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
Engage the students
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
Integration Ideas - Examples
Technology Integration Matrix
Entry: Learn the basics of new technology
Ideas: Inspiration web, typed essay
Adoption: Use technology to support traditional instruction
Ideas: Hotlist, games that provide drill and practice
Adaptation: Integrate new technology into traditional classroom practice. Focusing on increased student productivity and engagement, (same things new ways)
Ideas: Student Center Activities where students can use software in a self directed way to communicate and idea or demonstrate their understanding
Infusion: discover new uses for technology tools, using technology to teach, using multiple technologies
Ideas: Podcasting, multi-media
Transformation: cooperative, project-based, interdisciplinary, incorporating technology as needed and as one of many tools
Ideas: Utilizing a blog or a wiki to collaborate with students in another school, or even another country
Steps to Designing Activity or Project
1. Identify 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
6. Pre-teach concepts and provide any tools the students will need at the computers before they get to the lab or to the classroom computers.
Project, Problem, 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 you get started, you can 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.
On this website you’ll find an extensive list of web resources for teachers, including websites that provide exemplary uses of technology in multidisciplinary lesson plans here.
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.