Strategies for Technology Enhanced Instruction: Reflection, Interviews and Lesson Plan

My Guiding Questions for Developing a Technology-Enhanced Lesson Plan

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?
    • This question would apply to both a lesson plan using technology and one without. The idea is to focus the lesson plan.
  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?
    • This question is pivotal in the decision to use technology in the lesson. If the proposed technology will not enhance students’ learning, it begs the question “Why use it”? Remember that “For fun” is a valid answer. Student learning should be enjoyable and students should be engaged in their learning – though I do believe that students should also learn that some learning does require hard work and dedication and not everything is for their entertainment.
  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?
    • I think this is the main reason to use technology. This is where we truly see that classrooms become borderless and knowledge becomes infinite.
  4. What are the advantages of using the technology in my classroom?
    • Having a clear idea of the pros versus the cons of using the proposed technology will ensure that technology is not misused and that I do not fool myself into thinking I am giving a good lesson “just because I am integrating technology into the lesson”. The advantages of using technology should be clear.
  5. What are the disadvantages of using the technology in my classroom?
    • Everything has its drawbacks. These must be explored too.
  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?
    • From my understanding the main proponents of technology use list this as being one of principal reasons it should be integrated into almost all classrooms. Hence, it is important to ensure the technology is really serving its stated purpose of equalizing the ranks and making the same quality of education accessible to all.
  7. Are the needs of kinesthetic and tactile learners being catered to? If not, how can I ensure this is done?
    • I am not sure, but I believe it requires some ingenuity to ensure that kinesthetic and tactile learners’ needs are served when technology is being used. From what I have read, many articles seem to forget about these learners – who do not learn that well visually, orally and audibly (which are the principal ways in which technology is transmitted).
  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?
    • Though a minor question, this is still relevant in terms of efficiency and conservation of resources. After all, the amount of class time allocated to learning any given topic is limited. Technology should be introduced at an opportune moment and if it takes more time to achieve the educational goals using technology than without, perhaps technology should not be used at all. A reason to override this decision might be for differentiation of learning.
  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.
    • Having a ready answer to these questions will be critical for me as a new teacher. I can only imagine the horror and shame I would feel if I had severe technical difficulties in one of my first classes and no recourse (back-up plan) or technical assistance available! This ICT ratio will encourage collaboration between students and increase their knowledge; it seems to work best in classrooms according to teacher and research feedback.
  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?
    • The response to the last question above may require considerable thought. Does the proposed enhancement device incorporate some form of evaluation that the teacher can access? If not, what criteria will I use to assess this? Also, what level of proficiency are students required to obtain? Intermediate proficiency, advanced proficiency, mastery? What distinguishes each of these levels? Can I ensure that the evaluation will be objective?
  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.
    • Enhancing student leadership and student ownership of the learning experience are two other benefits touted by promoters of technology use and integration in the classroom. It is important to ensure that these “knock-off” effects of technology use are being fully exploited and are actually taking place in (or outside the classroom).
  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?
    • Teaching students internet etiquette and safety may well need to be done explicitly and as a separate activity. This should also include teaching about credible sources. The time taken to do this should be factored into the overall time to do any new technology activity.
  13. How will using technology impact student performance and achievement?
    • Results, results, results. This question will respond to both curriculum and standardized testing requirements as well as satisfy parental concerns and personal teacher-performance considerations. As we have learned, everything should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely).
  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?
    • The idea of technology integration in education is that learning never stops (because technology is seamless and is everywhere). Teachers should do what they can to enable students to learn in all environments, especially at home. E.g. flipped classrooms, flexible learning environments.

Informal Discussion

In creating this “checklist” or “criteria list of reasons to use technology in a lesson”, I actually gained more guidance from reading the questions my cohort members posted for their interviews than from the responses of the teachers I interviewed.  The one exception to this is the answer to question 5 by Susan Ebanks regarding the criteria used to decide whether to use technology.  Certain aspects of her answer might never have occurred to me, namely:

  • The timing of technology introduction as a factor in terms of placement within an educational unit;
  • Whether class time is sufficient to use the type of technology proposed;
  • Whether technology will be a distraction rather than an enhancer of learning.

I surmise that this dearth of useful responses must have been due to the quality of the questions being asked (as this would be logical).  Due to time constraints in completing this and other activities, I had to set-up and conduct all my interviews at the beginning of the week.  Having no authentic personal teaching experience and even less experience using non business-type technology, I did the best I could in coming up with my questions – which I thought were excellent by my own narcissistic evaluation!  Moreover, at the time of interview, I had not yet received feedback from my peers on my posted questions and they had not yet posted their questions on the Discussion Board for me to review.

To wit, it is evident that I did not fully succeed in soliciting from the teachers interviewed “how they make their choices to use technology in the classroom”.  The responses obtained illustrated that most teachers use technology for reinforcing skills, remedial learning, and differentiation of learning in class.  I was already aware of these uses of information and communication technology (ICT) and was seeking responses that were less abstract and more specific.  All teachers responded that student participation with information and communication technology (ICT) is obtained by getting students to assist with setting up equipment.  A couple teachers added that students participate by being allowed to manipulate content.  In regard to this question I was also hoping for a deeper response.  This seems a very superficial level of participation.  I really wanted to know how students analyze content and how information and communication technology (ICT) assists with this goal – i.e. more of a higher level 21st century skill set.

All teachers’ use of technology is highly dependent on the needs of their students.  This can be in terms of their individual needs (i.e. learning difficulties, handicaps, remedial education, enrichment, etc.) or in terms of the group size and type of assignment to be produced (individualized work versus group work, whole class versus small group exercise).  If teacher use of ICT by subject is any indicator, it seems that ICT lends itself well to use in mathematics at all levels, but only to English (both reading and writing) at lower levels of competency, as there was a preponderance of technology use (especially online applications and games) for mathematics regardless of grade-level.

The trend seemed to be that teachers provide choice in homework completion by students: they can use or not use ICT as they wish to complete homework assignments.  Again, in this question, I was not necessarily referring to homework – the phrasing used was “outside the classroom”.  I really wanted to know if ICT motivated students to continue learning outside class and if this was perceivable and perhaps even measurable by teachers.  I wondered if certain ICT platforms used in class were accessible to students outside class and whether student activity was monitored.  I was very pleased to obtain one answer which showed that student ownership of their learning was taking place (interviewee Ellen Barklie).  Learning goals were set and discussed with students prior to ICT use and then reflection on the extent to which these goals were attained took place after the ICT exercise.  Notwithstanding, this student ownership of their learning progress was not a result of ICT use, rather it was a result of the teacher’s ‘best practice’.  I am beginning to suspect that technology may not change as much as we think about teaching and that it is taking credit for much of what are in fact improvements in teaching practices and professional standards.

Nevertheless, I am satisfied that reading my cohort members’ questions proved very insightful in the preparation of this technology checklist for myself.  A proposed interview question by cohort member Charise Arter was “What learning styles or intelligence types are in your class?”  This was also quoted as one of the things my interviewee Susan Ebanks listed as part of her criteria for deciding which technology (if any) to integrate into her lesson.  In my limited experience and opinion, although this information is certainly useful to me as a teacher for assisting individual students (perhaps when reinforcing skills or doing remedial teaching), I would not bother to ask myself this question to help decide whether or not to use technology.  The reason for this is that from all I have learned so far it seems it is always best to try to ensure all learning styles are catered to in all lessons, if at all possible.  Perhaps it could be that it is impossible to cater to all learning styles in all lessons?  I may not know the answer to this question with any certainty until I am actually practicing teaching during my clinical teaching period…  Nevertheless, this enigma fuels two additional questions that could be added to future teacher interviews: “Is it possible and practical to tailor all lessons to all learners in the class (and their particular learning styles and intelligences)?” and “Can this [also] be accomplished using technology?”.

