As someone who does not teach a subject that falls cleanly into the main content areas of English and language arts, foreign and second language, math and science, social studies, art and music, or physical and health education, I come across several obstacles toward technology integration. In my experience, financial literacy falls somewhere along the lines of a combining math, science, and social studies. Being a hybrid of those content areas I feel that it shares a couple of their challenges in technology integration.  Roblyer and Doering  (2012), note that the vast amount of easily accessible internet information can modify the traditional trust of a student teacher relationship which leads to problems delivering social studies content. I experience this first hand teaching financial literacy due to the prevalence of financial websites on the internet spouting various opinions, which may or may not always be factually based. My students will often try to contradict certain points I may be making during the Q&A portion of my presentation. What I have found as a solution to this is including my sources for information in presentations slides or documents, and to encourage students to further look at those sources themselves when in doubt. If they have facts to back things up I encourage them to share an opposing point of view but only if they have something to back it up. It is important they learn to research rather than just go off what they heard or read on the internet being that literally anyone can upload content these days.

In the area of science and math, some organizations argue and some studies show that computer simulations cannot substitute for real life experiments (Roblyer & Doering, 2012). This is something I have seen firsthand and stress to my students when using financial simulations like Investopedia. No matter how accurate a simulation is it will always be just that, a simulation. Once they actually start using real money for investing, savings plans, business plans or whatever might have been previously simulated, there are going to be new unforeseen consequences they may not be ready for. To help them plan for this I am vigilant to include disclaimers whenever I facilitate any type of money simulation activity. I have to stress up front and constantly reiterate that what is learned in the virtual world does not transfer 100% to the real world.

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching. (6th ed.). Pearson     Education Inc.

Technology can have a huge impact in making lesson content of all subject areas more engaging. Just looking around the internet it is easy to see examples of this. A quick Google search will demonstrate how simulations and virtual activities are making subjects like math or science more inviting to the masses. The proliferation of foreign language software and English learning aids are empowering more people to enhance their verbal communication and reading comprehension abilities like never before. There is one content area in particular that I see as most exciting when it comes to finding new ways technology can enhance its instruction. The content area I am speaking of is Social Studies. Roblyer and Doering (2012) note that technology within the area of social studies has been referred to as a “Sleeping Giant”, by Martorella. Even though technology has not achieved its full potential in the realm of social studies, that potential is revealing itself more and more each day.  

One great example for the potential of using technology to aid social studies instruction that I have come across is MyReadingMapped . The site contains what it considers documentaries in the form of Google Maps that cover certain historic events. One example on the site is a Google Map of James Cook’s voyage to the South Pole, with locations mapped to different passages from his book. Students can actually get a visual of s place Cook is talking about while they read his experience. Technology opens the doors to a treasure trove of social and historical information.

According to Boughan and Kerwin (2006), technology gives teachers and students an easier and more efficient means of accessing primary sources thanks to online databases like the Library of Congress, the National Archive's Database, and more. This is in my opinion one of the biggest relative advantages technology brings to social studies. When I was growing up a need to research mean having to visit a physical library. Now students can access historical documents including maps and photographs 24/7 from their own home or classroom. Technology integration in Social Studies education means that with just a few clicks of the mouse a student can go from reading about a subject to seeing it on video on a site like HaveFunWithHistory.  

Boughan, K., & Kerwin, M. (2006). Technology in social studies. Retrieved from      

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching. (6th ed.). Pearson     Education Inc.