introduced into the K-12 classroom over 25 years ago. We have gone from
the Altair, Commodore, and Apple I to the PC and Macintosh that
individually have more memory and drive storage than a lab of the earliest
computers. While we have observed large leaps in the technology and in the
number of computers in the classroom, we have seen little change in the
way teachers teach or the way students use computers. Teachers, parents,
principals, superintendents, and school boards are beginning to question
their investments in computer technology. ûWhat do we have to show for all
of these computers?ú Most students today are still educated the same way
students were educated a generation or two ago. Students are no more
likely to sit in front of a computer for all of their instruction than
they would be to sit with one of Skinnerüs programmed learning machines.
Why has the computer not revolutionized education as some scholars
A recent survey of
computer applications used by K-12 students indicates that 78% of the
students spend time playing games in school (Digest of Educational
Statistics, 2000). Few if any elementary or middle school students reported
using spreadsheets or databases and only 6% of the high school students
reported using spreadsheets or databases. In contrast, we find that
employees in the work place are using productivity tools such as word
processing, spreadsheets, databases, email, and personal information
managers. Individuals in the workplace are using computers as a tool,
whereas educators generally tend to think of computers as an instructional
delivery device°something to replace the teacher, much like Skinnerüs
teaching machine. This observation is interesting because if we asked why
computers are being placed in the schools, the primary reason is to prepare
students for the workforce°where, as mentioned earlier, computers are used
as a tool. Yet, we have failed to find a single job for a computer whiz who
can blast space aliens similar to those found in computer games!
This book is about
students using computers as a tool to solve problems as part of the learning
process. We provide a rationale and model for integrating computer
technology into your curriculum by using it as a tool rather than as an
instructional delivery device. This book presents an approach to creating an
integrated inquiry lesson; however, we do not propose that it is the only
way to teach. Instead, it is an approach that stresses the studentüs use of
the computer to solve real-world problems while learning rather than the use
of the computer as a delivery system. Our approach is easily adaptable to
the standards or benchmarks of your district or state. We believe that we
will only see the impact computers can make in the classroom when the
teachers change the way they use computer technology in the classroom.
Hopefully, we have
come a long way from the early fears that computers would replace teachers
to a view of how teachers and students can take advantage of the
computational power of the computer to learn in new ways. We realize that
the technology changes almost daily and it seems nearly impossible for
anyone under the age of 22 to keep abreast of all the changes. However, the
teaching environment is changing. Before the introduction of the Internet to
the classroom, the class was defined by a textbook and the four walls.
Today, there are no boundaries as the World Wide Web is massive data base of
information that students can access faster than most teachers can redirect
a question. Ten years ago, the teacher was the expert in the classroom.
Today, an expert around the world is readily available to your students. The
role of the successful teacher changes from that of expert to one who is
wise. The wise teacher realizes that he or she is not the expert, but knows
how to capitalize on the resources that are readily available. These include
not only the scholarly expertise available on the Web, but also the
technological expertise of the students. Our goal in this textbook is to
create wise teachers who can facilitate learning by managing the resources
The type of computer
you have does not matter. All your students need is access to integrated
software such as AppleWorks, Microsoft Works, Microsoft Office, or
individual applications for spreadsheets, databases, word processing,
drawing, presentations, and Internet browsing. We have observed teachers who
have collected the older Macintoshes and PCs that were discarded by other
teachers, parents, or businesses . They were able to provide almost large
number of computers in their classrooms that worked well with this approach.
How many of us really need a computer with a 2.2 gigahertz processor when we
can barely type 50 words a minute! This book is written for the pre-service
and practicing teacher who has very basic computer skills such as using a
mouse; opening, creating, and saving documents; and using menus. The
software is not as important as learning how to use the tool in a productive
manner to learn core content and skills. The type and capability of the
software you use in your classroom will most likely change, and some
programs will be replaced by more powerful software in a year or two.
Because you and your students will know how to use word processing,
databases, spreadsheets, and the Internet, the brand name and version will
no longer matter.
