Tech Trends Assignment

It took me a while to decide what lesson I would like to create for this assignment. What was the most challenging for me was to choose which technology to utilize. My choices were not easy. It was either using my school’s computers with pre-installed software, or the iPads (which the younger students currently use as a part of a pilot program). I initially had a great idea for using the iPad for our new unit “Materials and Matter”, but it all dissolved when I found few apps on this topic. In the absence of “specialized” apps, computers would be much more useful for a group of 5th graders.

I then decided to utilize what I have already been doing with/for my students. A couple of years ago I came across Only2Clicks– a great “visual bookmarking” service, where anyone can access your published URLs (there is a snapshot for each URL). In order to make my life as a “resourceful teacher” easier, last year I created a page for my students and their parents. It was an immediate success. Upon deciding to use this service, it was clear that my lesson would include research (perfect for our inquiry-based curriculum!)

When I was planning the next math unit (decimals and fractions) with my co-teacher, we decided to start with a pre-assessment of multiplication and division. Then it was clear! I could connect our previous unit (about Learning Styles) and the Learning Pyramid to get the students to show their understanding by teaching others how to multiply.

The plan would be: Starting with a pre-assessment, continuing with viewing instructional videos, and having the students create their own instructional videos (which connects perfectly with the ICT plan of using MovieMaker to create and edit videos!). To show their understanding, I decided to create a survey using the free site Survey Monkey, which I planned on students using next month anyway. It all came together beautifully!

I must admit that writing the lesson plan has felt like a waste of time. The last time I wrote such lesson plan was when I was still in college, and was never required to write them ever since. Although I see the importance of knowing how to write “wholesome” lessons, I feel that the activity is suitable to teacher-training occasions rather than real day-to-day teaching situations. As teachers, our daily schedules are full of activities and tasks, and we always feel like we are falling behind. “Stating the obvious” every time seems  unnecessary.

I chose to not use Scribd to embed my lesson due to the fact that since I have not taught the lesson yet, I may still need to tweak things. Embedding the lesson using Google Docs allows me to update the lesson so the changes are reflected in the document when it is opened later on. Although the formatting of the lesson is a bit off (see the multiplication problems in the worksheet) I am leaving it as is because the lesson can be downloaded with proper formatting from my Google Docs site. I may still decide to use Scribd once I taught and reflected on the lesson.

The standards this lesson reflects are 1 (Design) and 3 (Utilization). Standard 1 refers to the design of instructional systems (the process of creating the lesson plan) and standard 3 refers to the use of media in the classroom (in my case Only2Clicks, videos, and SurveyMonkey) as well as the implementation of the instructional systems designed (the lesson) and the institutionalization of the lesson plan as a community resource.

This is my Tech Trends Lesson:

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3 thoughts on “Tech Trends Assignment

  1. I really enjoyed your lesson. You thought of many ways to use technology and came up with a great idea! The Only2Clicks site is AMAZING! Thank you for sharing! Keep the lesson updated, I can’t wait to see what happens! (maybe share a video they do??)

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  2. Thanks for the detailed discussion, Ronen, and your lesson plan. Although I realize many teachers don’t have the time to complete detailed daily plans, you will find that writing out the steps can really help you identify objectives and align instruction and assessment to those objectives. I really like how you help students use meta-cognition to identify how they learn. It would be interesting to publish those videos to a class video channel for future students to view and compare to how they learn. This channel could continue to be populated with student videos on that subject, using tags to help sort the various videos.

    Yes, embedding with Google Docs does allow automatic updating, which is a plus. Thanks again for the excellent and detailed discussion. I really felt like I understood the purpose and your process.

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  3. Thank you Erin and Barbara for the comments. I must admit I was a bit under-planned for the lesson. I completely forgot that our school has only MovieMaker to edit videos. If you know MovieMaker, you know it is one of the worst programs out there. It is slow (freezes constantly) and… none of the digital cameras’s file types are compatible with it. So we are kind of stuck with many un-edited videos at the moment… The kids loved it though, and have worked very hard to produce interesting results. I’ll try to create a slideshow and post it on my blog.

    Ronen

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