Archive for December, 2006

Subject Area Content Supported by technology skills (NETS) or NETS For NETS?


I recently met a computer lab person whose responsibility, according to the district, is to teach the technology curriculum. The upper elementary students will take technology for ten weeks. This person will teach them how to keyboard and to word process.

In that same school, many students are behind in reading and math skills. I thought that the students could use the word processor to brainstorm ideas, outline their ideas, word process their writing, revise the writing, and print out a final copy. I was informed that the students have to focus on learning the technology of word processing.

Are the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for students integrated into your school’s academic curriculum so that when your students do a specific academic task they utilize (and learn) a specific technology skill? For example, students record the daily growth of a plant in science class by taking digital pictures and by putting information in a spreadsheet. As they analyze plants in science class, they learn to use a digital camera by taking, manipulating and labeling images They learn to produce a graph to see overall growth patterns in the plants. Educators know that when something is learned in a meaningful context then it is learned better and longer.

Or are the NETS a stand-alone curriculum in your school that only serves technology?



Integrating Cell Phone Technology into the Classroom: Education or Just Technology

cell phone from Microsoft Clip Art

I am always interested in hearing national educational technologists talk about what the classroom should be like. They insist that the tools that people use outside of school, our students should be able to use in the classroom. For example, students use cell phones outside of school, so they should be able to use them in the classroom.

I think the metaphor of the outside world technology in the classroom has to be examined more closely. Do I want students bringing guns that they use outside of school to the classroom? Do I want drugs being shoot up in the classroom? Do I want students skateboarding in my classroom? Do I want kill-em video games in the class? I am sure that I could make a great real world lesson out of shooting a gun in class- there is physics of the gun firing, there is the simple machines that are used to fire the gun, there is the sound factor, etc. I could come up with equally valid reasons for using a gun in math, SS, English, health, PE, etc. Does that mean I should shoot off a gun in class? (No, I would never really take a gun into school.)

I would prefer for us to state our educational learning purpose (standard) and then select an appropriate technology. I do not want us to force learning based on a technology. One presenter says that students can read poetry as text messages. Most poetry forms take more than four lines and takes many words. I could force poetry to fit on a cell phone screen but why would I? I could pair up students and have them talk over their cell phones but why don’t I want them to talk face to face? I could have students do a voice message via their cell phones to an audio blog but why don’t I have them talk to each other?


Shaking Flashlights, $100 Computers, and Improving Learning in Remote Areas

For Christmas I received a batteryless flashlight that I shake for 70 seconds and then it provides light for an hour. I tried it and it worked and worked. My wife commented that every third world person in a remote area where there is no electricity should have one.

I began to think of Negroponte’s $100 computer and how he has designed it to use very little energy so that students can self-power it. I heard him speak at NECC in San Diego and his passion for helping students around the world impressed me. A few years ago, my family went to a resort in a Latin American country and I visited a local school that did not have any electricity. The school did not have walls or windows. The school was the shaded area under a large tree. The teacher had a chalkboard that he lugged from his distant home. There were no textbooks or print resources for these students. If those students had the $100 computers, they could learn so much more and better their future life.

Is the $100 computer perfect? No. Is my new many many of $100s laptop perfect? No. Let’s stop arguing over the $100 computer. Let’s support it as an actual way to help students whose future depends on a good education.

$100 Computer


Developing ELA Inference Reading Skills Through Technology: Inference Reading


These suggestions for improving students inference reading skills are based on students having practiced with question words and having practiced with literal level questions.

– Have the students look at a question on the Smartboard, underline a critical word in the question and have them write at least three other words for that critical word. If the students read “Where did the boy buy the book?”, they underline the word “boy”, they write “child, youth, or kid”. They look for the critical word of “boy” in the passage. If they do not find that exact word, then they look for the synonyms. They may find “The child purchased the book at the corner store.” Students can underline all the critical words in a question and then list the synonyms under each critical word. Then they can be given a file so they can do the same activity on their own laptop for individual practice.

