This paper titled “pedagogy of technology integration in teaching and learning” examined the scope of technology integration in teaching and learning with a view of showing its relationship with pedagogy and also examined the problem of integrating technology into teaching and learning process. Common excuses for the limited use of technology to support instruction include shortage of computers, lack of computer skill and computer intimidation. While these could affect the success of technology integration, it should be acknowledged that the degree of success teachers have in using technology for instruction could depend in part on their ability to explore the relationship between pedagogy and technology. This paper shows that technology integration is narrowly perceived and that such a perception might hinder teachers’ understanding of the scope of technology in education. Technology integration should be considered along with issues involved in teaching and learning. Such issues include developing learning objectives, selecting methods of instruction, feedback, and evaluation and assessment strategies including follow-up activities. The paper concluded that it is important that educators perceive technology in education as part of the pedagogical process and also recognizes the relationship between pedagogy and technology in education. The following recommendations among others were made; Designing a dynamic classroom using technology requires teachers to provide a learning environment that is colorful, engaging, exciting, interactive and energetic as a way of encouraging students to venture into the world of technology and to discover knowledge for themselves; educators are encouraged to view technology integration from a wider perspective and be reflective in their teaching as they use technology to support and facilitate instruction and that instructional technology should be identified at the planning stage just as the students’ readiness is assessed, lesson objectives identified, methods of presenting are established, and evaluation strategies are determined.
Key words: Pedagogy, Technology, Integration, Teaching and Learning
This paper discusses the narrow perception of the term technology integration in teaching and learning and considers that such a perception is likely to result in a poor use of technology for instructional purposes. The scope of technology integration in teaching and learning is examined with a view of showing its relationship with pedagogy. It should be noted that technology, which is used to facilitate learning, is part of the instructional process and not an appendage to be attached at any convenient stage during the course of instruction. Technology integration not only involves the inclusion of technical artifacts per se, but also includes theories about technology integration and the application of research findings to promote teaching/learning. It is not restricted to the mechanical application of various new computer hardware and software devices during the process of instruction. It should include the strategies for selecting the desired technologies, skill to demonstrate how the selected technologies will be used, skill to evaluate such technologies, as well as the skill to customize the use of such technological skills in a way that addresses instructional problems. The decision on the selection and use of technology for instruction should be made at the onset when the instruction is being prepared, not in the middle or at the conclusion of the instruction. The objective and method of instruction including technology and outcomes of instruction should be specified at the planning stage.
Diaz and Bontembal ( 2000:2 ) are of the opinion that :
using technology to enhance the educational process involves more than just learning how to use specific piece of hardware and software. It requires an understanding of pedagogical principles that are specific to the use of technology in an instructional settings…Pedagogy-based training begins by helping teachers understand the role of learning theory in the design and function of class activities and in the selection and use of instructional technologies.
The relationship between instructional technology and pedagogical concepts is considered with a view of assisting teachers to recognize the impact of such a relationship in an educational inquiry. Technology integration is complex and is made up of processes of interconnected activities. The essence of this paper is to explore those processes and to encourage teachers and those connected with technology integration to be reflective practitioners.
The Scope of Instructional Technology
Technology in education is commonly defined as a technical device or tool used to enhance instruction. According to Lever-Duffy, McDonald, and Mizell ( 2005 : 4) “educational technology might include media, models, projected and non-projected visual, as well as audio, video and digital media.” These authors claim that some educators may take a narrower view and are likely to confine educational technology primarily to computers, computer peripherals and related software used for teaching and learning. This definition does not take into consideration the pedagogical principles upon which the applications of various technologies into educational inquiry are based. Such a definition is narrow because it isolates technology from pedagogical processes that it is intended to support. It does not connect instructional technology with the learning objectives, methods of instruction, learning style and pace of learning, assessment and evaluation strategies, including follow-up procedures. Specifically, technology integration should incorporate the technological skill and ability to use pedagogical knowledge as a base for integrating technology into teaching and learning. This implies that teachers should develop strategies to motivate students to keep them focused as the instruction progresses and to consider that different students prefer different learning styles and that they learn at different rates.
It is important that teachers use a variety of teaching methods, and students must be taught to use the newly acquired knowledge and skill as well as to critically evaluate and modify such knowledge. In other words, teachers should be able to engage students in an exploratory learning experience which is designed to stimulate thinking. According to Bruner (1966 ), the essence of teaching and learning is to help learners acquire knowledge and use the knowledge they have acquired to create other knowledge.
Bruner (1966; 72) eloquently states:
to instruct someone ... is not a matter of getting him to commit results to mind. Rather, it is to teach him to participate in the process that makes possible the establishment of knowledge. We teach a subject not to produce little living libraries on that subject, but rather to get a student to think mathematically for himself, to consider matters as an historian does, to take part in the process of knowledge-getting. Knowing is a process not a product.
This can imply that teaching software skills without consideration to the basic foundation knowledge that justifies their application is likely to result in rote memorization of disjointed information on various technologies used. Ausubel ( 1978 ) claims that this type of teaching method is likely to lead to forgetfulness.
In a broad sense, technology integration can be described as a process of using existing tools, equipment and materials, including the use of electronic media, for the purpose of enhancing learning. It involves managing and coordinating available instructional materials and resources in order to facilitate learning. It also involves the selection of suitable technology based on the learning needs of students as well as the ability of teachers to adapt such technology to fit specific learning activities. It calls for teachers’ ability to select suitable technology while planning instruction. It also requires teachers to use appropriate technology to present and evaluate instruction as well as use relevant technology for follow-up learning activities. Such a broad definition of technology in education will help teachers develop a rational approach toward technology integration.
Problems of Technology Integration
The study of Leh ( 2005 : 19 ) reveals that teachers admitted “they did not resist technology per se but agreed that they could not fully integrate it into their own practices because of the organizational, administrative, pedagogical, or personal constraints”. Leh (2005) claims that the teachers acknowledge technology were more of a problem with multiple facets rather than a solution. Defining instructional technology in broad spectrum helps educators, especially inexperienced teachers, understand the pedagogical issues to be considered when using technology to enhance the process of teaching and learning. Leh (2005 :46) also calls for the “the national organizations involved in teacher standards to recognize that teachers need to develop a foundation upon which to build their understanding of technology integration. Bosch and Cardinale (1993) maintain that while it is important for teachers to be provided with technological skill, it is also important to educate them on how to use that skill to support learning. Infusing technology into a curriculum is less likely to make an impact on students’ learning if technology is not considered as a component of instruction. Technology should not be treated as a separate entity but should be considered as an integral part of instructional delivery. The teacher should be able to assess the appropriateness of any technology used for teaching and learning in relation to specific instruction. The teacher should also consider how the technology selected fits into the objective of the lesson, methods of instruction, evaluation, feedback and follow-up initiatives. Such consideration will provide teachers the opportunity to reflect on their practice and reduce the tendency to integrate technology into teaching and learning in a mechanistic way. Fletcher ( 1996 : 87)) has provided an interesting scenario to show that technology integration should be grounded in sound educational practices: