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Technology Integration and Student Achievement

The arrival of digital revolution is now repositioning the process of teaching


and learning with the capabilities to promote effective learning and enhance
student learning experience (Fui-Theng Leow, Mai Neo & Soon Hin Hew, 2016,
p.244). Curda (2016) stated that the skill level necessary for success in the
21st century workforce far exceeds the basic level indicating that 21st century
curriculum must be infused with skills necessary for living and working in an ever-
changing society. Students need to be versed in 21st century skills to be a
productive member of society. As a result, learning has evolved from traditional
face-to-face lectures and textbooks in a brick and mortar classroom to online lecture
delivery methods, use of mobile digital devices, augmented reality, virtual reality,
and use of wiki, blogs and various collaborative websites (Sarkar, Ford & Manzo,
2015, p.35). The traditional classroom setting and experiences are changing to be
able to communicate in the language and style of the 21st century digital natives.
Students are provided with authentic examples of learning with technology to
allow all students the opportunity to develop and continually hone these
necessary National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S). These
experiences engage students with relevant, real-world education that involves
problem solving, communication, and the chance to collaborate as adults do in real-
world occupations (Curda, 2016). This is especially important when considering
the digital divide (Curda, 2016) that exists due to socioeconomic factors and
reasons outside a students control. The classroom maybe the only place some
students have an opportunity to interact with technology and develop technology
literacy. Integrating technology regularly will allow students to build self efficacy
with technology.
The Google Classroom is used as a platform where students to develop their
communication and collaboration skills, research and information fluency and digital
citizenship. Students interact, collaborate and publish with peers employing a
variety of digital environment and media (NETS-S, 2007). For example, students
are required to complete weekly science post about an assigned topic that relates
to the current. The expectations include locating an article from a peer-reviewed
source, providing a link to the source or attaching the article to the post, providing a
summary, with at least two citations along with how the article connects to the topic
and what the student finds interesting. Students that are more versed with
technology can choose to upload a video clip of themselves reporting their
summary and sharing their article. In addition to the posting, students are required
to interact with at least one peer to demonstrate their ability to effectively and
appropriately communicate in the digital world.

Students construct knowledge by using models and simulations to explore


complex systems and issues (NETS-S, 2007). Standard one of the NETS-S focuses
on creativity and innovation. A variety of web-based simulations are utilized to
engage students in learning about complex content and provide realistic
experiences. According to Shaffer (2007) in simulations, students have
opportunities to experience complex problems that would otherwise be too
expensive, dangerous or difficult to accomplish in a classroom setting. Simulations
allow the content to come to life and allow students to participate in realistic
situations. For example, students in advanced placement environmental science
learn about coal mines as they engage in a coal mine simulation and coal power
plant simulation and analyze the environmental impact of the process. A nuclear
power plant simulation is utilized as well and students compare the benefits and
consequences of using a nuclear power plant versus a coal power plant. In the past,
students learned about these two types of power plants through the text, lecture
and a diagram. The engagement and motivation was low. Fast forward five years
and students can now learn about these two procedures and form their opinion
about energy sources by interacting with a simulation and observing the impact of
their own choices.

Curda, L. (2017). CI5453 Learning with technology: [Module 1] Digital natives and
immigrants [PowerPoint Presentation]. American College of Education. Retrieved
on January 8, 2017 from https://ace.instructure.com/
Fui-Theng Leow, F., Mai Neo, n., & Soon Hin Hew, s. (2016). Investigating the key
attributes to enhance students' learning experience in 21st century class
environment. Electronic Journal Of E-Learning, 14(4), 244-256.
ISTE Standards for Students. (2007). Eugene, OR: International Society for
Technology in Education.
Sarkar, N., Ford, W., & Manzo, C. (2015). Engaging students with technology in an
asynchronous learning environment. HETS Online Journal, 634-50.
Shaffer, D. W. (2007). How computer games help children learn. New York, NY:
Palgrave Macmillan.