My Technology-Enhanced Lesson Plan

My Guiding Questions for Developing a Technology-Enhanced Lesson Plan (From Activity 1)

Aim: To determine if the use of technology within a particular lesson plan is justified.  By “justified” is meant, whether the technology significantly enhances students’ learning of the material or accomplishes some other worthwhile educational goal.

  1. What are the desired learning outcomes of this lesson? Do these outcomes link in with other lessons in this educational unit?
    • To have students learn about the legal system (generally).
    • To have students learn about the role language plays at government level.
    • To have students recognize that speech (language) does matter.
  2. Will the technology enhance students’ learning? (Can you be sure that the technology will not be a distraction to student learning?) If it enhances student learning, in what ways does it do this? If not, is there another justifiable reason to use this technology?
    • The main technology used will be iPads which are a form of mobile learning. Yes, the ICT will enhance the role play. The iPads will allow students to flip through pages of presentations while presenting at the front of the class in a mock courtroom setting. iPads will also allow photos and videos to be presented as “evidence” at appropriate moments.
    • No, I cannot ensure the technology will not be a distraction to students’ learning. ü
  3. Will the technology accomplish something that could not otherwise be achieved? If not, what additional benefits are gained from teaching the lesson using technology?
    • No. The objectives could have been otherwise achieved without the use of technology, but I believe the exercise is richer with the use of technology. ü
  4. What are the advantages of using the technology in my classroom?
    • As mentioned above. ü
  5. What are the disadvantages of using the technology in my classroom?
    • Possible distraction or misuse of the technology by the students.
  6. Will all students be able to benefit from the use of technology in this instance? Why or why not? Will the use of technology assist in differentiation in the classroom?
    • I think all students will be able to benefit because mobile devices will be shared.
  7. Are the needs of kinesthetic and tactile learners being catered to? If not, how can I ensure this is done?
    • These needs will be catered to by the fact the students are acting out a legal proceeding.
  8. Is the timing right to introduce the technology now, or would it be better used later in the instructional unit? Is there sufficient time to use the technology within class?
    • Not applicable.
  9. Are the resources at my disposal capable of what I wish to do technologically (in terms of software, etc.)? Ensure the computer to student ratio is 1:3. The same ratio may also be used for mobile devices.Have I done a trial run to ensure this is the case? What strategies and resources do I have to deal with technical difficulties? Prepare a back-up modified lesson plan that does not use technology.
    • I have one Kindle Fire HD that I could possibly be used. I will need to do further testing on this. I need to explore whether my students have a tablet device to use.
    • Since the lesson can be done without technology, this is an easy fix.
  10. Do the students have the skills necessary to use the computer to complete an assignment? If not, is the purpose of the exercise to enhance these skills? How will I determine students have gained proficiency in the use of the technology?
    • Yes. My proposed students know more about mobile technology than I do.
  11. Will the students be in charge of the technology? If so, in what ways. If not, how else could student participation and leadership be encouraged? Remember to set learning goals and discuss them with students before technology use and evaluate the attainment of these goals with the students afterwards.
    • Yes, as it will likely be their own mobile device begin used.
  12. If the internet will be used in this lesson, how do I plan to prevent internet abuse, protect students from unwanted exposure or exploitation and teach and monitor internet etiquette?
    • Yes. I will talk with them about using the internet. Alternatively, I might search through and select a few candidate cases and have them read those pages and choose one.
  13. How will using technology impact student performance and achievement?
    • Well, as my students are out on summer break, my hope is that doing an activity on English during the summer will reduce the amount by which they fall back in their English over the summer break.
  14. Will my students be able to continue their technology-assisted learning outside the classroom? Would this be useful to them? If so, what can I do to ensure that this happens or enable this to happen?
    • Yes. The entire lesson will actually be conducted outside the classroom – probably in a living room, since students are on summer break. Had the activity necessitated some form of technology that was only available in the classroom, I would not have been able to teach this lesson right now.


