Thursday, April 16, 2015

ED 7726 Week 2 Integrating Technology into a Lesson

Simon Peyton Jones' TedX talk published 4/29/14

Each teacher starts in different places when choosing to adopt technology and insert it into their "tried and true" lessons. For some, the goal is substituting an online free version of a hard-to-duplicate hard copy. For others, the goal is to engage students with a new and different challenge. Other teachers find themselves in other places along the spectrum ,from adding a small enhancement to redesigning a lesson with similar purpose.

Teachers are like students. Because they have different comfort levels with technology, they need to feel like they have choice of technology. I completely reworked the Internet research lesson, incorporating more than one technology piece, but the originating teacher could choose to modify it if it seems overwhelming. One of my English teacher friends has her students do a "shop project" every year, and I modifiec/planned this lesson with her in mind. As the librarian, I can embed advanced search skills and copyright information into the lesson.

Learning new technology takes time. I have found that once a teacher finds something that has been successful in the classroom, that teacher is more willing to try something new. The initial curve is steep, but the future learning is much less so. As a technology leader, play with new apps and invite teachers to join. Be excited when finding something new, and tell everyone you come in contact with about it. When one teacher is finding success, others will start asking.

Don't just substitute technology for another activity. Look at the outcome. Does it all tie together? Is the goal to create something new or to do the same thing using different elements in the lesson? Either is fine, but adding technology does not mean "instant engagement." Students can be equally bored and unfocused in front of a computer as they are doing worksheets. Bounce ideas off of teachers who have found success using technology in their lessons, and ask for suggestions. Studies indicate that students learn better from collaboration. We should use that model as well.

Thank you Jodi and Christel, who helped me iron out some of the bumps in the lesson. Getting ideas from imagination to paper can be a challenge for me, and they really helped me see some of the awkward areas in my original plan.


Original lesson:
Internet Research tied to Literature for Alternative Jr. High
Diann Gergen
English/Reading 9th grade
Content Area Objectives Addressed:
Students will refer to and utilize textbook, audio equipment, paper and pencil, visual artwork, and computers, to:
Build Vocabulary, Respond to Literature, Look at Author’s Purpose, Build Grammar Skills, give oral interpretation, and search the Internet to make a Career Connection between Past and Present.
Technology Objectives Addressed: Students will access the Internet to search for information relating to careers.  Students will develop note-taking skills, reinforce “cut and paste” techniques on “Word”, orally respond to Art Transparencies on Audio-Tape, and Review procedures for correct editing with overhead transparencies.

Activity Description

           Students were introduced to 5 “center” activities.  Each center dealt with responding to or connecting with Literature.  With limited computers and in the classroom for Internet searching, and Word processing, centers was necessary to maintain student interest and on task activities.  Students have had prior exposure to center activities, computer usage, overhead driven activities, and “packet” work. New to them in this class was the oral interpretation center which allowed them to listen to their own and others interpretation of Literature.
1.      Students were given a brief over view of what activity could be found at each center, and where the centers were located around the room.
2.      Each activity was then explained in detail.  Understanding and clarity were checked for at frequent intervals
3.      When students seemed clear as to what expectations of lessons were, activities were started.
a.      Center 1: Overhead review of editing procedures.  (Overheads from classroom Literature series used)First draft, revision, peer/teacher editing, final publishing of paper.  (This was just an overview review to inform students what was expected of them with final copy of Internet center.  This center was done all at the same time, with the opportunity to review on an individual basis with me later.
b.      Center 2: Paper and pencil packets.  (classroom Literature book used)  This center exposed students to worksheets looking at Building Vocabulary, Reading Strategy, Author’s Purpose, and Building Grammar Skills.  Although paper and pencil packets are not always the most exciting way to inform and encourage students to learn, some seat work was needed to allow all students to be engaged in the learning process at all times.
c.       Center 3: Art Transparency and Oral Interpretation of said art tied to written word.  (classroom Literature book used)At this center, the students viewed a transparency of Cradling Wheat by Thomas Hart Benton.  There were hard copy directions that looked at Appreciation of art, Responding to Literature, and having the students give an Oral Interpretation of the short story, “The Harvest” By Thomas River Benton.  The students were asked to chose a section of the reading that they felt reflected the art work, then make an audio recording of said passage.
d.      Center 4: Career Connections.  At this center the students  read the poem “I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman.  (Classroom Literature book used)  Students were asked to identify as many careers as possible from the poem, and then pick the career that they felt was best suited to their life choices.  It was noted that some students felt that they could not relate to any of the careers mentioned in the poem, yet they were requested to choose the one that came the closest to something they could research successfully.  They were then asked to search the Internet looking for information on their chosen career.  They were required to research at least two of the following areas:

Education needed for chosen career, time to receive that education, salary or money issues related to career, benefits of career, benefits beyond money related to career, physical locations where they could have career, length of time they may expect to be able to work in career, definition of career from the past into the future, (how has it changed, or may it change) importance of career to American society, (in the past, present, and future), or branch off in the direction that they felt best suited them.

Students could take paper and pencil notes, cut and paste to a word document, or some even just cut and paste information and sent to personal e-mail to work on and develop projects at home.

e.       Center 5: Word processing center.  At this center they were asked to produce a final product (report) sharing the information they researched on their career.  Not all students have access to computers at home, so they were made available in the classroom to help ensure success with the assignment.

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