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Integrating Computer Technology into the Classroom

Integrating Computer Technology into the Classroom

by Gary R. Morrison (Joint Author), Morrison (Other), Lisa DeMeulle (Joint Author), Deborah L. Lowther (Joint Author), Deborah L. Lowther

This book presents a rationale and an inquiry-based model for integrating computer technology into the classroom curriculum by using it as a tool for problem solving rather than as an instructional delivery device. The 10-step NTeQ model remains the same as in previous editions, but with refined concepts and increased emphasis on the role of teacher as designer.


This book presents a rationale and an inquiry-based model for integrating computer technology into the classroom curriculum by using it as a tool for problem solving rather than as an instructional delivery device. The 10-step NTeQ model remains the same as in previous editions, but with refined concepts and increased emphasis on the role of teacher as designer. The book's approach stresses the student's use of the computer to solve real-world problems while learning.

Features of the Third Edition:

  • New Check It Out feature lists Web-based activities and examples that are directly related to examples given throughout the textbook.
  • Power Tips provide ideas for using specific software or computer features and often include a listing of valuable resources.
  • The Teacher's Diary offers practical tips, suggestions, and encouragement from K-12 teachers who are integrating computers into their classrooms.
  • Chapters feature the ISTE NETS*T standards addressed by that chapter's content.
  • Classroom scenarios highlight successful computer integration lessons that have been implemented by K-12 teachers.
  • The Companion Website, http://www.prenhall.com/morrison, has been expanded and is integrated with the text.

Editorial Reviews

James R. Layton
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. --Educational Technology & Society
Presents an approach in which elementary school students use computers to solve problems as part of the learning process, rather than merely as an education delivery system to replace teachers. Based on a 1996 survey showing that the experience students get on computers in classrooms are nothing like what they will need at work or probably do at home. Explains how to introduce word processing, databases, spreadsheets, and the Internet. Assumes only minimal knowledge of computers by the teacher. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)

Product Details

Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
Publication date:
Edition description:
Older Edition
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7.51(w) x 9.08(h) x 0.58(d)

Read an Excerpt


The introduction of computers into the K-12 classroom has been exciting, but many educators would probably agree that we have not seen the results we anticipated. Teachers, parents, principals, superintendents, and school boards are beginning to question their investments in computer technology. "What do we have to show for all of these computers?" Most students today are still educated the same way students were educated a generation or two ago. Students are no more likely to sit in front of a computer for all of their instruction than they would be to sit with one of Skinner's programmed learning machines. Why has the computer not revolutionized education as some scholars predicted?

Recent studies conducted by Dr. Steven M. Ross and the Center for Research in Educational Policy at the University of Memphis involved observing instructional practices in over 8,000 elementary and 2,000 high school classrooms. The results of these studies revealed that computers were rarely used by K-12 students, and when they were used, the primary type of software was drill and practice and educational games. If we were to survey the students' parents, we would probably find that they use spreadsheets to solve problems, manipulate databases to find patterns, send email for communication, create reports with a word processor, and design multimedia presentations to sell their ideas at work. Individuals in the workplace are using computers as a tool, whereas educators generally tend to think of computers as an instructional delivery device—something to replace the teacher, much like Skinner's teaching machine. This observation is interesting because if we asked why computersare being placed in the schools, the primary reason is to prepare students for the workforce—where, as mentioned earlier, computers are used as a tool. Yet, we have failed to find a single job for a computer whiz who can blast space aliens similar to those found in computer games!


This book is about students using computers as a tool to solve problems as part of the learning process. We provide a rationale and model for integrating computer technology into your curriculum by using it as a tool rather than as an instructional delivery device. This book presents an approach to creating an integrated inquiry lesson; however, we do not propose that it is the only way to teach. Instead, it is an alternative approach that stresses the student's use of the computer to solve real-world problems while learning rather than the use of the computer as a delivery system. Our approach is easily adaptable to the standards or benchmarks of your district or state. We believe that we will only see the impact computers can make in the classroom when the teachers change the way they use computer technology in the classroom. Hopefully, we have come a long way from the early fears that computers would replace teachers to a view of how teachers and students can take advantage of the computational power of the computer to learn in new ways.

The type of computer you have does not matter. All your students need is access to integrated software such as AppleWorks, Microsoft Works, Microsoft Office, or individual applications for spreadsheets, databases, word processing, drawing, presentations, and Internet browsing. We have observed teachers who collected the older Apple IIe computers that had the original AppleWorks program. They were able to provide almost every student in their classrooms with a computer that worked well with this approach. This book is written for the pre-service and practicing teacher who has very basic computer skills such as using a mouse; opening, creating, and saving documents; and using menus. The software is not as important as learning how to use the tool in a productive manner to learn core content and skills. The type and capability of the software you use in your classroom will most likely change, and some programs will be replaced by more powerful software in a year or two. Because you and your students will know how to use word processing, databases, spreadsheets, and the Internet, the brand name and version will no longer matter.

