Lesson Redesign with Technology in Mind

The elementary "Digital Conversion" is well underway, and now that we have a semester under our belt, it's time to think about modifying lessons to include a mindful integration of technology that capitalizes on teaching and learning strategies that we know work.  

Teachers have worked really hard to give students a chance to try out new apps, strategies and approaches, and now that students have some skills, we can start to consider our own technology tool-kits as compared to our traditional instructional toolkit and find a way to join those things together.  

Below is a Thinglink that highlights Marzano High Yield Strategies that we have been using for years, and suggests ways you can use technology to supplement for standard paper/pencil based learning.  While most of these may fall into the "Substitution" or "Augmentation" levels of SAMR, they are strategies that have been proven to benefit students.

Many of you are already using these apps with your students, it may just take some adjustment to how you use them.  For example you can get a lot of mileage out of some well designed graphic organizers in a digital notebook designed in PowerPoint.  Hover over the image below for more information.
 

For some teachers, simply substituting tools isn't going to satisfy a desire to really transform learning for students.  While it is hard to hit "Modification" and "Redefinition" levels of SAMR on a daily basis, you can start to move your students in simple ways toward transforming their learning by giving them more choice and by considering the 4Cs: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication and Collaboration.  

Check out this Thinglink below on the 4Cs.  Many of the suggested tools featured here are student favorites.  With some mindful planning, you can get kids engaging in 21st Century skills using tools and strategies they already feel comfortable using.
 

Need some more ideas?  Consider these:
  • Instead of group read-alouds TRY having students use an active reading strategy that involves taking a photo of the page, inserting in a whiteboarding app, PowerPoint or OneNote and annotating the text for key ideas.
  • Instead of vocabulary worksheet practice TRY having students create a P presentation of their words that includes: original drawings, image collages that remind them of the definitions, self made quizzes, and video stories that use the vocabulary.
  • Instead of a traditional science observation journal TRY having students keep a digital notebook in OneNote or PowerPoint that includes photos they have taken, short videos of the investigation, self selected graphic organizers with key ideas.
  • Instead of a teacher led math lesson using an Interactive Whiteboard with lecture and problem practice TRY having students view a teacher-made screencast, or Khan Academy video  on the topic embedded in Schoology with a discussion thread or short quiz where students can discuss or check their understanding for homework and then use the class time for the teacher to help work through misconceptions and provide guided practice.
  • Instead of watching a video that highlights the main ideas of a chapter in Social Studies, TRY having students make quick videos of assigned chapter sections that reviews key ideas, then airdrop them to a classmate who assembles them into a longer review.
  • Instead of having students do cold and hot reads individually TRY having them record them on Seesaw, marking words their not sure about during the cold read, then going back later to do record the hot read and reflecting on their progress.
  • Instead of having students create a model of a science concept on paper TRY letting gets create a model in Scratch where they also get to practice coding skills. 

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