Designing a Technology-Enhanced Lesson Plan

 

Subject: English Literature
Topic or Unit: The Law in Everyday Life
Lesson Title: “Justice is Blind”
Grade Level: Age 11 to 14 years old

 

Objectives

 

  • Specific: To explore the impact of language on a person’s life. To have students learn about the legal system (generally) and about what role language plays at government level in determining consequences of actions. To recognize that speech does matter.
  • Measurable: Observe whether students modify their speech from the usual local register to properly assume their roles of lawyers, judges and jury. Does their grammar improve? What about their pace of speaking and use of vocabulary?
  • Achievable: Most students in the class are native English speakers. All watched movies with court scenes and are well able to understand the meaning of the type of language used therein – even if that language does not constitute what they would usually produce. My goal is to get them to produce or repeat such language (from written case transcripts). They will need to practice some words, and their vocabulary will definitely expand during this exercise.
  • Relevant: This exercise is very relevant to students because the Cayman Islands, has one of the highest numbers of lawyers per capita in the world. The legal profession here is quite robust. Despite this a lot of Caymanian students struggle with English and legal studies. I believe this struggle is mainly due to use of a non-standard register of English in their home and social life. This local dialect therefore excludes them from cashing in on local prosperity. The dialect holds some similarities to the U.S. African American Ebonics, and is not as extreme as the Jamaican patois. I do not want to see any students held-back students from achieving their potential academically and professionally. I believe it is important to demonstrate in a concrete way to these middle-school aged pupils that the way they speak really does matter and has nothing to do with national pride – it can have dire consequences on their life. I do not necessarily need to convey this message by denigrating the way they speak: it can be done by demonstrating the impact of others’ speech in official situations.
  • Timely: The timing of the activities may need to be adjusted depending on “trial runs” [intentional pun]. However, it should not drag on. I do not want this exercise to take as long as a real court case. Anywhere from 3 to 5 class sessions should be enough to accomplish the objectives without students becoming demotivated.

 

