Part of being a well-rounded educator is being flexible and adapting to change. 21st century students are living in the digital age. Part of setting them up for success is ensuring that they have proficiency with technology, and possess digital literacy. This is not accomplished in a single lesson plan, but rather developed over time. Technology can be incorporated into lesson plans that promote greater student engagement, and allow for learning content and technology skills simultaneously.
For this class, I wrote my own lesson plan that incorporates common core as well as an ISTE standard. I used the ASSURE model.
State standards and objectives
Select strategies, technology, media, and materials
Utilize technology, media, and materials
Require learner participation
Evaluate and revise
Here is a link to the Google Doc containing my lesson plan.
My question was, how can students learn and help with the process of troubleshooting? There is a common trend of students being more tech savvy than some of their teachers. Students can be a great tech support resource for teachers and peers. The article I found gives an example of a successful program called Generation YES (Generation of Youth and Educators Succeeding). It started in 1995, and since then has helped train many students on providing technology support in their schools (over seventy-five thousand students in two thousand schools all over the world). The program involves developing technology skills, project planning and mentoring. The Gen Yes curriculum is a combination of lessons led by the instructor and student help desk. It advances best practices as well as good digital citizenship. The students learn how to troubleshoot hardware and software problems and build their digital literacy skills. Some schools offer it as an after school program, and others offer it as an elective class. A lot of things the students learn are professional and life skills, which means they have many applications outside of the program. It is empowering for students to learn troubleshooting skills and then use those skills to help others. They are more likely to be engaged because of the hands on nature of the tasks. It is a great program for students who are interested in technology, and it gets them involved in the school community while doing something they enjoy and feeling like they are contributing in a meaningful way. The program is designed “so that students bring technology into myriad initiatives–peer mentoring around tech literacy, student-led community workshops, helping teachers retool their lessons–as a way to get the entire school to embrace technology”. Putting students in leadership positions in this way can be very effective. They are likely to be excited to share their knowledge with others. Students may be more receptive to help from their peers than their teachers. That being said, it important not to assume that all students you have will have strong technology skills based on their age. Not all students have access to or interest in technology. It is also important that students do not develop learned hopelessness when it comes to technology. It can be tempting when working with students that are very low so simply take control and do it for them. Instead, teachers should walk them through the appropriate troubleshooting steps so they can do it independently in the future. It is important that teachers are comfortable with the technology that they use in their classroom with students. Technology can be empowering for both students and teachers when executed successfully.
Pierce, M. (2013, October 1). Student-run Tech Support Programs Advance at the Speed of Technology. Retrieved August 12, 2015, from http://thejournal.com/articles/2012/11/06/student-run-tech-support.aspx?=THE21
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My question was; what are some strategies for teaching students good digital citizenship?
Digital citizenship is appropriate and responsible behavior with regards to technology. Digital citizenship is becoming an increasingly essential issue that schools and teachers need to address with students. Many schools are using technology in the classroom in the form of desktop computers, laptops, tablets, Chromebooks, and other devices. This is also an issue that parents need to address as many students have access to technology at home. There are nine components of digital citizenship that should be considered. They are access, commerce, communication, literacy, etiquette, law, rights and responsibilities, health and wellness, and security. Lessons regarding digital citizenship can be tailored to meet student needs. Teachers start as early as kindergarten teaching relevant age appropriate digital citizenship skills. It is an extensive topic, and everything cannot be covered in a single lesson. Digital citizenship needs to be taught over time, and the lessons should vary with age and grade level.
One strategy teachers can use is a learning management system such as Edmodo. Systems like Edmodo can be used to manage lessons, make content that engages students, and interact with other teachers and students. Another important aspect of digital citizenship teachers should discuss with students is safety related issues. These can include lessons on not sharing personal information online, being cautious about interacting with strangers, how to change privacy settings, being selective about posting photos online, and cyber bullying. Another important topic of discussion is the idea of cultivating a positive reputation online. Helping students understand that what they post online can stay there even after they post it, and that a person’s online presence is a part of how others (such as employers) get an impression of them and evaluate them.
Bruder, P. (2013). Digital citizenship: Responsible technology use in the classroom. Retrieved from https://www.njea.org/news-and-publications/njea-review/january-2013/digital-citizenship-responsible-technology-use-in-the-classroom
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My question was; how can students use technology for problem-solving activities?
The ability to problem solve effectively has been, and continues to be a crucial life skill. It is used both in academic settings and in everyday life. This means that it is absolutely necessary for students to learn and for educators to teach. There is a strong correlation between problem-solving and decision-making. Both are skills that will be of great use to students beyond the classroom, extending to their daily lives. Developing the aforementioned skills can help students avoid conflict and be more empathetic. Technology can be effectively incorporated into the teaching of problem-solving. Using technology allows students to identify problems more efficiently and also facilitates stronger and more in-depth analysis of more complex problems. Technology also allows students to find information from a wide variety of sources. It fosters creative thinking. One great use of technology to develop skills is coding. “Coding is the language of critical thinking. It requires students to define problems, break them into parts, and be resourceful in finding the answers to their problems” (Kiang, 2014). Teaching and using coding can be a great tool for facilitating student engagement and supporting learning in different content areas as well as at different levels. It is creative, has a lot of freedom, empowers students and is highly interactive. Coding also allows for collaboration and is helpful in building powerful skills the students can use in the future.