Recently, we were visiting a sixth-grade classroom with a colleague, and the teacher was implementing an integrated lesson she had developed with the NTeQ (iNtegrating Technology for inQuiry) model. The students in each of her five science classes were testing various paper products. One student suddenly stopped his work and asked the teacher why they couldn't create an index to determine which products were the best across all five of her classes. We stared at one another in amazement thinking that it would be great to hear a graduate student make such a leap in knowledge when analyzing research data!


In this second edition, we have written several new chapters that provide a description and discussion of developing NTeQ lesson plans, implementing a lesson plan, assessing learning in an open-ended learning environment, and integrating educational software in a meaningful way. The 10-step NTeQ model remains the same in this edition, but we have refined the concepts and increased our emphasis on the role of Teacher as Designer. The following is a brief summary of the chapters.

  • Chapter 1 presents a rationale for rethinking the use of computers in the class room.
  • Chapter 2 introduces the NTeQ model and provides a basis for using computer technology as tool for solving problems.
  • Chapter 3, the first Teacher as Designer chapter, describes a set of tools to help teachers plan effective lessons: e.g., topic and task analysis, writing objectives, learner analysis, and assessment.
  • Chapter 4, the second Teacher as Designer chapter, focuses on how to use the 10step NTeQ model to develop technology integration lessons.
  • Chapter 5 presents easy-to-follow guidelines for implementing a lesson in which students use computers in a problem-solving context.
  • Chapters 6 and 7 describe how to facilitate and manage a classroom that has students using computers.
  • Chapter 8 presents guidelines and approaches for assessing student learning with the use of traditional and alternative methods such as task lists and rubrics.
  • Chapters 9, 10, and 11 describe how to integrate student use of word processing, spreadsheets, and databases into inquiry-based lesson plans.
  • Chapter 12 focuses on how students can use different computer tools to publish/present the results of the problem-solving activities.
  • Chapter 13 presents ideas for how to integrate a wide variety of Internet resources into the classroom.
  • Chapter 14 describes how to assess and meaningfully integrate both traditional and inquiry-based educational software into an NTeQ lesson plan.
  • Chapter 15 demonstrates how teachers can use different computer tools to save time and increase productivity.

Special Features of This Book

Features in the second edition of Integrating Computer Technology Into the Classroom include the following:

  • Key Topics at the beginning of each chapter provide a quick outline of the chapter contents.
  • An Introduction at the beginning of each chapter orients the student to information and ideas presented in the chapter.
  • Screen shots and graphics are used throughout each chapter to illustrate lesson ideas.
  • Power Tips provide ideas for using specific software or computer features and often include a listing of valuable resources.
  • Tool chapters (i.e., 9-13) include instructions on how to write lesson plans in which students use specific functions of basic software applications to enhance learning.
  • Classroom examples highlight successful computer integration lessons that have been implemented by K-12 teachers.
  • Teacher's Diaries provide practical tips, suggestions, and encouragement from K-12 teachers who are integrating computers into their classrooms.
  • URLs for accessing Internet resources support chapter content; however, these sites often change locations or suddenly drop from cyberspace. We have tried to identify locations that are resistant to "cyber rust."
  • Companion Website and NTeQ.com website provide links to resources and a variety of lesson plans that span key content areas and K-12 grade levels.
  • At the Classroom's Doorstep includes Questions Teachers Ask about the chapter and answers to those questions.
  • NTeQ Lesson Plans are provided at the end of selected chapters to illustrate how to use the NTeQ model at different grade levels and in different disciplines.
  • Lesson Bytes at the end of selected chapters provide possible topics for developing integrated lessons.

New to This Edition

The overall approach to this edition has been modified to better facilitate the technology integration process. This task is accomplished by beginning with a new way to think about student use of computers, then providing a structured approach for planning, implementing, facilitating, managing, and assessing learning environments that integrate computers. Coupled with this approach is an underlying foundation that addresses the National Education Technology Standards for Students and Teachers and the national curriculum standards. Highlights of the new edition include:

  • New Chapter 3, Teacher as Designer I: Teacher's Toolbox, includes new material on writing behavioral and cognitive objectives, learner analysis, task analysis, and generative strategies.
  • New Chapter 5, Implementation: From Plan to Action, provides step-by-step guidance for setting up and implementing a lesson that has students using computers during problem-solving lessons.
  • New Chapter 8, The Role of Assessment, presents information on how to use multiple forms of assessment, such as task lists and rubrics, to assess student learning from an integrated lesson.
  • New Chapter 12, Presentation of Results, synthesizes the ideas presented in two chapters of the first edition. It describes and illustrates how students can use various computer tools to present their results.
  • New Chapter 14, Educational Software, describes strategies for assessing and integrating inquiry-based and traditional types of software into an NTeQ lesson plan.
  • The two Internet chapters from the first edition have been revised to include a sharper focus on web tools, policies, and using the Internet as tool in a new Chapter 13, The Internet in the Classroom.

This edition of the book no longer focuses on specific software applications such as AppleWorks, but rather describes the basic functions of each tool, thereby making the information applicable across multiple software programs. Specific job aids are available for both AppleWorks and Microsoft Office on the companion website.

