Computers are tools that can be used to accomplish a myriad of tasks and achieve any one of a number of goals. They can be used to promote higher order thinking skills or to play mindless games. However, research tends to indicate that technology is not being used appropriately in today’s classrooms (Kleiman, 2000; Glennan & Melmed, 1995).
One way that this tool can be used is as a catalyst for change. Researchers have found that when a classroom is immersed in technology, many things begin to change in the classroom. Teacher/student relationships change as teachers get away from the role of instructor and begin to come alongside the student as facilitator or coach. This is a result of a change in the way that teachers teach, moving from traditional instruction with lecture, drill-and-practice, and rote memorization of facts toward a constructivist model which promotes active student learning through inquiry, problem solving, and collaboration with peers and adults. However, these are not the only changes technology can bring to the classroom. Technology integration, done correctly, can lead to success for everyone (Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow, 1995).
In 1996, President Clinton and Vice-President Gore introduced the purpose for technology integration in the Technology Literacy Challenge. The reason for technology in the classroom is not to provide state of the art equipment for its own sake. Instead, the role of technology is to increase student achievement by using this tool (Wenglinsky, 1998).
Many states have invested millions of dollars into technology. ...