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Integrating Technology into the Classroom

By Linda Ullah
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 Understandings & Objectives

Rethinking Lesson or Unit

 At A Glance

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Rethinking Lesson or Unit

Instructional Time: 20 minutes

Backwards Planning and Teaching for Enduring Understanding

McTighe and Wiggens suggest that the first thing to do when planning a project is to reflect on the deep learning or  enduring understandings
 you’d like your students to come away with?
  • Think about the essential concepts, ideas, principles, or processes that you want your students to internalize.
  • Ask yourself, why am I teaching this topic? Why is this important for my students to know?
Backwards planning starts with the end product or deep learning you want your students to "get" and keep as a result of the project.

A resource to help you with your enduring understandings and essential questions is: Five Essential Questions and Enduring Understandings. The Teaching Crosscurrents site is also a good resource to help you determine your enduring understandings for this project.

Your task is to write 3 good enduring understandings for your lesson or unit.

Take a look at these sample written by Barbara Bray (My eCoach) before drafting your essential understandings:

  • Learning about the past helps us understand why things are today and informs us what the future may hold.
•  Reading and writing offer the power to inform and to enlighten others.
•  What is written in historical text is not always accurate because it is told from a particular perspective.
•  Each of the more than 100 elements of matter has distinct properties and a distinct atomic structure. All forms of matter are composed of one or more of the elements.
•  Religion has been and still is used as justification for conquest and warfare.

Next is is critical to know exactly what measurable learning outcomes you expect from your students.  These are written in terms of the specific knowledge and skills students will know or do, by when, and how you will measure student learning outcomes.  They should be learner centered (Students will) outcome driven, attainable and very specific based on the standards you’ve selected for this lesson or unit.

Design the objectives to help students use the higher order thinking skills by writing them using specific verbs (
Blooms Taxonomy) such as explain, create, analyze, summarize, evaluate, rather than vague terms such as "know", "learn", "comprehend", "understand", "study", or "cover."

For example: 

a. By ____(date), students will analyze three of Shakespeare’s poems and write a response in poetry to one of the poems in published form that includes images to illustrate the poem.

b.  By ____(date) students will summarize the events leading up to the war in Iraq and in our class blog propose three potential solutions for bring stability to the Middle East.

c. By ____(date) students will develop a biome travelog for a region of California that includes__________________.

Your task is to write three good enduring understandings and three measurable objectives for the lesson or unit you will be turning into a WebQuest.

California SB2042 Induction Standards
Standard 16. Using Technology to Support Student Learning
Each participating teacher builds upon the knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired during preliminary preparation for the delivery of comprehensive, specialized use of appropriate computer-based technology to facilitate the teaching and learning processes. Each participating teacher is a fluent, critical user of technology, able to provide a relevant education and to prepare his/her students to be life-long learners in an information-based, interactive society. Each participating teacher makes appropriate and efficient use of software applications and related media to access and evaluate information, analyze and solve problems, and communicate ideas in order to maximize the instructional process. Such use of technology supports teaching and learning regardless of individual learning style, socioeconomic background, culture, ethnicity, or geographic location. Each participating teacher integrates these technology-related tools int the educational experience of students, including those with special needs.

Method of Checking for Understanding:
Observations, Student Work