Technology Integration, 1 to 1, and Student Centered Learning: Five Ideas to Consider


Welcome to this first in a series of posts devoted to student centered learning in the technology enhanced classroom.  This classroom might be 1 to 1, or might be using technology to leverage student centered learning. I have five powerful ideas on facilitating student centered learning with technology in this post. The next posts will include 16 sweet tools that are a must for that student centered classroom.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way this school year…So Sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am almost booked through August and fall dates for 2015 are now over 3/4 full and the 2016 calendar is beginning to fill.

Series One: Five Important Ideas to Reflect on when Implement Technology and 1 to 1

With so many schools looking at providing technology enhancement and 1 to 1 possibilities, it is important to note that students… not technology… should be the center of learning. I challenge you to reflect on what a technology rich classroom might look like, sound like, and feel like.  Every time I do this I am excited not by the techno-glitter, but by students interacting and taking ownership of the learning experience. This is a skill today’s students will be called on to do through the rest of their life. As you reflect on this wonderful classroom vision, please read through some of the ideas I believe that educators must consider as they consider the use of technology and  the 1 to 1 model. Enjoy the ideas and reflections I provide in this post and then be ready to explore the 16 sweet tools/resources provided in the next posts. I believe these ideas and the following tools and resources will prove to be a powerful catalyst for the technology infused classroom geared at putting students in the center of learning! Last, you will want to become familiar with 5 important steps that should be considered when integrating web technology.  It will be a part of the last post of this series. Let’s get started!

  1. Technology Integration is a Step by Step Process – Keep in mind that a technology infused program such as a 1 to 1 model is really a step by step process. It is important to recognize this as educators going in to this initiative. Also, be sure to celebrate these steps at whatever place you are. Realize that the top levels of SAMR may not happen in a year, and proper substitution has its place. While it all may appear slow moving, it is amazing to look back at after a year in the process. Your district may even have a strategic plan, but remember to allow it to be malleable along the way. Keep the focus on students and educators… not the technology. By being nimble you will be open to constant changes of the techno-world. You will note accomplishments that were never planned, along with plans that never needed to be accomplished!

▪Take Small Steps

▪Allow for Flexibility

▪Look Forward

▪Look Backward


  1. Technology Integration must go Beyond the Device – As stated earlier school has never been about the building, infrastructure, or technology! It is about kids and learning, do not lose focus! How can the technology provide kids voice and choice while allowing students to focus on relevancy and authenticity? I often wonder what John Dewey would think if he could see the tools we have available to us today. How can technology allow students to control and regulate their learning? After all, it is happening as students use the internet outside of school! How might we align the ideas of Blooms, Project Based Learning, STEM, and ideas of Deeper Learning?

▪Beyond the Device

▪Voice and Choice



▪Alignment with Pedagogy

  1. Technology Integration must be open to Consider New Possibilities – One reason to keep any technology plan nimble is so you can be open to all of the endless and wonderful possibilities that show themselves along an amazing student centered journey! In my own experience I found that creating a program to make up snow days using 1 to 1 technology actually opened up the bigger world of blended learning. It went from snow days to everyday. Our goal must incorporate technology facilitation that promotes student centered learning that will occur on every day, and at any hour! We must realize that while the hard copy textbook could be on its way out,  there might not be a virtual digital textbook ready to take its place. The new text book might instead be the LMS (Learning Management System). While this may seem to be yet another initiative, it must be aligned with other initiatives in place. Making the move toward a student centered classroom may actually be the main initiative. Students can also not only own their learning, but they can be the curators of content.  Technology just might be the vehicle to allow this to happen. Keeping an open mind and flexible plan will allow for amazing opportunities free of constraints.

▪Doors that Open

▪Delivery of Learning

▪Textbooks and OER

▪Alignment with other Initiatives

▪Student Creation of Curriculum

  1. Technology Integration must go beyond the Tech Shine – We are all naturally attracted to the shiny! After all, we all like and are engaged by a little… or a lot of glitter. It is important that we take a moment to admire the shine and then move on to real learning possibilities. How might the newest tools or resource allow for student learning of the necessary content standards? At the same time, how can technology allow student to gain the necessary skills to become career and college ready. I do hope you noticed the flip on college and career… it is intentional! Technology also allows educators to provide real time formative assessment, but also effective formative learning opportunities. It is also important to note that educators must be aware and employ such models as SAMR, Blooms, and PBL. As I will write about in a future article, SAMR has a direct relationship with student centered learning.  Students can operate at higher levels, even if a teacher may not have all of the technology skills employed by the students. It is important that we move from tech shine to student shine!

▪Content Standards

▪Career and College Ready Skills

▪Formative Learning Opportunities

▪Understanding of Models (SAMR)

▪Blooms and Process

  1. Technology Integration must Amplify the Learning Experience – Learning has always been learning and teaching has always been teaching. While teaching has been a powerful force in education, learning has sometimes been put in second place. I think it is important that as educators, we reflect on both teaching and learning.  I do feel that teaching has a place in learning. Today, technology provides the tools and resource that allow schools to focus on learning and amplify that experience. In fact it can even amplify teaching, as experienced in the flipped classroom. Please note that the effective flipped classroom also amplifies learning! The infusion of technology promotes an atmosphere of student centered learning that is focused on investigation and visualization, while allowing students to experiment and play. Inquiry is a powerful piece of the technology support. Students must be encouraged to not just learn to use the web to answer, but also to employ the internet to question… as they develop important life long skills.

▪Investigate and Visualize

▪Experiment and Play

▪Examine and Question

▪Journey and Explore

▪Access Experts and Develop Skills

In this post I have enjoyed introducing you to five ideas I feel are essential when integrating technology to promote student centered learning. In the next posts we will examine what I refer to as my sweet sixteen tools and resources that can promote student centered learning using technology. I will also share five ideas to consider when using modern day web technology and resources in the student centered classroom. I know these next post in this series will be ones you do not want to miss! Please sign up now, follow me on twitter, and share with others with a retweet!

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of 21st century.  Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped and Blended Learning, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, PBL, STEM, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week, and a enjoy this wonderful new school year. Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100’s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Dates are going fast, with time up to and including December just about filled,  and I am  taking 2016 dates.

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