21st Century Education – Introducing the Technology Integration Matrix
In mid-April we summarized the great work of Andrew Churches in our post “Bloom’s Taxonomy and the Digital World.” The middle school teacher and information communication technology enthusiast from New Zealand examined how one of the most widely-utilized educational assessment tools or concepts, Blooms Taxonomy, fits within today’s technology-oriented classroom.
Yet Another Helpful Summary
In addition to taking the time to review Churches work, educators interested in full scale implementation of technology in the classroom will find the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) developed by staff from the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida another great tool. In simple terms, the Technology Integration Matrix “illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students.”
The TIM contrasts five interdependent characteristics of a meaningful learning environment with five levels of integration. Taken as a whole, the five levels of integration and the five characteristics of the learning environment create a matrix of 25 cells.
The tool provides an excellent method for evaluating the levels of technology integration in the classroom, providing an excellent overview of what a 21st century, technology-rich classroom should look like.
Individual Cells of the Matrix
The Technology Education Matrix displays teacher actions across the top header in a subcategory called “Levels of Technology Integration in the Curriculum.” Beginning with the most rudimentary of integration practices, the matrix moves through a range of teacher applications for technology within the classroom setting. From Entry, the progression moves through Adoption, Adaptation, Infusion, and Transformation.
To get a sense of the matrix, at the Entry level, the general descriptor reads: The teacher uses technology to deliver curriculum content to students. In contrast, for Transformational the rubric notes: The teacher creates a rich learning environment in which students regularly engage in activities that would have been impossible to achieve without technology.
Vertically, down the left side of the matrix, is a list of student actions broken out within a subcategory called “Characteristics of the Learning Environment.” Once again, building from a rudimentary acknowledgment of the uses of technology to enhance the learning environment, the range of student behaviors is noted. Beginning with a category called Active, the progression moves through categories such as Collaborative, Constructive, Authentic and Goal Directed.
Again, to get a sense of the material, at the Active level we would see the following behavior: Students are actively engaged in using technology as a tool rather than passively receiving information from the technology. At the Goal Directed Level, the rubric descriptor reads: Students use technology tools to set goals, plan activities, monitor progress, and evaluate results rather than simply completing assignments without reflection.
The 25 cell Technology Integration Matrix ultimately provides descriptors of specific actions for teachers to determine technology implementation in the curriculum and contrasts those actions with those of the students within that respective classroom. For example, at the two most mundane of levels, in block one where students are Active and the curriculum is considered Entry level, the rubric notes: Students use technology for drill and practice and computer based training.
Moving towards the middle of the technology matrix where the curriculum level reaches Adaptation and the student level reaches Constructive, the rubric notes: Students have opportunities to select and modify technology tools to assist them in the construction of understanding. At the highest level, the matrix category that contrasts Transformation with Goal-Directed offers the following description: Students engage in ongoing metacognative activities at a level that would be unattainable without the support of technology tools.
Greatly adding to the tool’s value is the fact that each cell in the matrix also offers at least one video that illustrates technology integration in the classroom. In addition, that integration is broken into two distinct categories based on whether a classroom has only a few computers available or if one-to-one access to laptops is the norm.
For those educators still trying to get their arms around technology as a classroom tool, the TIM offers not only a great starting point, it gives teachers a sense of what they should aspire to as they seek to create a 21st century classroom. When utilized in conjunction with Churches’ look at Bloom’s Taxonomy in a Digital World, the Technology Integration Matrix provides teachers a sense of how technology can be used to enhance the learning environment for students.