You are on page 1of 9

Integration of Technology

Effective Integration of Technology

Kalynn Chapman and Danielle Huggins

Lakehead University
Integration of Technology

There is an increasing demand for the integration of technology into classroom. As a

result, methods such as mobile e-learning is becoming a preferred learning tool in a majority of

classrooms (as supported in policies such as Growing Success). Due to this upsurge of classroom

technology, educators must be aware of how to effectivity use it to enhance the learning of

students. Without consideration, the including of technology may hinder the process of the

learner.

Effective technology integration will broaden the available lesson delivery styles, foster

inquiry centered education, thus moving away from the Banking Model of Education put forth

by Paulo Freire (also known as the Pedagogy of the Oppressed), and allow for deliberate

scaffolding of instructional materials. Through both the application of blending learning by

utilizing the flipped classroom, and the use of technology to scaffold creativity, particularly in

music education, educators will be able to effectively incorporate technology into todays

modern classroom.

Blended Learning and Flipping the Class

Recent advancements in technology have enabled new teaching tools to be utilized in the

classroom. Blended learning is a teaching model that incorporates technology and face-to-face

learning in a classroom setting. This technique utilizes multimedia textbooks, online quizzes,

discussion forums, as well as other e-learning sources to enhance learning for students while

including traditional face-to-face learning (Zhang, Dang, Amer, 2016). As educators it is

important to utilize tools that complement individual learning needs. Some students may learn

effectively from lecture or textbook teaching styles. Alternatively, students may prefer hands on
Integration of Technology

activities or videos in class. By using blended learning in the classroom teachers can modify and

accommodate different learning types while providing more one-on-one feedback to students.

An example of blended learning that is becoming increasingly popular is the idea of a

flipped classroom. In this teaching style, the traditional classroom setting is inverted, allowing

in-class time for interactive activities as the traditional lectures are to be completed at home,

effectively replacing homework (Gomez et al 2016). Students are required to watch short videos

and other multimedia sources developed or organized by their teacher before they come to class.

With this removal of in-class lectures, students are engaged in activities that allow them to

actively apply their knowledge and ask questions during class time.

There is consensus among developmental psychologists and educational theorists that

learning is enhanced when students construct and negotiate meaning, this is utilized in the

flipped classroom (Leo & Puzio, 2016). During class time, students are applying their new

knowledge to real world application scenarios with guided instruction provided by their teacher.

Teachers take on more of a facilitator role through providing student-centered feedback during

instruction time. Flipped learning enables students to learn at their own pace as they can pause

and re-watch material covered in lecture. Furthermore, students can go over concepts they are

still struggling with or have missed as a result of absence.

Studies looking at blended learning, more specifically the flipped classroom have

concluded that students developed an increased appreciation for group work and technology

innovation as a result of the change in classroom teaching. Students report feeling more

empowered to use new technology to find answers on their own (Leo & Puzio, 2016). Moreover,

educators have identified that this methodology enhances discussion between students and their

instructor as students are asking specific questions about material. This enables teachers to
Integration of Technology

determine where their students are struggling and provide direct feedback in class to help

students succeed. Interestingly, it has been noticed that more material can be covered in a flipped

classroom with an increase in overall academic achievement for a class. Finally, when this

method is utilized it increases positive attitudes towards a subject. For instance, science students

were more interested in the subject as a result of more hands on application activities while

learning at their own rate, in comparison to lectures and note taking. It is clear that blended

learning and the flipped classroom can be a tool that increases interest, inquiry, and achievement

in students.

There are only a few noted disadvantages of incorporating a flipped classroom into

teaching. Teachers are required to have some tech savvy in order to utilize the tools available

for e-learning to their potential. They also need to realize that the transition to a flipped

classroom is not an easy one, it will involve much planning and organization on the teachers

part to have activities during class time with prepped videos for students to watch at night.

Furthermore, if students are progressing through materials at a faster rate, this will put the

pressure on teachers to have more material available to students to learn. Finally, it is important

that students have access to resources (internet, computers, smartphones) to make this accessible

for all students in a classroom setting. Even though a flipped classroom will require time and

organization on the teachers part to set up, benefits of a flipped classroom are significant in the

learning of students.

As educators, one of our goals it to inspire the next generation of learners. To do this we

must demonstrate our passion for subjects through our lesson plans and teaching. Through

utilizing blended learning teachers are able to incorporate multimedia into lessons, providing

enriched resources to student the way textbooks and lectures have failed to do so in the past
Integration of Technology

(Tawfik & Lilly, 2015). Blended learning and incorporating a flipped classroom is a powerful

tool due to its flexibility, customization, and accessibility for students. When successfully used

in a classroom we are scaffolding self-directed learning while encouraging problem-solving with

peer collaboration (Tawfik & Lily, 2015).

