C1W4: Planning for Tech Rich Learning

Geeking out: intense commitment to media or technology; peer-driven, requires specialized communities of expertise, knowing more about a topic than the average person. (Living with New Media (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation))

Authentic Audience: those who are genuinely interested in and could use student created content; can be local or global. (3 Steps to Transforming Learning in Your Classroom (Cofino))

How have you planned for tech-rich learning in the past? Share a reflection about a tech-rich lesson you have taught/facilitated.

My definition of a tech rich lesson in the past was: students use their iPads and apps as much as possible, every lesson, to explore science content and to show what they know.

During the force and motion physical science unit, students learned about simple machines and completed an assignment using their iPads, Padlet, and a photo collage maker app. They shared their collages of simple machine examples by Air Drop and I printed them out to make a display in their classrooms. A week later, they used their iPads and a stop motion video app to make a video of a simple machine that their small group designed and created.

Photo by Randy Fath for Unsplash

I think I planned for this lesson (it was 6 years ago) after going through a short Apple Teacher PD course (for the school’s new Ipads!). The course went over the SAMR model and explored how Apple apps, combined with iPads, could be used in teaching and learning.

I also thought about:

  • the different levels of Bloom’s taxonomy (skills I wanted students to do)
  • what I wanted the students to know about the topic
  • student use of the 4 elements of language
  • student movement
  • time to learn the app
  • time to complete the assignment
  • type of assessment
  • ways to differentiate
  • scheduling the iPads for my classes (making sure they were charged)

Today, I would think more about

  • increasing student collaboration and feedback and what this looks like, sounds like, feels like
  • how their videos could be shared, instead of only with me
  • how to incorporate different parts of the topic and allow students more choice in what they wanted to learn (researching a specific type of simple machine, using math to explain/show the benefit of using simple machines, exploring if other creatures use simple machines and in what way, etc.)

How might this week’s content influence how you plan for tech-rich learning?

The main content that will influence my plan for tech-rich learning are the ISTE standards for students. In the reflection above, I would add one or two ISTE standards as part of my planning like innovative designer and creative communicator.

The next content that will influence my planning is Kim Cofino’s 3 Steps to Transforming Learning in Your Class. In the reflection above, I already added some thoughts about how I would re-design this lesson, especially for the sharing of videos. In what way can these videos be shared with an authentic audience? Who wants to know about simple machines? I need to re-design this activity to be more open ended and relevant to student lives.

Finally, I would use the above ideas to complete the A.P.L.E lesson planner. I want students to be creators and to be engaged. The design cycle format will benefit my students during longer units, to keep them focused and to allow them more input into their learning. I like how there are boxes for different standards and that Kim explained the planner thoroughly in her video.

Is geeking out only related to intense engagement with technology or media?

Living with New Media (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation) was published in 2008. It’s now more than 10 years later. Can geeking out also be related to any topic that a person seeks out and learns more in-depth knowledge about? What’s the difference between being a geek and geeking out; is it the element of tech and media?

In Memory

Margaret O’Sullivan (@NGSNavigators) 1978 – 2020. My online science mentor. She created and shared so much: podcasts, twitter posts, Facebook groups, websites. Her knowledge and way of connecting people will be greatly missed. She filled a space for those of us who needed an anchor and a straight forward place to start building 3D units and she never stopped encouraging or promoting others. You have inspired me.