Recently, we were
visiting a sixth-grade classroom with a colleague, and the teacher was
implementing an integrated lesson she had developed with the NTeQ
(iNtegrating Technology for inQuiry) model. The students in each of her five
science classes were testing various paper products. One student suddenly
stopped his work and asked the teacher why they couldnüt create an index to
determine which products were the best across all five of her classes. We
stared at one another in amazement thinking that it would be great to hear a
graduate student make such a leap in knowledge when analyzing research data!
Organization of This Text
In this third edition,
we have made additions and revisions that provide a description and
discussion of developing NTeQ lesson plans, implementing a lesson plan,
assessing learning in an open-ended learning environment, and integrating
educational software in a meaningful way. The 10-step NTeQ model remains the
same in this edition, but we have refined the concepts and increased our
emphasis on the role of Teacher as Designer. The following is a brief
summary of the chapters.
Chapter 1 introduces
the NTeQ model and provides a basis for using computer technology as tool
for solving problems.
Chapter 2 presents a
rationale for rethinking the use of computers in the classroom and
establishes the foundational research base of the NTeQ Model.
Chapter 3, the first
Teacher as Designer chapter, describes a set of tools to help teachers plan
effective lessons: e.g., topic and task analysis, writing objectives,
learner analysis, and assessment.
Chapter 4, the second
Teacher as Designer chapter, focuses on how to use the 10-step NTeQ model to
develop technology integration lessons.
Chapters 5, 6, and 7
describe how to integrate student use of word processing, spreadsheets, and
databases into inquiry-based lesson plans.
Chapter 8 focuses on
how students can use different computer tools to publish/present the results
of the problem-solving activities.
Chapter 9 presents
ideas for how to integrate a wide variety of Internet resources into the
Chapter 10 describes
how to assess and meaningfully integrate both traditional and inquiry-based
educational software into an NTeQ lesson plan.
Chapter 11 presents
easy-to-follow guidelines for implementing a lesson in which students use
computers in a problem-solving context.
Chapters 12 and 13
describe how to facilitate and manage a classroom that has students using
Chapter 14 presents
guidelines and approaches for assessing student learning with the use of
traditional and alternative methods such as task lists and rubrics.
Special Features of This Book
Features in the third
edition of Integrating Computer Technology Into the Classroom include
at the beginning of each chapter provide a quick outline of the chapter
at the beginning of each chapter orients the student to information and
ideas presented in the chapter.
Screen shots and
are used throughout each chapter to illustrate lesson ideas.
provide ideas for using specific software or computer features and often
include a listing of valuable resources.
(i.e., 5-7) include instructions on how to write lesson plans in which
students use specific functions of basic software applications to enhance
highlight successful computer integration lessons that have been implemented
by K12 teachers.
provide practical tips, suggestions, and encouragement from K12 teachers
who are integrating computers into their classrooms.
for accessing Internet resources support chapter content; however, these
sites often change locations or suddenly drop from cyberspace. We have tried
to identify locations that are resistant to ûcyber rust.ú
provide links to resources and a variety of lesson plans that span key
content areas and K12 grade levels.
At the Classroomüs
includes Questions Teachers Ask about the chapter and answers to
NTeQ Lesson Plans
are provided at the end of selected chapters to illustrate how to use the
NTeQ model at different grade levels and in different disciplines.
at the end of selected chapters provide possible topics for developing
What do I need to know
is a series of focus questions at the beginning of each chapter to stimulate
interest and focus learning.
snapshot is presented prior to the chapter content to illustrate the key
concepts of the chapter in an authentic context.
An NTeQ Portfolio
task is provided at the end of each chapter. The task includes
reflection of the chapter content and various hands-on activities to
Check It Out
activities are web-based and directly related to examples given in the
text. Some allow you to actually work with and manipulate referenced data
and information while others provide URLs to sites with relevant
Using This Book
It is important to
note that our goal is not to have teachers integrate computers into every
lesson but rather to teach them how to determine if computers should be used
and how best to use them. In addition, please note that the primary focus in
this book is not on developing basic computer literacy skills (although
skill levels will increase as new functions are introduced and utilized); it
is on developing new methods for using computers in the classrooms.