Friday, December 12, 2008

Technology Rich Lesson Plan

Done with Brooke Holmes!
Summary of Article:
The article we read entitled "Effective and Appropriate Uses of Educational Technology in Science Classrooms" by Karen E. Irving really opened our eyes to the use of technology inside the classroom. In our class we have talked about many ways we could incorporate ways of using technology in our lesson plans, but I have never thought about using technology to teach science. One of the most interesting things in the article was when they talked about how people are more successful learners when they are presented with both words and pictures. Words alone can not help you comprehend a subject as well. Mayer argued that words and pictures were not the same and do not need to balance each other out, the simply gave complementary information to the learner. We both thought this was an interesting part of the article because it we thought that words would have a more powerful effect on a student when learning a subject. But when we thought about this in our own studying we would always look for the pictures first and then read the information (or text) afterward. This would help us retain the information for a longer period of time. Mayer gives six suggestions on designing lesson plans with the images, narration and text. The suggestion that we thought was most interesting was the temporal contiguity principle. This principle says that images and text should be shown together at the same time, because the student will more than likely store that image in their short-term memory and they will be able to recall this information faster and be able to organize it more efficiently.

How did our technology rich lesson compare?
For our technology lesson we had the students complete a webquest about a day in the life of a colonist. Before we taught them our mini-unit on the 13 original colonies we wanted them to have a chance to experience what it would be like if they had to live like the colonists did. Just like in the article that we just read, we wanted to take a normal subject that you could teach out of the textbook and make it interesting using visuals, text, sounds and animations. Before we went to the computer lab we did a KWL chart with the students asking them what they knew, what they wanted to know and when we came back from the computer lab we had them fill out things that they learned from the webquest.

We split the students up into partnerships and had them complete a worksheet with questions from the webquest. If time allowed they were able to play some of the fun games, learn how to make candles and read extra information on the webquest we selected. The students had an enjoyable time while learning.

Just as in the article we read, we combined many aspects of learning into one lesson plan. we integrated writing, verbal communication, reading, and technology. By doing all of these different aspects in just one lesson plan got the attention of every learning need from each of the students in our classroom.

Implementation of our lesson plan:
For our technology lesson we did a webquest about the thirteen colonies. We started our lesson out with a KWL chart to find out what the kids knew and what they wanted to learn. Then we split the kids into partners by their reading levels. We had the higher readers mixed with the lower readers. Then we took them to the computer lab. We had them sign in to their computers and open up the internet. We needed them all on the same website so we wrote this website on the board. Getting them all to the right site took about 4 minutes. It took longer than we thought. (What we should have done was, put the website on the top of their worksheets.) After we got them all to the correct site we had them look around with us so they would be familiar with the site. Then we handed them a worksheet with two questions on it. Their individual worksheets told them which section their answers would be from. So then we let them start their worksheets. As we walked around we saw the higher readers reading to the lower readers; which is what we expected. We told them to have one person as the reader and the other person as the writer and when they were finished with the first question, we told them to switch. So they switched when the time came and kept on going. The students seemed to enjoy the webquest and they seemed to learn a lot. They were able to answer the questions with hardly any help. Our only real frustration was that the kids were so excited to be on the computers that it was hard to keep good classroom management.

How the NETS*T fit into our growth as a teacher:
Our lesson plan fits right into the second NETS*T called, "design and develop digital-age learning experiences and assessments." Our lesson fit with this one because we took a webquest we found on the and adapted it to our lesson. We also adapted the webquest to fit with the different levels of readers in our classroom. We were able to customize the activities to our students using this activity.

How the NETS*S helped our students:
According to the NETS*S, our lesson plan fits in with their second category. This is the communication and collaboration section. This section talks about collaborating and interacting with others using a variety of digital environments. Our lesson plan fits into this category because we had the students interacting with each other using a webquest as their digital environment.

Evaluation of our progress regarding technology:
Our original goals at the beginning of this course were to learn how to blog, and to learn the tricks to integrating technology into the classroom. We learned the second one very quickly by actually doing our technology rich lesson plans. This helped us really learn how to integrate technology. We learned enough about blogging to get around but we would still like to learn more. One new goal we have would be to learn where to get technology resources and how to get them into our schools.

Here is a link to the webquest we used:

Link to our technology rich lesson plan:

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