Saxena, S. (2014, January 8). Problem-Solving Activities With the Help of Technology. Retrieved July 26, 2015, from http://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/749-problem-solving-activities-with-the-help-of-technology
Kiang, D. (2014). 3 ways coding and gaming can enhance learning. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/coding-and-gaming-enhance-learning-
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My questions was; how can we teach students critical thinking skills along with digital literacy so that they can successfully analyze and evaluate information they find?
It has become crucial that learning structures are change and adapt to accommodate the new digital environment that exists today. Students must become proficient with not only digital information, but also digital tools. This is instrumental in all jobs and disciplines. Modern students are typically immersed in technology and use it for their own personal and casual needs. Teachers may assume that students are capable of successfully transferring these skills to academic work, but this is something students struggle with. It is important to see where students are at, and go from there. They need to develop the skills and gain knowledge on how to conduct higher level applications. For example, students need to dig deeper and go beyond free search engines when doing academic research. Teachers can support students by teaching them ways to research information for higher education purposes. They can help them identify topics, and narrow those topics down. Educators can help students see what information can be eliminated based on irrelevance or unreliable sources. We are living in a digital age in which the way we communicate and the way we find information has changed drastically. Students need to learn not only how to use technology, but they need to possess digital literacy and critical thinking skills. With so much information at their fingertips, they need to be able to identify credible resources. Blended learning allows for school to go outside the classroom walls and to extend beyond the normal school day hours. Students can work at their own pace, and receive customized instruction. Blended learning is a way of teaching students modern skills they can use in the future. Students tend to be more engaged because they are actively participating in their own learning. They can gain a much deeper understanding through their own self-guided investigation.
Morrison, R., & Greenfield, D. (2015). Towards an Assumption Responsive Information Literacy Curriculum: Lessons from Student Qualitative Data. Retrieved July 21, 2015, from http://digitalcommons.nl.edu/faculty_publications/48/
O’Connor, L., & Sharkey, J. (2013). Establishing twenty-first-century information fluency. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 53(1), 33–39.
Wong, W. (2014). How technology enables blended learning. EdTech Focus on K-12. Retrieved from http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2014/04
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My question was; how can technology be used by students with autism to help them learn, communicate. and collaborate with others?
Technology can be used effectively to help students with autism communicate, learn, and interact with their peers. One study found that the use of mobile touch devices led to great gains in social skills. communication skills, motivation and attention span for students with autism. The use of tablets allowed them to become active and engaged members of the general education classroom rather than just being passive bystanders. Technology is a great tool for facilitating learning that is student-led and peer-based. Another effective way of communicating that is useful to students of all abilities and grade levels is blogging. Blogging is a great way to get students to write for a variety of purposes in a structured way, while also giving them creative freedom. Teachers who utilize blogging in their classroom will find that it helps them get to know their students better and that it leads to improvement in the writing skills of their students. A significant advantage to blogging is that it can encourage introverted students to share more than they would in verbal classroom discussions. Blogging allows students to take time to organize and articulate their thoughts in a way that isn’t always possible in real-time discussions. It also gives students the opportunity to read what their peers write and provide feedback. The use of virtual worlds also has the advantage of creating a comfortable environment for students who are normally shy and quiet.
Aschaiek, S. (2013, August 22). Hand-held computers aid communication, social skills for children with autism, research shows. Retrieved July 13, 2015, from https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/main-news/hand-held-computers-aid-communication-social-skills-children-autism-research-shows
Cicconi, M. (2013). Vygotsky meets technology: A reinvention of collaboration in the early childhood mathematics classroom. Early Childhood Education Journal, 42(1), 57–65.
Lampinen, M. (2013). Blogging in the 21st-century classroom. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/blogging-in-21st-century-classroom-
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My question was; how can technology be used by students to facilitate critical thinking, creative thinking and complex problem solving?
The fact that we are living in the digital age necessitates utilizing technology in the classroom. Technology has greatly changed the way people communicate and learn. Teachers must also become skilled at evaluating various educational technologies. One way students can use technology creatively is through digital storytelling. Digital storytelling is great because it can be modified and scaffolded to all different ages and abilities. Digital stories are a great way to engage students and to help them learn on a deeper level. Additionally, in the process of digital storytelling students will be using writing and presentation skills. Another effective way of engaging students using technology is through video games. Many students enjoy video games and using them in the classroom in the right way can be a very effective way to increase their learning. One classroom I read about used the popular video game Minecraft. The students worked together and researched topics including architecture, physics, and model building. All the students in the class had improved attendance, confidence, engagement and participation. Another valuable tool in video games is alternate reality gaming. In an article I found, students worked in teams on simulated real-world problems. This project required that participants to think critically and creatively about complex problems, come up with strategies to address those problems, consider real-world problems (such as poverty and universal education), communicate effectively with group members, and work as part of a collaborative team. Simulations are a very valuable tool to help students gain a more in-depth understanding and to have a more involved experience with the course material/topic. The use of technology in the classroom, such as digital storytelling and video games can be a way for students to creatively express themselves, feel empowered, and learn information in a way that is more meaningful to them.
Tromba, P. (2013). Build engagement and knowledge one block at a time with Minecraft. Learning Leading with Technology, June/July, 20–23.
Dondlinger, M., & McLeod, J. (2015). Solving Real World Problems With Alternate Reality Gaming: Student Experiences in the Global Village Playground Capstone Course Design. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 9(2), 24-24. Retrieved July 5, 2015, from http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/ijpbl/vol9/iss2/3/
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