Educational Technology & Society 1(1) 1998
ISSN 1436-4522

Integrating Computer Technology into the Classroom

(Book review)

Reviewer: James R. Layton
Associate Dean, Professor, College of Education, Southwest Missouri State University,
Springfield, MO 65804 USA.
Email: jrl721f@mail.smsu.edu

Textbook details:
Integrating Computer Technology into the Classroom
Gary R. Morrison, Wayne State University
Deborah L. Lowther, University of Memphis
Lisa DeMeulle, Sonoma State University
1999, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458 (ISBN 0-13-270000-X)

Integrating Computer Technology into the Classroom (ICTC) is an excellent, state-of-the-art work that will be useful in higher education technology courses as well as a ready reference for professional education educators who are integrating technology into their education classrooms; teachers in colleges of liberal arts, sciences, and professional schools; and classroom teachers in prek-12 schools. Teachers and educators at all levels will find this textbook of value.

The authors began the work by positing the question, "Why has the computer not revolutionized education as some scholars predicted?" (p. vii) Their response was that computers, like the learning machines before them, were used for games, drill and practice, and tutorials, which was the problem.

Their solution to the problem? Produce a textbook that will enable teachers to guide students in preparing for the workforce where computers are used as tools.

For persons interested in aspects of multicultural education and handicapping condition (diversity issues) in planning curriculum, the book gives specific attention to those matters and contains resources for obtaining additional information. Additionally, the reference sections at the end of each of the fifteen chapters are extensive and current with additional sources related to the chapters' contents.

Chapter 1, "Rethinking Computers and Instruction," contains an interesting treatment of the history of concepts of technology in schools and in business. The writers trace the development of educational practices from the factory models at the turn of the century to the present featuring open-ended learning environments containing inquiry learning, guided design, and problem-based learning. Throughout ICTC the authors stress learning context, collaborative learning, the social nature of learning, and cooperative groupwork. The writers contend, however, that "We have yet to see computers have any major impact" (p. 14), but counter by stating, "Perhaps the revolution is ready to start. . . " (p. 14).

Chapter 2, "iNtegrating Technology for inQuiry: The NTeQ Model," presents a philosophy of NTeQ that contains aspects of the model related to the open-ended environment as it pertains to the roles of teachers, students, computers, lessons, and the physical and psychological atmospheres within the classroom. The authors present the use of charts, Know/Want/Learned (KWL), that posit the questions, "What do we know? What do we want to know? and What have we learned?" in columns that guide the students through learning processes or activities. Throughout the chapter, the authors provide the readers with a means for integrating technology into their curriculum in a meaningful manner by applying the NTeQ model.

Chapter 3, "Teacher as a Designer," contains information that will guide readers in creating integrated computer lessons using the NTeQ model. Among the computer skills are familiarity with data base, spreadsheet, word processor, and graphics. In addition to planning lessons, the chapter contains relevant information for assessment.

Other chapters contain detailed instruction in the teacher as a facilitator, classroom management, addressing the needs of diverse learners, word processing, spreadsheets as learning tools, databases, drawing (graphics), publishing tools, the internet, searching for information, instructional materials, and finally, computers as tools for teachers.

This very important textbook contains information for k-12 classrooms is reader-friendly with many necessary charts, grafts, and tables that supplement the text.


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