I am used to thinking of technology as a robotic system that robs teachers and students of creativity. My mom taught Preschool and Kindergarten for several years, and I watched her integrate only a few technological devices into her lessons. She was a great teacher, and many parents and students adored her - so I have had to ask myself if technology in the classroom is really as beneficial as many say.
After reading the Introduction and Chapter 1 in Integrating Technology in Primary Grades, I was shocked to find that I agreed with a lot of what was said. I was mistaken when I said that technology takes away from hands-on learning and makes it harder to meet the needs of every student. The Introduction introduces Lois Lenski Elementary School as the winner of the AASL Library Media Program of the Year. The students in this school were actually able to have more control (more hands-on interaction) when computers were implemented in the classroom because they were forced to actively think about the information, make choices, and execute new skills during teacher-led lessons. Visual learners were able to see pictures and slideshows, Math/Science learners were able to work with graphs, and hands-on learners were able to play with intereacitve web sites. The integration of technology into Lenski School even helped provide gender-neutralizing effects.
The most important point that was emphasized throughout the reading was that integrating technology into the classroom means actually using technology to TEACH any lesson that needs to be taught. This does not mean that technology should be taught as its own subject, this means that technology should be used as a tool to teach all other subjects. I found it interesting that when technology is used appropriately to teach lessons, students will begin to find greater appreciation in their work.