-Provide students with one sentence and ask many inference questions about the sentence. “In the northeastern part of the city at noon the tall man crashed his new truck into the tree because the sun was so bright.” This time each question will contain at least one inference (other than the question word inference). Who was driving the truck? When did the accident happen? Where was the collision? What happened to the tree? When did this unfortunate thing take place? Why was the tree hit? Help them so that they can answer the Ws for each of these inference question. The students have to be to comprehend the question well enough and to read the passage well enough to understand that the same idea can be presented with different words such “crashed into the tree” = “collision”. You might want to model this for the whole class several times using a word processor or a Smartboard. Then students can answer several inference questions on their own computers. As they answer you can see if any misunderstandings occur.

-You can increase the inference difficulty by using several inference words in the question. (Just like the NYS ELA does!) Instead of “Who was driving the truck?” the question could be “Which adult was driving the vehicle?” In the first question, “truck” is in the passage but “driving” is not and neither is “Who?” In the second questions students have to translate “Which adult”, “was driving” and “the vehicle” in order to be able to answer the question; yes, that is three  inferences  in the same question.

-After students can answer inference questions based on one sentence, then give them a paragraph with inference questions. One teacher delivers his reading inference homework via his blog. The students download the reading passages from the blog, work on them, and bring them to class the next day. Another teacher uses personal response devices to “see” the students’ answers during class and figure out if any inference problems emerge.

How else do you improve your students’ inference reading ability through technology?


Eportfolio Reviews: Face to Face vs Online


So what is the difference between an online eportfolio review and a face to face eportfolio review? That depends on the pre-service students. Some students let their enthusiasm for teaching bubble over during an oral presentation. Others rush through their presentation. Some students add more information than what is on the screen. Others simply read the screen. Some students connect the various artifacts and proficiencies to create a big picture of teaching; some do it in their oral presentations and some do it in their eportfolios.

The same information (artifacts and reflection) is in both presentations. I am a reflective person so I like to be able to study the artifacts, review the student’s philosophy of education, and then finally assess the proficiency.

There are times when I want to ask the student questions such as “Tell me more about…” or “What did you really do to assess your students’ literacy?” Sometimes I can ask a question during an oral presentation but usually there is only time for a quick question. I cannot do it during an online review.

Some students label each paragraph with the appropriate subproficiency to make sure that the reviewer can find the evidence. That is a double edged sword. Yes, I can see where the evidence should be but is it really there? Often during an oral presentation they do not identify subproficiencies.

The real question is whether the student, either face to face or online, convincingly presents the evidence to show success in the proficiency. The student can do it successfully in both formats.


Classroom Formative Assessments (Class and Individual) with Technology

Formative Vocabulary Strategy

Here are two examples of formative assessment using technology in an English classroom.

Formative -Class

I asked students to do their usual journal writing for their normal eight minutes. At the end of eight minutes, they counted the number of words in their writing and wrote it in their journal log. While they did another activity, I went around, recorded their scores, and then inputted the scores into a class spreadsheet on the computer. Within a few minutes, I showed the students a projected graph of that day’s writing fluency class average and compared it to the last time we did the activity. We talked about our increases and shared successful techniques that some students used. We did this at least once a week and their scores increased from 80 words to about 180 words in less than ten weeks.

Formative – Individuals

The students write down the vocabulary learning strategy that they used on each weekly vocabulary quiz. Each week when they got back their quiz, they entered their most recent score in a personal spreadsheet so that they could see a graph of their vocabulary scores. If they got below an 80, then they had to try out another vocabulary learning strategy from the class list that we had generated. They were to try the new technique for two weeks. They could monitor their own vocabulary learning strategy success and make changes to be more successful.

What regular classroom or individual formative assessments do you build into your class?


Formative Assessment: Change Grading Categories to be Standards Based

Standards Based Grading

One of the biggest changes a teacher can make in using formative assessment is to convert the course grading to be standards-based. When I taught I had grading categories such as homework, tests, quizzes, and projects. My total grade for a student was a combination of these individual categories. However, after reading Marzano’s Transforming Classroom Grading, I changed my grading to be standards based.

