We’re aware educational technology has become the catalyst for transformation in the K-12 environment. We know students react well to EdTech, and the demand for further exploration of technological advances in the classroom is steadily increasing.
But, where do we stand as educators? Are we working on changing our mindset to accommodate the growth of technology and widespread educational reform? Or, are we hesitant; believing we will have to start-over and recreate years of previous work?
Shifting our mindset can often sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! In a previous blog, we discussed ways to review and adapt existing lesson plans to increase technology integration in the classroom.
There’s no need to start from scratch - you still know what is best for students and what will increase student achievement… the only difference is now you can employ EdTech tools to assist you with this goal! The process of adapting your current teaching strategies doesn’t need tobe a pain and can all happen by simply reviewing and adjusting existing lesson plans.
First, review your lesson plan and identify the learning goal and objective addressed in the lesson. Click here to read more about reviewing previous lessons to identify goals and objectives.
Once you have identified the learning goal, reflect on he types of learning activities you have previously used to ensure student understanding. During reflection, ask yourself: Is this lesson student or teacher centered? Is this lesson utilized with whole class instruction, small groups, or individual work? What is the duration or time allotted for the lesson? Are additional resources needed? What is your expectation of the students’ level of understanding? How will you assess student comprehension?
In the classroom, I incorporated many opportunities for my students to collaborate on work either in pairs or small groups. However, in an effort to increase knowledge base, utilization of direct instruction was still used for specific lessons.
I found direct instruction favorable to build an understanding of practical ways to collect data and discover proper ways to use formulaswhen finding the margin of error and confidence intervals. After this goal was achieved, students were encouraged to collaborate to experimentwith collection and interpretation of data.
For this lesson, teacher-centered instruction was delivered using a whiteboard, and student-centered activities were deployed to encouragecollaboration. Examples of student-centered activities include: data collection with survey tools, whole class discussions, and small group dialogues.
After you have identified the lesson objectives and teaching activities, the next step is beginning to pair them with school provided EdTech tools. Prior to selecting tools, you willfirst need to determine if you want your students to be consumers or producers with the technology.
Once you’ve figured that out it's time to do some searching and get creative! Search for new and exciting applications to use. If you needsome inspiration, check out our Weekly App Guides thatprovide suggestions and highlight great classroom applications! Othercommonly used tools include: wikis, social media tools, blogs, interactivepresentation tools, and cloud based storage.
First, I introduced the lesson through an interactive presentation to display appropriate formulas and effective survey strategies. Next, I encouraged students to experiment with an online survey softwarto collect data. They loved this and it made it so easy for them(they didn’t have to print and tally all the surveys)!
Last, I asked students to present their data results using an infographic. Told you, I got crazy!
We hope we’ve provided a guideline to follow and inspiration for adapting your current teaching strategies. The most important thing is to challenge students to produce the knowledge they are acquiring. In doing so, you will see the impact on our youth while engaging students through building skillsessential in the 21st century: critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity.