According to Edutopia the definition of Technology Integration is as follows:
"Effective technology integration is achieved when its use supports curricular goals. It must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts. " (http://www.edutopia.org/tech-integration, 18 January 2012).
I completely agree with this definition! When it comes to education, it is my duty to learn all the new technological advances and the ways it can really improve my curricula. Since the newest generation, Generation Z, is so technologically advanced, we, as educators, need to learn ways to support this generations learning. Technology Integration is definitely achieved when I use technology to enhance my lesson plans and keep my students actively engaged!
It is important to remember that technology is available to enhance the learning, not to take away from the actual educator. The role of technology is to not be the teacher; however it is there to enhance the curriculum to meet the learning styles our our 21st century learners. An great example is using technology to create twitter accounts to remind your students of upcoming test dates or assignments, but not to be used to teach the students the actual lesson. Technology can be wonderful when used at appropriate times. For instance, creating webquests to provide introductions or reinforcements to vocabulary are useful, but they should never be created to just provide a teacher a day to grade papers and not teach. The role of technology it to keep the students interested and engaged, but not to be the teacher.
Because technology is available, it is expected for teachers to stay up to date. In order for teachers to stay up to date on technology, I personally believe, it is the administration/district's job to provide the proper professional development opportunities. In my middle school, we have a "cadre" of staff members that participate in technology conferences such as ISTE and bring back the information the rest of the staff during professional development days. Then, once teachers are given the tools, I believe it is their responsibility to take the time to learn the tool as well as incorporate it into their curricula. I believe that many teachers are afraid of new technology tools, but they also never take the time to really explore and learn it. With the proper education and motivation, every teacher could integrate technology into the curriculum.