None of the teachers interviewed were able to provide a lesson plan demonstrating how technology could be integrated into their teaching.  The main reason for this was that most were so versed in the teaching of their subject-matter and had used the ICT available to them so often, that they no longer needed to follow a lesson plan during their instruction.  Presented with this obstacle, I sourced a lesson plan (see appendix) from the internet which I thought best matched Susan Ebanks’ students.  I like this lesson because it demonstrates use of ICT for English language arts, the area for which ICT was not as frequently utilized by the teachers interviewed.  The activity is called “Word Masters Analogies” and is quite intriguing.  Students make mini movie clips to illustrate the meaning of vocabulary words.  The only technology required was laptops.  This activity could transfer equally as well to use for second language learners.  With the amount of time students spent learning these vocabulary words (two lessons and time out of class in addition), it is certain they will never forget the meanings of these words, their synonyms and analogous forms.  From my own studies, I know that the longer you spend manipulating any one concept or point, and the more ways in which it is manipulated, the more likely it is to become embedded in your long term memory and be readily retrievable on demand (say during assessments, etc.).  This is true for this technology-enhanced lesson.  ICT in this instance has made it feasible and palatable to manipulate these vocabulary words in many ways and for some time, and as a result has practically “brought the words to life” through video.  My one observation is that, knowing how long projects involving ICT can take, the teacher may need to evaluate whether that kind of time can be spent on learning all the vocabulary required for the school term.  However, it may be that her goal was not just to have them learn vocabulary, but to increase their motivation and desire to learn English.  One change I might make to the activity is to have the viewing of the movie montage take place after school.  In this way only one class is used for the activity (which is admittedly rather limited in terms of learning).  You can be sure that all students will attend the movie showing to show off and point out their part in the production.  In order to increase the number of vocabulary words personally manipulated by each student, I would specify that students should work in groups of three to create movies for three words.  Within a group, each student would be the designated “leader” in terms of deciding how one word will be presented.  Hopefully, this would foster both collaboration, manipulation of multiple words, teamwork and leadership.

As a final discussion point, one should note that technology predominantly caters to visual and auditory learners.  It was obvious that the needs of tactile and kinesthetic learners are ill-served by ICT because teachers mentioned that to respond to these students’ needs they did some other non-ICT-based activity (e.g. practical demonstration, working with carpet and other materials).  The teacher should not forget to incorporate exercises to facilitate learning by kinesthetic and tactile learners, whose needs are just as important and those of other learners and are often under-served in classrooms everywhere.

Appendix: Teacher Interviews (Questions and Answers)

 

Position: English and Literacy Teacher
School: John Gray High School
Location: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Grade Levels Taught: Years 7 through 11 (Grades 6 through 12)
Subjects Taught: English and Literacy
Interview Number: 1  
Interviewee: Susan Ebanks
Position: English and Literacy Teacher
Interview Questions Answers My Notes
1.      Do you use a computer while teaching in your classroom? Yes. Sometimes, but not for every single lesson.  
2.      Do your students use computers while learning in the classroom?  If so, what is the computer to student ratio? Yes. 1:3  
3.      Do you and your students use iPads or some form of electronic tablet in the classroom? Yes, but only for special lesson sessions, not on a daily basis.  
4.      If you teach multiple subjects – is this the case for all subjects you teach?  If no, in which subjects do you use tablets and why in those and not in others? No. English / Literacy. The tablets are convenient for the students to handle and use in the classroom.   The apps relevant to my subject area are good for reinforcing skills already taught, and in some cases it is more effective to use for introducing certain skills. Some students have difficulty writing, and having the option to use a word-processor is more convenient and saves time in some cases. Reinforcing skills: tablets

Differentiation: word processors

5.      What criteria do you use to decide whether to teach a lesson using information and communications technology (ICT) or not?
  • Will using technology enhance this lesson or will it be more effective to use it in a later lesson to reinforce the skill?
  • Will the use of technology address the learning styles and multiple intelligences represented in my class?
  • In how many lessons will I need to use ICT in this unit? Is there sufficient time?
  • Will the type of technology be more of a distraction than a learning enhancer?
  • Will all students be able to benefit from the use of technology in this instance?
How do you decide to use technology or not? (successfully answered)
6.      How do you ensure that students put in as much effort in learning as you do in teaching?  i.e. That they are not just consumers, but producers? I try to involve my students as much as possible during the lesson, allowing them to help with setting up the equipment, interacting with the content, word-processing, uploading / downloading files and documents, inserting images / drawing diagrams for projects, etc. Students are encouraged to edit projects on a regular basis. Student participation: let them help set up, let them interact with the content.
7.      How do you cater to the needs of tactile and kinesthetic learners when using technology in the classroom? Tactile learners enjoy using touch screen devices, but it is challenging to engage tactile learners for long periods of time.   Allowing tactile learners to mount their work on different types of surfaces / finishes (e.g. carpet, foam, different types of fabric, sand paper, etc.) can help to meet their leaning style needs. Keyboard keys can also be covered with different textures / materials.

 

Kinesthetic learners can be kept occupied for hours on end with technology. Video games, Wii Fit, small hand-held devices, etc., are some examples of tools that enable kinesthetic learners to learn while moving.

Tactile learners: touch screens to some extent; other non-ICT activities

Kinesthetic learners: some ICT involves movement and is perfect for them

8.      Do your students use textbooks?  If so, what role do textbooks serve? Yes. Textbooks are used to complement lessons being taught and are usually incorporated in lessons where new topics / skills are being introduced. Depending on the topic, textbooks are kept handy in case they need to be referred to for new vocabulary or terms that can be explored further using technology. Textbooks are considered credible sources of information and I encourage my students to use them for the purpose of references in research papers and for verifying information they access on the Internet via the web. Internet etiquette: learning about credible sources of info e.g. textbooks
9.      How do you create and maintain cohesion and continuity in ICT assisted learning?  E.g. Without set texts that students learn from, how do you ensure the same core material is covered, focused on and assimilated by all students? Lessons are usually planned in units, and where there is no set text, the lesson plans detail the content for the lesson, including the use of ICT. Whole group, small group, and individualized instruction will incorporate the use of technology in the manner that would best meet the needs of the students. Some students will need the convenience and entertainment factor technology provides, while others prefer to work independently, using textbooks and other sources for reinforcement. ICT use and type determined by: Depends on   needs of the student(s) or group (including group size) e.g. individual vs group work
10.  Can your students continue to work on class activities that utilized ICT when they go home? Not all students have PCs at home, but most, if not all, have access to a Smartphone that would allow them to use relevant apps if necessary. Homework assignments are set in a manner that allows students to use traditional paper and pen methods and or technological devices, depending on which method is more readily available / accessible. Technology use outside class: assignments can be completed with / without ICT

 

Interesting Note to Teach-Now Instructor (Daniel Roggenkamp): Although they have the same surname, this teacher is not related to the student profiled in Module 3, Unit 1, Activity 1 (Student Persona).  “Ebanks” is just an exceedingly common surname in the Cayman Islands.  (I thought you might find this tidbit of information interesting!)

School: Various
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Grade Levels Taught: Birth to age 18
Subjects Taught: All subjects to special education students
Interview Number: 2
Interviewee: Ellen Barklie
Position: Special Education Teacher for Deaf and Partially Deaf
Interview Questions Answers My Notes
1.      Do you use a computer while teaching in your classroom? I use computers if it is part of the class teacher’s plan as well as when implementing specific programs with individual pupils when they are withdrawn from lessons.  
2.      Do your students use computers while learning in the classroom?  If so, what is the computer to student ratio? Most of the classrooms that I work in have one computer in the class and an ICT suite with enough computers for each pupil to have their own machine. These rooms are timetabled so each class has access.  
3.      Do you and your students use iPads or some form of electronic tablet in the classroom? Several of my pupils have been allocated iPads.   This is particularly useful with my deaf pupils who communicate through British sign language. They can take an iPad home and record information with their parents for homework (one pupil has his own “dictionary” of video clips made with his Mum of all the keywords in his reading books).   We also record this pupil telling stories in sign language during his writing lessons. His written English is very basic so it is good to have both his written work and evidence of his ability to complete the task in his native language [British sign language]. It also means his class teacher sees what we do when we withdraw and his mother can see lessons and review and discuss the days’ lessons with him at home. ICT use: for accessibility of content; proof of content covered; home review

ICT use: useful for low levels of English writing

4.      If you teach multiple subjects – is this the case for all subjects you teach?  If no, in which subjects do you use tablets and why in those and not in others? It is not really about the subject but rather about the pupil’s needs. I have one pupil who is struggling with math and has an iPad with programs specific to that subject. I have another pupil who needs extra support with reading and grammar in English and we use an online program developed by researchers at Oxford university to help improve literacy in deaf children. This involves the computer in school and she can access additional games at home. ICT use and type determined by: Depends on   needs of the student

ICT use: useful for math; some use for basic English

5.      What criteria do you use to decide whether to teach a lesson using information and communications technology (ICT) or not? If the use of ICT will help to engage the pupils in their learning and provide a meaningful extension to the classroom activity then I will use it. Deaf children often need more visual information in order to access lessons so the use of interactive whiteboards and other forms of ICT can be really beneficial to their understanding. ICT used if: provides meaningful extension to classwork

