When looking to integrate technology into a lesson or unit, is always important to identify the purpose of the technology before selecting at tool. In identifying how we generally use and integrate technology, we can define four general purposes for integrating technology.

Consumption of Content: This refers to how students consume content. Are the students using textbooks? Are the students consuming content from mixed media sources like YouTube, Wikipedia, Discovery Education or eBooks? Not only are the types of content important to consider, but also the devices we use to consume them.
How students consume content can impact the pedagogy we use to teach the content, and the technology affords many different possibilities and constraints.

Collaboration: Many of the current web-based (cloud) tools available make collaboration relatively easy and seamless. These sites and tools allow students to work together both synchronously and asynchronously, as well as from home and school. In addition to web-based collaboration tools, the instructional strategies we use in the classroom could allow for individual tools to be used in a collaborative way such as iPads, Mimios, and Flip cameras.

Communication: Technology affords our students to reach a larger audience than ever before. It also makes it possible for students to connect with others around the world. Using technology tools to communicate, share, and publish to different audiences is an important part of a student's education. Students may use technology to chat with others, email pen-pals, or publish stories and art online for the world to see. Communication can also include discussion boards, reflective blogs, and commenting other people's work.

Creation: Using technology to create allows students ways to demonstrate and apply what they have learned. Students can use the technology tools to create, publish and share using a wide variety of multimedia options. Technology tools can allow us to differentiate performance assessments and appeal to students multiple intelligences.





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