical support, selection of hardware and software, and lack of practical strategies for implementing technology into lesson plans (Ertmer et al., 2001; Cornell, 1999; George, P., 2000; Guhlin, 2002; Hance, 2002; Critical Issue, 2003; Petropoulos, 2001; Shibley, 2001; Smith & Horgh, 1999; Zehr, 1999). Conclusions and Recommendations If teacher candidates are not well prepared in the use of computers and related technologies, they will not be able to effectively integrate technology into their classroom teaching practices. Goddard (2002) indicates that teachers cannot be expected to successfully use and incorporate technology without first having developed a basis for understanding the theory and the need behind the technology. With new emphasis on the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, educating teacher candidates through the use of technology is imperative. Although computers can greatly enhance a teacher’s effectiveness, technology use in the classroom is not for the sole use of the teacher; students can also reap enormous benefits as well. Technology can enhance classroom practice, improve student achievement and thereby improve teacher and student proficiency and productivity. Technology can be 2

Authors: Cornelious, Linda., Yang, Yi. and Alexander, Mary.
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deliver effective and responsive instruction so that teacher candidates can improve
students’ learning experiences and their own teaching practices. Therefore, in the
technology infused classroom, the role of the teacher shifts to that of a facilitator or coach
rather than that of a traditional lecturer (Henriquez & Riconscente, 1998).
Although teachers generally recognize the importance of technology integration into
their curricula, successful implementation may be hampered due in part to what teachers
beliefs and attitudes are as to what constitutes effective classroom practice in improving
student learning (Ertmer, et. al, 2001). In fact, if teachers are to be effective users of
technology themselves, they must believe that the technology is most appropriate and
beneficial to their students. A report to the U. S. Congress entitled, Teachers and
Technology: Making the Connection, the Office of Technology (1995) stated:
First and foremost, teachers want to ensure that their students are learning. If
technology can be a resource to enhance student achievement and interest in
learning, teachers are more likely to invest the time and energy to learn to use it in
their teaching. However, the relationship between technology and student learning is
too often framed as a seemingly simple question: is teaching with computers and
other technologies better than teaching without them? (p. 8)
Sherry, et. al. (2003) in assessing the impact of instructional technology on student
achievement, explained that teachers should “emphasize the use of meta-cognition skills,
application of skills, and inquiry learning as they infuse technology into their respective
academic content areas” (p. 3). The author’s conclusion would in part suggest that
“teachers must become comfortable in allowing students to move into domains of
knowledge where they themselves lack expertise, and they must be able to model their
own learning process when they encounter phenomena they do not understand or
questions they cannot answer” (Kozma and Schank, 1998, p. 2)
Although there has been a dramatic increase in the number of computers found in
schools, integrating technology throughout the curriculum has not been accomplished
because of a number of other factors, including but limited to, lack of teacher training and
professional development, teacher attitudes, cost of implementation, availability of
equipment, equipment upgrades, time, funding, administrative and technical support,
selection of hardware and software, and lack of practical strategies for implementing
technology into lesson plans (Ertmer et al., 2001; Cornell, 1999; George, P., 2000;
Guhlin, 2002; Hance, 2002; Critical Issue, 2003; Petropoulos, 2001; Shibley, 2001; Smith
& Horgh, 1999; Zehr, 1999).
Conclusions and Recommendations
If teacher candidates are not well prepared in the use of computers and related
technologies, they will not be able to effectively integrate technology into their classroom
teaching practices. Goddard (2002) indicates that teachers cannot be expected to
successfully use and incorporate technology without first having developed a basis for
understanding the theory and the need behind the technology. With new emphasis on the
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, educating teacher candidates through the use of
technology is imperative. Although computers can greatly enhance a teacher’s
effectiveness, technology use in the classroom is not for the sole use of the teacher;
students can also reap enormous benefits as well.
Technology can enhance classroom practice, improve student achievement and
thereby improve teacher and student proficiency and productivity. Technology can be
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