Description
  • Students will do the following: (Group Activity)
  1. This is mainly an oral exercise. Students will watch a mini video clip (say from a movie) on a legal proceeding.  They will then re-read the poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar which they have been studying called “The Lawyers’ Way.
  2. They will look in the Legal Case Files online which are open to the public at https://www.judicial.ky/judgments and select a crime to portray. The class will separate into four groups representing Defense Lawyers, the Prosecutor’s Legal Team, the Judge and the Jury.
  3. Each “Legal Team” would need to research evidence for their respective arguments and present relevant legal documentation for discovery.
  4. The “Judge” is to research the type of instructions that might be provided by a Judge in the case as guidance for them to arrive at their verdict.
  5. The “Jury” is to research the type of activities the Jury would be doing and saying, including the legal process of arriving at their verdict.
  6. The purpose would be for each Legal Team to be so persuasive that the character of the “Defendant” could be said to have been either an angel or the devil himself, in keeping with the poem. Students should base their account on actual case transcripts as much as possible.
Materials
  • Students will require:
  1. Access to the Internet via computers, iPads, any android device, et al;
  2. iPads will be used by each group of students to read their lines or arguments and to “present visual evidence” as appropriate;
  3. Some costuming (lawyer’s wig, cape, a gavel; briefcases);
  4. Books of Reference as props including a Bible real or mock
  5. Prepared Questionnaire for distribution at end of Lesson.
Procedure
  • Students in small groups:
  1. Each group of students will have 19 minutes to decide on a crime, the plot and the ‘would be’ criminal, female or male and any other relevant details.
  2. The entire class will have a further 9 minutes to decide how they will divide themselves for the finale which involves a full discussion on the credibility of Justice as meted out within today’s legal framework.
  3. The respective legal teams will have 2 days to collaborate on the documentation they will present to the Jury. Collaboration must involve e-mail exchanges, intermittent opinion paragraphs for incorporation into the final argument(s) and the use of graphics to demonstrate how the crime was committed.
  4. Likewise, the group that will form the Jury, must collaborate on their findings and each member of that group is required to compile a list of instructions with at least 9 points for comparison and to arrive at a final list of 3 points of instructions that are pertinent to the particular theme of the criminal case the class has decided upon.
  5. The evidence must be presented in one brief by every single member of each group (who will at the time they are presenting be “the Lead Counsel”) of the Legal Teams. Likewise for the roles assigned to the Judge group and Jury group.  iPads will be used as a support (passed from one student to the next) for reading of the arguments, presentation of evidence, quoting of laws, etc.
  6. After the final arguments have been presented at the Trial Date (which will be the 3rd day following the gathering of the evidence etc, the Jury will determine which was the most compelling character painted by either the Defense Team or the Prosecutor’s Team and vote guilty or not guilty accordingly.
Discussion and Questions
  • The Class of Students:
  1. The Students will submit their personal opinion as to whether they believe “Justice is blind” and what this statement means to them. Does it mean (a) Justice is impartial, or (b) Justice truly cannot see?
  2. The Students will be required to answer a short questionnaire that would seek to determine how they view the Criminal Laws of the Islands in terms of whether improvement is needed. The rating would be on a scale of 1 – 5 with 1 being ‘urgent, imminent improvement required’ and 0 being ‘no change required’.  Reasons should be provided to support their rating.  They will also be asked whether they would make any specific changes to legislation in order to create different perceived outcomes and if so, why?
  3. Students must answer whether they believe criminal laws have improved tremendously since the time of the poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872 – 1906, i.e. 19th – 20th Century and 2015, the 21st Century?
  4. Students will reflect on what was different in the arguments of the Legal Teams and why one team was eventually more persuasive than the other?
Evaluation
  • The Class of Students: Assessment on ICT skills and Teamwork
  1. Students will be provided with a rubric prior to the activity and will assess each of the teams during the role play. The sum of the assessments (calculated by students and checked by the teacher) will show which team was most successful in their presentation of the material.  Students will be graded on characteristics of speech such as diction, register, vocabulary, etc.
  2. Use of ICT will be noted as well as the efficacy of the particular medium used – e.g. would the student have gained greater insight had they utilized video clips as opposed to long-winded documentation sourced on a website?
  3. Students will share their experiences of the teamwork carried out with emphasis on the cooperation received during collaboration. Each group will be assessed on what was the most impressive piece of work produced and that student would be asked to share their methodology.
  4. Level of participation by each student to be measured by acceptance of responsibility, presentation of material, timeliness and succinctness in documentation formatting.
  5. Metacognition: I would like students to think about the fact that it is not necessarily what you say, but how you say it. They should reflect on the role of language and attributes of language (such as diction tone, registers of language, phraseology) and the huge impact words can have on persons’ lives.  Did the students grasp the depth of the subject and gain a strong knowledge of how the legal system could be applied for and against an individual (as aptly shown by the poem, “The Lawyers’ Ways”)?

Appendix: Poem

 

The Lawyers’ Ways

By: Paul Laurence Dunbar

I’ve been list’nin’ to them lawyers

In the court house up the street,

An’ I’ve come to the conclusion

That I’m most completely beat.

Fust one feller riz to argy,

An’ he boldly waded in

As he dressed the tremblin’ pris’ner

In a coat o’ deep-dyed sin.

Why, he painted him all over

In a hue o’ blackest crime,

An’ he smeared his reputation

With the thickest kind o’ grime,

Tell I found myself a-wond’rin’,

In a misty way and dim,

How the Lord had come to fashion

Sich an awful man as him.

Then the other lawyer started,

An’ with brimmin’, tearful eyes,

Said his client was a martyr

That was brought to sacrifice.

An’ he give to that same pris’ner

Every blessed human grace,

Tell I saw the light o’ virtue

Fairly shinin’ from his face.

Then I own ‘at I was puzzled

How sich things could rightly be;

An’ this aggervatin’ question

Seems to keep a-puzzlin’ me.

So, will some one please inform me,

An’ this mystery unroll–

How an angel an’ a devil

Can persess the self-same soul?

*************************************

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