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IN PRACTICE


portfolio of their progress, process, and performances over time. The technology tools encouraged students to think, analyze, explain, and present their new understanding and knowledge to others, and allowed the teachers to assess students’ comprehension of the required learning goals.


Choosing the Technology Tool Technology tools should not only be easily and effectively integrated into lessons, but should also propel students to achieve the necessary learning objectives and goals. Teachers should first identify the understandings, knowledge, and skills to be developed, and select technology resources that support these learning objectives, either through instruction or assessment. The technology tool is the mechanism to meet learning goals and objectives and not the primary focus. Technology resource teachers are often available to help teachers and students with technology integration. These resource teachers provide professional development with technology tools as well as specific strategies to engage students in the process of learning.


Technology Tools What follows is an overview of educational technologies that can be integrated into various lessons.


The Internet The Internet provides an opportunity for teachers to integrate real world experiences into the classroom. The Web opens the door to a 21st century learning environment that has the potential to provide primary source content and interactions with other learners from around the world. As students interact with content found online they are more likely to remember the important lessons being explored. As a result, they become more engaged with the learning experience.


Tools such as TeacherTube (http://teachertube.com/), SchoolTube (http://www. schooltube.com/ ) Twitter (http://twitter.com/), Wikispaces (http://www.wikispaces. com/), VoiceThread (http://voicethread.com/), or EduBlogs (http://edublogs.org/) are all found on the Internet and have the potential for students to reflect, collaborate, and share their understanding with others outside of the classroom walls. These networked technologies allow students to take ownership and responsibility of their learning.


How Can the Internet Improve Learning and Assessment? When learning goals involve higher-level thinking skills, such as the analysis and synthesis of information, consider using the Internet. Students research topics, collect and manipulate


Spring 2011 Vol. 8 No. 1 Virginia Educational Leadership 65


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