Using This Book

The chapters in this book can be taught sequentially, or you can rearrange them in a manner that best suits your needs. For example, you might want to start with Chapter 15 to illustrate how teachers can benefit from the use of computers. Another approach is to start with either Chapters 9-11 to teach the software tools or Chapter 13 to introduce the Internet tools. You can then focus on Chapters 2-5 to teach your students how to develop and implement an integrated lesson plan. Students can then work independently or in groups to develop units or lessons. While they are developing their lesson plans, you can cover Chapters 6-8 on facilitation, management, and assessment. Then, the students can present their lesson plans and practice their management, facilitation, and assessment skills.

It is important to note that our goal is not to have teachers integrate computers into every lesson but rather to teach them how to determine if computers should be used and how best to use them. In addition, please note that the primary focus in this book is not on developing basic computer literacy skills (although skill levels will increase as new functions are introduced and utilized); it is on developing new methods for using computers in the classrooms.

Supplements to the Text

All supplements are provided free of charge to instructors who adopt this text. To request any of the following supplements, please contact your Prentice Hall representative or visit our website.


Our instructor's guide provides you with a variety of chapter-by-chapter resources and ready-to-use classroom activities.


A customizable test bank on disk is available for both Macintosh and Windows users to assist in the preparation of classroom assessments.


The companion website includes a number of resources for faculty and students. Of particular interest is a set of job aids for Microsoft Office and AppleWorks to help your students master basic skills needed to develop integrated lesson plans.


The NTeQ website includes a variety of resources for preservice and inservice teachers.


Most of the ideas for the lesson plans in this book were conceived or suggested by our colleagues and classroom teachers whom we want to thank for sharing. For ideas presented in the first edition we would like to offer a special thanks to the Project SMART teachers, to Lynn Morrison, and to Dr. Richard Petersen, who gave us ideas and helped us develop some of the materials. Several people deserve a special thank you. First, we want to thank Dr. Katherine Abraham, the Project SMART director, who was always willing to provide us with ideas related to the math curriculum and to help us with our spreadsheet and database problems. For the second edition, we would like to acknowledge ideas from the Anytime Anywhere Learning teachers in the Walled Lake Consolidated Schools and from many of our colleagues, including Steve M. Ross and Gary J. Anglin.

Second, we want to thank Fran Clark, who not only helped us refine but also tested the NTeQ model in her third grade classroom. She documented her experiences in many of The Teacher's Diary sections that appear in each chapter. As w(t developed this book, several of our graduate assistants provided feedback and used the manuscript in their courses. We would like to thank Robert Plants, Posey Saunders, John Ward, Renee Weiss, Peter Guenther, and Mary Waker for their feedback and ideas.

We also want to thank our editor, Debbie Stollenwerk, who supported our ideas from the beginning and provided us with numerous suggestions during chapter development. Last, we want to thank the following reviewers who provided us with valuable ideas for improving this book: Robert L. Hannafin, College of William and Mary; Karla Embleton, Iowa State University; David Georgi, California State University, Bakersfield; Ronghua Ouyang, Kennesaw State University; Gail Davidson, Walled Lake Consolidated Schools; and Pam Shoemaker, Michigan State University.

Gary R. Morrison
Deborah L. Lowther

Meet the Author

Gary R. Morrison received his doctorate in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University. Since then, he has worked as instructional designer at the University of Mid-America, Solar Turbines International, General Electric Company's Corporate Consulting Group, and Tenneco Oil Company. As a professor at the University of Memphis, he taught courses in instructional design and served as a faculty associate in the Center of Academic Excellence. Presently, he is a professor in the Instructional Design and Technology Program at Old Dominion University, where he teaches courses in instructional design and distance learning. His credits include print projects, multimedia projects, and more than 30 hours of instructional video programs, including a rive-part series that was aired nationally on PBS-affiliated stations.

Dr. Morrison has written more than 100 papers on topics related to instructional design and computer-based instruction and has contributed to several books and instructional software packages. He is co-author of Designing Effective Instruction with Steven M. Ross and Jerold E. Kemp. He is the associate editor of the research section of Educational Technology Research and Development and past president of AEC:T's Research and Theory Division, and Design and Development Division.

Deborah L. Lowther received her Ph.D. in Educational Technology from Arizona State University. Before completing her doctoral work, she was a seventh-grade science teacher. She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership at the University of Memphis. Her area of concentration is Instructional Design and Technology. She teaches courses primarily focused toward preparing preservice and inservice teachers to integrate computer technology into their curriculum. She also teaches courses that lead to state certification in instructional computing applications. Her research is centered on factors influencing the integration of technology into various learning environments. Over the past 8 years, Dr. Lowther has been very involved with technology integration from the international to the local level. Her involvement includes conference presentations; co-guest editing Technology in the K-12 Schools, a special edition of a national journal; working with multiple grants focused toward technology integration; providing professional development to K-12 schools across the nation. She is currently the Principal Investigator of Professional Development for the Appalachian Technology in Education Consortium.

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