In my Teaching with Technology class this week I read the following quote, "It is essential that teachers design a quality lesson plan first and then select the most appropriate technologies to support that lesson."
Pitler,H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. p. 217
I believe this statement or concept has been repeated throughout our studies. This statement helps me see the overall goal of what we are trying to accomplish by integrating technology into the classroom. Although there are many essential academic standards and technology standards to be achieved by students, it is the academic goals that teachers need to focus on when creating lesson plans for students. It would be easy to separate the technology TEKS from the academic TEKS and say "Ok, now we are going to move in this direction and learn about technology." Instead, what teachers are being asked to do is to supplement their lesson plans by incorporating and integrating technology. This can only be accomplished when the teacher has immersed his/herself in the technology to the extent that using it becomes almost second nature. They must begin to think in technological terms. They must learn to ask the question "What tool(s) can best be used to communicate this concept to my students?"
I would use the analogy of learning a second language. I took three years of Spanish in high school and understand a little of the language but I do not use it on a daily basis. I could function if I were put in a room with only Spanish speaking people but I would not be comfortable. Although, if I moved to a foreign country where everyone spoke Spanish and I had no choice but to use it on a daily basis, I would eventually become more comfortable and even begin to think in Spanish. In my opinion, in order for teachers to select appropriate technology to supplement the lesson plans they design they must first know and speak the language of technology.