Planning for Tech Integration

Unit planning when you are hoping to use technology should be basically the same as regular unit planning.  The difference is that you might give consideration to how students learn, work and play at all times (not just during the school day).

Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning
  • Is this how I was taught to do this task in school?
    • If it is, is there a better way to do it with some of the available technology?
  • Would I want to do this task?
    • Sometimes the answer is "No", but you learned something in a certain waybecause it was important, and students will still have to do it that way.
    • However, sometimes the answer is just plain, "No.  This sucks."  If you're thinking that way, students are too.  Try and find a better way.
  • What engaging resources are available that would support this lesson?
    • Use Diigo to find out what other teachers have found useful.
    • Use Advanced Google Searches to be specific in searching out relevant resources.
  • How can technology help students get feedback?
    • If they're playing an online game, it might be immediate.
    • If they're working on an essay, the process might be easier if they use a tool like Google Docs to collaborate with you or their peers.
  • Can I make this more efficient (for myself as a teacher or for students)?
    • A lot of technology won't make us smarter, but it might make us more efficient.  Ask any student if they want to write three drafts of a story.  9 out of 10 will likely say know because they know they can do it on the computer and complete all of their revisions and editing in one place.
  • How can I ensure that learning is supported at home?
    • For example using YouTube videos to explain math processes or a game to reinforce what was done in class.
  • What tool best suits the learning that I want my students to accomplish?
    • Sometimes we get hung up on using the latest or greatest tool that we see in a workshop.   Instead, try and figure out what tools can be most seamless integrated into what you are already doing, your own skill level, and easily used by students.
  • Can students access this at home?
    • Try and use tools that can be accessed anywhere, and ideally across many platforms (PCs, Macs, Linux, iPads, iPods, iPhones, Android and Blackberry devices, etc.).