Lori Applegate - Portfolio
Lori Applegate - Portfolio

Educational Technology Philosophy

  The 2010 National Educational Technology Plan from the U.S. Office of Educational Technology has also created a model of learning that is powered by technology and what it looks like, and the people that it involves.

Model of Learning Powered by Technology



       After attending a musical concert at my current school and watching a young girl between three and four years of age use her mother’s i-phone to center her photo shots, and take pictures, I began to realize how young people today are so completely submerged in the use of technology. This experience also made me realize that the integration of technology is not just an opportunity for teachers to motivate, and increase student learning, but is absolutely necessary if we are to help our students become productive citizens.  In the workplace today our students are expected to enter having the knowledge, and ability, to compete in a highly competitive, technological and global market. 

            Educational professionals at every level k-12, and in the university arena, have a responsibility to make a commitment to this goal.  Our students will enter the workforce with the ability to use technology tools to problem solve and be innovative in their use of the most current computer programs.  With technology integrated into our classrooms students will be able to take ownership of their own learning through inquiring, investigation, and demonstrating their understanding when they use the most current technology programs to create projects that also foster new learning.  As educators we must view existing, and new technology, as powerful tools that will help us prepare our students for the challenges in the workforce today, in the future, and to create life-long learners. 

            As an education professional, teacher, and media specialist, I must continually ask, what is the best way to accomplish the effective integration of technology and the curriculum for student learning, student learning experiences, and student learning out comes?  In my research of this issue, and from my past experience, I found three very important things that I must do to insure the integration of technology into my curriculum.   Research suggests that more experienced teachers are more successful integrating technology with instructional learning activities more often than newer teachers and have a more positive belief system about technology integration in place than new teachers, whom are much too busy learning the curriculum and classroom management systems in their first few years of teaching (Russell, Bebell, O’Dwyer, & OConnor, 2003.)  Therefore, first on my list would be striving to maintain positive mindset, and attitude, toward the integration of technologies into my classroom.  Second, I must continue to readjust my view of what successful technology and curriculum integration looks like.  As new technologies are introduced so will our approaches to classroom implementation.  Some examples of how integration can be accomplished are illustrated in the U.S. Office of Educational Technology’s (2010) National Education Plan.  The plan states that learning supported by technology is individualized for different learners allowing learners, that need more time, to complete projects at their own pace.  Also, technology supported learning allows teachers to “Differentiate”, or vary, instruction to individual student needs.  Teachers can also “Personalize” instruction for students who need alternative approaches, or adjusted content, to best complete the curriculum.   


Some general examples of what technology and curriculum integration might be:

1.  Teachers using an interactive whiteboard to have students come up to compete, during class instruction, in musical learning games to help learn and reinforce a learning concept.

2.  Students in a social studies class taking a virtual field trip to a museum in France, or Germany to help make their research of history connect to the real world.

3.  Students using a two way camera imbedded in their computers to plan a recycling support website with students across the globe.  Tackling real world problems and gaining a multicultural experience.  

4.  Seventh grade students creating learning portfolios that enable them to set learning goals, and take responsibility for their own learning.  


Some personal examples of my technology integration:

1.  Guiding students during their creation of an  i-movie about their chosen country for their social studies class.  Thus fostering further learning, students taking responsibility for their own learning, and demonstrating understanding. 

2.  Guiding students with a project based learning assignment when they were investigating their chosen person for a biography, and then creating an i-movie interview as a demonstration of their learning and understanding.   

3.  When teaching kindergarten last year I used the LCD digital projector to show the National Geographic’s Volcanoes 101 video to my students to help connect their learning with the real world, and creating great motivation when completing their final project. 

4.  Creating power-points for lesson delivery, and professional development, such as, demonstrating copyright & fair use curriculum.

5.  Using the laptops, and the three levels of the World-Books on-line encyclopedia to motivate the use of the on-line encyclopedia among our students.  I held a contest that challenged three levels of students to answer a series of questions from their perspective level of World-book on-line and bring their answers into the media center, so they would be entered into a drawing. 

            Third, on my list to effectively integrate technology into my classroom, or media center, I must seek out as many learning opportunities as possible, such as collaborations with colleagues, professional development opportunities, and formal training to continually update my knowledge and approaches to empower my teaching, and learning outcomes, with technology. 

            Collaboration with colleagues has been one of the largest assets to my advancement in the use of technology.  When researching the topic at the UNK library on-line I found that this is also the case for many other teaching professionals as well.  Ruggiero, & Mong, 2015, p. 176. stated that “teachers indicated that external barriers do exist which impact technology such as a lack of in-service training, a lack of available technology, and restricted curriculum, but that overcoming internal barriers, including a personal investment in technology, attitude towards technology, and peer support, were bigger indicators of success.”  This helped to reinforce the idea that my continuous positive attitude toward the integration of curriculum and technology in the classroom/media center with collaborative, professional development, and training experiences are absolutely a necessity, and are crucial to my success. 


As educational professional it is imperative that we ensure our students are continuously being prepared for a highly technical and global workforce.  To help our students evolve we must use an integrated approach with our curriculum and new and available technologies.  Three factors will ensure my success as an educator in doing this.  First, it is imperative that I view the possibilities of this integration with a positive mindset.  Second, as new opportunities arise I must continue to readjust my views, and positive mindset.  Third, I must seek out as many opportunities, such as, colleague collaborations, professional development, and formal training, to further advance my abilities to integrate new, and existing, technologies.  We must create meaningful, goal oriented, technology and curricular integrated activities that are as diverse as the advancing technological abilities of our students to prepare them for a quickly changing, and advanced, technological workforce.




National Geographic Volcanoes 101 Video.  Retrieved from  www.nationalgeographic.com/video/101-videos/volcanoes-101?source=relatedvideo

Ruggiero, D., Mong, C. (2015) The teacher technology integration experience: practice and reflection in the classroom. Journal of Information Technology Education, 14, p 161-178.

Russell, M., Damian, B., O’Dwyer, L., OcConnor, K. (2003). Examining teacher technology use: implications for preservice and in-service teacher preparation. Journal of Teacher Education, 54(6), 297-310.

U.S. Office of Educational Technology, 2010, National education plan. Retrieved from: http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/netp2010_img_1.jpg.

Worldbook Encyclopedia On-line, (2009).  Retrieved from www.worldbookonline.com.

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Lori Applegate Media Specialist