Creating Lesson Plans: Planning with Technology

Welcome to Module 3: Planning with Technology

By the end of this lesson you will be able to

  • pair the appropriate educational tool to the appropriate level of Blooms
  • determine the steps needed to use the technology before, during, and after the lesson
  • develop the instructional strategies necessary to reach all learners
  • define any materials needed for the lesson

Teaching with technology can sometimes be a little tricky. Perhaps you have been a student in a class when the technology just did not work. Or, maybe you have been the teacher when this happened. Nothing spells panic quite like a room full of students staring at you while you frantically try to get the technology to work. Especially if those students happen to be students of any age in a K-12 setting. Class control can quickly evaporate not to mention a day of teaching lost.

Obviously, there are technical problems which are just beyond our control as teachers. For example, if the internet or power goes out for the day. But, when you are planning a lesson which involves technology, the best plan IS to plan.

Pairing the Technology to Blooms
Create a list of all the specific educational technologies you will use for your lesson. The list would include individual technologies used by both the student and the teacher. A sample list would include classroom computers, a computer lab, iPads, Chromebooks, websites, Whiteboards, etc.

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Review more about Bloom’s Taxonomy at this website: http://www.inspiration.com/blog/2011/03/webspiration-classroom-from-blooms-perspective/

As you develop the list, refer to your lesson’s objectives. Think: At what level of Blooms are you requiring your students to work? A specific technology tool can have multiple applications which address multiple levels of Blooms. Make sure that the technology application you use (or the way you use it) in your lesson matches the appropriate Bloom’s level.

Determine the Steps Before, During, and After
So that your lesson runs smoothly, think through exactly what steps you will need to take to prepare for the lesson. What specific tools will you need to provide your students to help them more easily use and experience the content? Remember, the lesson should not be about the technology, but more about how the technology can help students experience and learn the content. When we plan to plan, few things are left to chance and the experience of teaching with technology will be more enjoyable for both the students and their teacher! Work through the educational technology matrix to help you determine the appropriate technology for your lesson.

Before the Lesson Begins
In this section, think through exactly what you and your students will do to prepare to use the technology. What steps will need to be taken before the technology is actually touched by the students? Be detailed and specific in your notes. Do you need to reserve the technology with the school librarian? Are there any specific school procedures or protocol for using technology that need to be addressed? Will students need paper, pencils, etc? What about lesson thinking routines or a job aid? Will you provide folders or other organizational materials for them?

During the Lesson
In this section, think through the details of you and your students actually being hands on with the technology. What specific things are you going to ask them to do? Be detailed in your notes.

After the Lesson
In this section, think through the details of what you and your students after being hands on with the technology. What specific activities are you going to ask them to do? How will they share their information? How will they hand in their work? What work will they hand in? Be detailed in your notes.

Instructional Strategies
An important question to ask yourself is how will you provide differentiated activities and assessments for learners with varying abilities, or experiences? As the classroom teacher, you may already be aware of the various learning abilities of your students and have a good grasp on how to address it.

Some examples may be to

  • pair a higher level student with a lower level student
  • pair a more technologically experienced student with one less experienced
  • enlist the help of ‘pro ams’: student who are proficient in the particular technology you are using. Sometimes these students are a grade level or two above the students you are teaching.
  • provide a list of multiple websites that will meet the needs of both the low level students and the higher level students. An example would be providing Science for Kids and also the NASA website or a database like Britannica which includes the ability for the text to be read, multiple reading levels, and English to Spanish translations.
  • older students helping younger
  • allow use of advance organizers

Materials
As you have worked your way through this module, you have probably started making a list of materials you will need to teach your lesson. This part may seem like the simplest portion to work through and it is. However, remember,…. plan to plan. The last thing you want to do is to get every student down the hall to the lab and then realize you could have used a rubric or a Think Sheet or even just some magic markers. But it isn’t just about what you need to get ready for the lesson. What will you have students do after they are finished. What materials might they need to do the activity after they leave the technology?