What does the research say?
- Students should be motivated, engaged and learning actively
- Learning should be authentic
- Learning should be collaborative
- Students should be the explorers and producers of knowledge
- Instruction and learning should be integrated across curriculum
- Students should be proficient in digital age literacy skills
- Assessments should be performance based
- Provide novel learning situations
- Students answer an essential question
- Allow students some control and choice
- Produce something that can be shared with an authentic audience
- Real world connection
Circle of Tools
The circle of tools is a suggested collection of resources your institution may have selected as most appropriate for their needs and which ET Specialists will be able to fully support. Technology is evolutionary so this becomes a very tricky task when making initial selections and commitments to what best fits within the circle. Therefore, restricting users to staying within the circle may not be the most productive choice for encouraging successful and meaningful tech integration. That being said, at SFS the ET team has spent countless hours of research developing a circle that should be able to meet most educators needs and which will evolve with the schools. The fact is, there is no end destination for tech integration. It is a never ending journey that can resemble a wonderful holiday for teachers, rather than a nightmare, with thoughtful and purposeful planning. Reconciling yourself to being a perpetual novice, enjoying the ride, and focusing on the skills development aspect of tech integration is a critical mindset shift that can help to alleviate frustrations for educators.
Docs, Forms, Sites, YouTube, Google+, etc
Learning Management System
Levels of Tech Integration
Delivery of curricular content. Replacing one form of technology with another.
Ideas:Typed essay, Presentation, Digital readings
Tool: Google Presentation, PowerPoint,
Teachers facilitate student integration of technology (same things new ways). Allows for student choice, tailoring, and independence.
Ideas: Student Center Activities where students can use software in a self directed way to communicate and idea or demonstrate their understanding. Online quizzes, worksheets, review, content, etc
Tool: Haiku, Google Sites, Google Forms, Google Docs, Blogger.
Cooperative, project-based, interdisciplinary, incorporating technology as needed and as one of many tools. The product of the learning objective would not be possible without technology.
Ideas: Utilizing a blog or a wiki to collaborate with students in another school, or even another country, Online publishing of student writing, Posting of student created videos to Youtube.
Tool: YouTube, Blogger, Google Sites, Google Video.
Steps to Designing Activity or Project
Step 1—Learning Objectives
What do I want to students to know and be able to do? Define specific learning goals and set measurable objectives for students? Develop some essential questions for students to answers. This article will give some background on using the internet for Inquiry-based Learning.
Step 2—Construct Assessment
How will student learning be measured? Develop a rubric based on content area learning objectives. Allow students to self-assess during the learning process. Consider assessing the final product in a manner where the effective use of technology is only a part of their grade. Example: Student creates an awesome video that vaguely reflects the theme of the unit but does not demonstrate that he learned any content. The video, with all of it’s special effects, would not get a good grade because the major part of the grade is content area assessment. A great way to encourage authentic engagement and commitment is to have a small percentage of their grade be dependent on outside feedback. For example, views, comments, survey results, peer feedback, etc.
Step 3—Design the Activity
Design activities that require students to answer how, which, or why. These questions allow students to create new knowledge. Connect the students’ personal interests if possible. Have it pertain to the real world.
Use a guide to structure the activities for learning, such as a planning guide, graphic organizer, or worksheet. Use of technology tools need to scaffold to enable students to complete the task.
Step 4—Design the Process
Identify instructional resources and materials. Find the web sites that students will use and organize them within a document that students can easily access on the web.
Select specific instructional strategies for content such as cooperative learning, teacher directed instruction, modeling, and guided practice.
Develop a calendar of activities. This breaks down complex tasks for students and helps you determine when you’ll need equipment and support personnel.
Determine how, when, and to whom students will publish, present, or share their learning.
Step 5—Plan Classroom Management Related to the Use of Technology
Use a projector to work together before, during, and after students work on their own project or activity.
Step 6—Pre-teach concepts and provide any tools the students will need beforehand
Make sure students clearly understand what tools they have to be able to have access to for the first lesson. This may require they set up an account prior to the lesson or use an existing account they haven't for awhile. Students should be able to navigate the pitfalls of this process prior to coming to class so valuable lesson time is not wasted.
Problem, Project, and Inquiry-based Learning
What are problem, project, and inquiry based learning?
These three approaches are based on information processing. They are so similar that the terms are often interchangeable. These approaches are constructivist, allowing students to engage in deeper understanding of the concepts. Students are asked to answer essential questions rather than memorize factual information. This approach emphasizes learning activities that are long-term, interdisciplinary, and student-centered. PBL is less structured than traditional, teacher-directed instruction.
From Bloom’s taxonomy, students begin with gathering knowledge of data, information, vocabulary, and content. They demonstrate their comprehension by summarizing or interpreting the material in their own words. The important aspects of project-based learning are the application of the new skills and knowledge as the students create something that will be shared with others. They are asked to analyze the concepts and build (synthesis) a model, solve a problem with a multi-step process and be able to evaluate the possible solutions and defend their position.
Elements of exemplary project-based learning
- Important question or issue
- Relevance to students’ lives
- Real world use of technology
- Student directed learning
- Long term (more than 3 weeks)
- Artifact/presentation/action as a result of the inquiry
To help get started, develop a project-based learning checklist.
Thematic units start with a traditional classroom topic. Develop the topic by focusing on essential questions, generalizations about the core concepts, and related standards. Units are multi-disciplinary and although a core set of learning outcomes need to be developed, students should be involved in planning, developing, and implementing how they share their understanding.
Powerful Learning. Brandt, Ron. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria, VA, 1998. Plugging In: Choosing and using educational technology. Jones, B., Valdez, G., Nowakowski, J., Rasmussen, C. NEKIA Communications - North Central Regional Education Laboratory, 1995. Planning Good Change with Technology and Literacy. McKenzie, Jamie Ed.D. FNO Press, Bellingham, WA, 2001. Classroom Instruction that Works, Marzano, Norford, Paynter, Pickering and Gaddy. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria, VA, 2001. Tech Integration for Teachers, http://www.techforteachers.net/planning-a-unit.html