Type of ICT: whiteboards

6.      How do you ensure that students put in as much effort in learning as you do in teaching?  i.e. That they are not just consumers, but producers? It is important to assess how the children are engaging in the lesson as you go along.   Ensuring that they know what they are learning and what they need to do or know I order to be successful. Assess students engagement by: testing what they know
7.      How do you cater to the needs of tactile and kinesthetic learners when using technology in the classroom? I have seen excellent use of interactive white boards to teach young students about telling the time which allow them to get up and manipulate the technology themselves. They are highly motivated and not just passively observing the lesson.   They are physically involved. Tactile and kinesthetic learners: let them manipulate technology themselves
8.      Do your students use textbooks?  If so, what role do textbooks serve? I use the textbooks that the class teacher uses if that is part of their plan. Textbooks are most often used in primary school math lessons here, although I have also used them with secondary pupils. A textbook is useful for providing you with a set progression to ensure that the students move forward in a structured and logical way.  It also ensures that everyone has access to the same material. For some it may be too challenging, however, and for others it may not be challenging enough. There needs to be room for differentiation.  
9.      How do you create and maintain cohesion and continuity in ICT assisted learning?  E.g. Without set texts that students learn from, how do you ensure the same core material is covered, focused on and assimilated by all students? I usually work with pupils individually so this isn’t normally an issue with my lessons. Ongoing assessment is important, including discussion of learning before and after the use of the Internet or other computer based resources. Cohesion created through: continuous assessment with feedback; establishing learning goals before and after ICT use
10.  Can your students continue to work on class activities that utilized ICT when they go home? Yes. iPads provided in school can be sent home for specific activities and some of the programs that we use (both literacy and numeracy programs) have linked online activities that parents and children can access at home. ICT outside class: helps involve parents in students’ studies

 

School: Private and through Edinburgh Tutors
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Grade Levels Taught: Primary 1 (P1) through Secondary 2 (S2), i.e. ages 4 to 14
Subjects Taught: Remedial Reading, Remedial Math and Enrichment
Interview Number: 3
Interviewee: Roberta Gordon
Position: Tutor of Remedial Reading, Remedial Math and Enrichment
Interview Questions Answers My Notes
1.      Do you use a computer while teaching in your classroom? Yes. I teach the children on a one to one basis in their homes. I use computers when available and my own tablet.  
2.      Do your students use computers while learning in the classroom?  If so, what is the computer to student ratio? See above.  
3.      Do you and your students use iPads or some form of electronic tablet in the classroom? Some of the students have iPads from school or provided by their parents. They are used in school as well as at home with me.  
4.      If you teach multiple subjects – is this the case for all subjects you teach?  If no, in which subjects do you use tablets and why in those and not in others? Usage varies from child to child. I use them a lot for math. Less for reading but the younger ones respond well to some of the online reading programs. I also source a lot of resources on line. ICT use: useful for math; not as much for reading except for young children
5.      What criteria do you use to decide whether to teach a lesson using information and communications technology (ICT) or not? Availability of programs that are geared to where they are currently working is a factor. Also the learning style of the child. If they engage well with it I find it a useful tool.  
6.      How do you ensure that students put in as much effort in learning as you do in teaching?  i.e. That they are not just consumers, but producers? In a tutoring session it is easier to keep the child engaged and to switch activities when they can no longer concentrate on what we are doing.   In an hour session we may do 2 activities or 3 or 4 to be sure they are interested and producing. Engagement maintained by: switching activities (several activities)
7.      How do you cater to the needs of tactile and kinesthetic learners when using technology in the classroom? This is more difficult but we talk about what we are seeing and relate it to concrete things from their life. Also many activities can be printed out and worked on that way. I also supplement the activities with practical demonstrations to be sure they understand the underlying concepts. Tactile and kinesthetic learners: use practical demonstrations
8.      Do your students use textbooks?  If so, what role do textbooks serve? Textbooks are not brought home here except rarely for the older students. We use parallel resources to work on the subjects they are studying at school.  
9.      How do you create and maintain cohesion and continuity in ICT assisted learning?  E.g. Without set texts that students learn from, how do you ensure the same core material is covered, focused on and assimilated by all students? I rely on interaction from the parents and students to determine what needs to be worked on. When necessary I also ask for suggestions from the teacher. Cohesion obtained through: parental involvement
10.  Can your students continue to work on class activities that utilized ICT when they go home? Yes. When I am not there some can work on the computer on their own.   I encourage this wherever possible to get them to practice the things they need. ICT use outside classroom: yes
School: International School
Location: Taichung, Taiwan
Grade Levels Taught: Elementary (K-5)
Subjects Taught: Elementary education
Interview Number: 4
Interviewee: Joshua Smith
Position: Elementary Education Teacher to English Language learners
Interview Questions Answers My Notes
1.      Do you use a computer while teaching in your classroom? At my current school we have a computer in the classroom. It is used but not always reliable.  
2.      Do your students use computers while learning in the classroom?  If so, what is the computer to student ratio? No. We do not have computers in the classroom for our students.  
3.      Do you and your students use iPads or some form of electronic tablet in the classroom? Not applicable. The students are not allowed to have any electronic device on school grounds.  
4.      If you teach multiple subjects – is this the case for all subjects you teach?  If no, in which subjects do you use tablets and why in those and not in others? Yes this applies to all subjects; The computer is only for the teacher to use applications such as PowerPoint 2000. ICT use: teacher-driven (no choice)
5.      What criteria do you use to decide whether to teach a lesson using information and communications technology (ICT) or not? It must enhance the lesson and provide a fun environment for learning.   All the content that I deliver is via game-based learning (GBL). I also use technology to review homework or project a student’s work for the class. ICT use: GBL; to create a student profile in terms of homework and classwork
6.      How do you ensure that students put in as much effort in learning as you do in teaching?  i.e. That they are not just consumers, but producers? Students use erasable white boards to produce. Each student is then able to write their answers and hold it up for the teacher to see. These white boards are extremely valuable as they allow our students to produce all the time, to the extent that we design our activities to allow them to produce. ICT use: whiteboards
7.      How do you cater to the needs of tactile and kinesthetic learners when using technology in the classroom? This question does not apply.  
8.      Do your students use textbooks?  If so, what role do textbooks serve? Textbooks are well received by Chinese parents. They expect that if a book is purchased, every page is read or used. They do not allow anything to be skipped.  
9.      How do you create and maintain cohesion and continuity in ICT assisted learning?  E.g. Without set texts that students learn from, how do you ensure the same core material is covered, focused on and assimilated by all students? As I teach both grade five classes, the content delivered is the same. I am their only teacher across the grade.  
10.  Can your students continue to work on class activities that utilized ICT when they go home? Students are not given ICT based projects as parents forbid their students from using technology at home.   They are of the belief that technology is applicable in later grades. Administration mentioned that they had attempted ICT home projects in the past, but received a great backlash due to the number who refused to let their children use technology. ICT use outside classroom: no (no choice)