Scaffolded Musical Creativity Through Technology

Technology has become a required presence in modern classes. However, as Ruthmann

(2012) when integrating technology into the classroom, it is all too easy to be drawn in by the

flash and quick spark of technology (p. 2). This implies the challenge of passively adding the

use of technology with no definitive justification for its including can be detrimental to the

development of the learner. Watson (2011) states leading students in meaningful creative

activities must go beyond simply providing helpful technology tools or even instruction in using

those tools (p. 2). Through innovative tasks and assignment put forth by the instructor, students

will be able to explore their musical stylings through the avenue of technology.

With the advent of personal devices, electronic musical instruments, the MIDI file

software and hardware, the development of the Internet, and multiple free-access editing

programs, teachers and students have never had more tools at their immediate disposal. As

technology in classrooms is as common as students in classrooms, using programs such as

Audacity and Garageband alleviate the requirement for traditional instruments (which are

notoriously expensive). This moves the education out of the Western Classical Traditions by

opening the parameters of what is teachable music, increasing the accessibility of the subject.

Technology is then being used to provide students with the opportunity for active music

making. The increased opportunity for active musiking will also increase the students access to
Integration of Technology

interact with their personal creativity through activities centered on Vygotskys Zone of Proximal

Development. By providing students with low-stress, formative assessment centered assignments

there will most likely be a reduction in the fear associated with attempting creative outlets (as

identified in Watsons Eight Principles for unlocking musical creativity (Watson 2011, p. 6)).

Creating safe introductory experiences to creative musical work can set the stage for more

social music making and exploration in later projects (Ruthmann 2012, p. 12). With effective

use of technology, in conjunction with explicit parameters, students will be scaffolded into

different avenues of personal creativity.

Apps such as Brian Enos Bloom and Trope apps for Apple software are strong examples

of immediate active music making. The apps are based on pre-programmed musical algorithms,

which become an improvisational duet partner with the user, providing visual and aural

feedback. Ruthmann notes that for students who are more reluctant to begin exploring their

creativity through music, apps such as these can be a great way to introduce the foundations of

musical creativity, such as critical listening and improvisation. From here, the educator can move

the students to more open technology software, such as Audacity, to further their creative

development.

Furthermore, through this process of incorporating technology, educators are employing

intrinsic motivations first for their students and moving to more extrinsic motivations as they

become more comfortable with exploring their personal creativity. Howard-Jones (2002)

references the importance of this practice, maintaining the intrinsically motivated state is

conducive to creativity, whereas the extrinsically motivated state is detrimental (p. 2). By

introducing projects that enable to students to self-direct and facilitate their learning through a set
Integration of Technology

computer application, the teacher will be able to observe notable grow in the students self-

expression and self-exploration into their personal sense of creativity.

Conclusion

Technology in the classroom is a teaching tool that can enhance or hinder the learning of

students. As educators, we strive to inspire the next generation of learners. To effectively

accomplish this, we must demonstrate our passion through our lesson plans and teaching. With

the expansion of classroom technology, it is imperative for teachers to be up to date with current

expertise and resources available to educate and inspire students. It can be seen that effective

technology integration will not only broaden lesson delivery styles but also nurture inquiry

centered education allowing for scaffolding of instructional material. With integration of blended

learning techniques such as the flipped classroom along with utilizing technology to develop

creativity, educators can consistently enhance learning while effectively incorporating

technology into lessons.


Integration of Technology

References

Gonzalez-Gomez, D., Jeong, J. S., Airado Rodriguez, D., & Canada-Canada, F. (2016).

Performance and Perception in the Flipped Learning Model: An Initial Approach to

Evaluate the Effectiveness of a New Teaching Methodology in a General Science

Classroom. Journal Of Science Education And Technology, (3), 450. doi:10.1007/s10956-

016-9605-9

Howard-Jones, P. A. (2002). A Dual-state Model of Creative Cognition for Supporting Strategies

that Foster Creativity in the Classroom. International Journal of Technology and Design

Education, 12(215-226).

Leo, J., & Puzio, K. (2016). Flipped Instruction in a High School Science Classroom. Journal Of

Science Education And Technology, (5), 775. doi:10.1007/s10956-016-9634-4

Ruthmann, S. A. (2012). Engaging Adolescents with Music and Technology: Engaging Musical

Practices: A sourcebook for Middle School General Music.

Tawfik, A. A., & Lilly, C. (2015). Using a Flipped Classroom Approach to Support Problem-

Based Learning. Technology, Knowledge And Learning, 20(3), 299-315.

Watson, S. (2011). Using technology to unlock musical creativity. Oxford University Press.

Zhang, Y., Dang, Y., & Amer, B. (2016). A Large-Scale Blended and Flipped Class: Class Design

and Investigation of Factors Influencing Students' Intention to Learn. IEEE Transactions

On Education, 59(4), 263-273. doi:10.1109/TE.2016.2535205


Integration of Technology