 

Appendix: Lesson Plan Using Technology

 

Word Masters Analogies

Age/Grade Range: 12-14 (Middle School)

Lesson Objective/Learning Goal: Students were to create a 30-second movie to depict a vocabulary word, its meaning, and synonyms using the laptops.

Description of Lesson: A list of 25 words were provided to students for an upcoming vocabulary test on analogies.  Each student was assigned one word to define and find pictures of synonyms on the laptop.  The student then created a short, 30-second video to define the word, using words and pictures.  Each video was then compiled into a class movie to review the vocabulary words before the test.  The assignment was to be completed in two – 30 minute class sessions.

Materials: Laptops and dictionaries.

Assessment: Students were assessed by the completion of their project, the length of the movie, the spelling and definition of the word, and pictures of correct synonyms in the movie.  As the teacher, it was very easy for me to roam the classroom, provide assistance, and assess the project as the students were creating.  The final assessment came with the pride and confidence the students showed upon completing the entire project.

Reflections: Next time, I would provide previous examples and model the process of creating the movie before assigning it to the students.  I would also have a few student “tech” helpers available to help other students, who are not as familiar with the software.

Source: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/seven-tech-integration-lesson-plans

 

References

Edutopia.  Seven Tech-Integration Lesson Plans: Lesson Three.  http://www.edutopia.org/blog/seven-tech-integration-lesson-plans

Graham, Stanley.  (2011).  Better ‘the Five Ws’ than ‘Because it’s there’.  http://blog-efl.blogspot.com/2011/05/better-five-ws-than-because-its-there.html

Lyon-Jones, Sue.  (2011).  Teaching with Technology – A Basic Checklist.  http://www.edtech-hub.com/resources/techteachchecklist.html

Willis Simons, Jake.  (2015).  Why Taiwan is Right to Ban iPads for Kids.  CNN.  http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/03/intl_opinion/taiwan-ipads-kids/index.html

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