I simply put the standard in as the major category in the grading program. So instead of the categories of homework, tests, quizzes, and projects, I had S1 (Standard 1), S2 (Standard 2), S3 (Standard 3), and S4 (Standard 4). I had to think about the real standards purpose for each homework, test, quiz, or project and then label it with that category. So I might have S1 as the category and then “graph reading quiz” as the description.

When parents came in and asked about their students’ grade, I no longer said, “He does poorly on quizzes” or “She does not do well on the project.” I said, “He has a low score on Standard 1” or “She is doing well on Standard 4.” The parents understood those comments as measuring their children’s progress toward a standard. The students understood that they were working on standards and that each homework, test, quiz, and project contributed to a standard.

So are you standards-based in your classroom? Does your grading reflect it? Do your students know how well they are progressing toward the standards by looking at their class grades?


Reviewing Students Proficiency-Based Eportfolio Online: Prove it

Eportfolio Reflections Generalities Specifics

I recently finished doing an online review of a student’s electronic portfolio (eportfolio) to demonstrate her progress toward the School of Education’s five proficiencies.

I had heard the same student do a short fifteen minute public presentation of her eportfolio.

My reaction to the online review was the same as to her oral presentation. She gave many generalities but did not “prove” her point. I see proficiency-based eportfolios as “prove it” paragraphs in which the student clearly states what they will prove and then gives very specific evidence.

For the proficiency of “critical reflection” a student may write “I have grown professionally by doing reflections. I reflected after each of my lessons and I reflected at the end of the unit. I have become a better teacher.” She certainly is showing that she reflects but she is missing the critical part of how she has grown by reflecting.

When she adds details, she proves her growth. “I have grown professionally by doing reflections. I reflected after each of my lessons and I reflected at the end of the unit. I now base all my lessons on standards and assess on those standards; previously I did a reading activity and wanted the students to enjoy that activity. I have become a better teacher since I now assess during the lesson with response cards; previously, I only cared about my teaching not about the students’ learning.”

Do your students give specific “prove-it” examples of their learning in eportfolios?

21st Century Science Classroom Example

 Stream Water to Tap Water

I helped a middle school science class do a water purification project that had many 21st Century Skills. On the second day of class in early September, the teacher showed the students a beaker of stream water and one of tap water. He told them their challenge was to purify the stream water to be just as pure as tap water. He told them that they could use whatever methods they wanted as long as they wrote each up according to the usual lab report model and he approved the method. He sat down. The students waited for him to tell them what to do but he did not.

They began thinking of how to purify the water. Each group wrote it up, got it approved, did the experiment, wrote up the results in their lab format, and posted it to a class network folder. They found out that their approaches either partially worked or did not work. For example, a group put the water through a sponge but found out that the sponge had soap in it. The groups did experiment after experiment over the day few days.

One day a student realized that all the groups in the classroom were trying to solve the same problem, were having some successes, and were having some problems. He asked the teacher if his group could look at the other groups’ experiment lab reports. The teacher said the group could and that was why they had a class folder. The student’s group began to read through the experiments of others, comparing what the other groups had done to what his group had done. They solved the purification issue within ten minutes after reading all the experiment reports. Other groups began to read and learn from others. Every group purified the water.

Assessing 21st Century Skills in Classroom Technology Integration Projects

Time (Dec. 18, 2006) just did a major piece on Schooling “How to Build a Student for the 21st Century by Claudia Wallis and Sonja Steptoe, pgs 50-56. It basically reports that schools are not preparing students for the 21st Century skills. It argues that schools spend their time on minimal tests (NCLB) that do not measure needed skills needed for the 21st Century.

NCREL 21st century skills from Tuttle’s Learning and Technology Assessments

(From Harry Tuttle’s Learning and Technology Assessments for Administrations: Ithaca, NY: Epilog Visions, 1994)

Use the above chart to pre-analyze any project you are thinking of doing in your classroom. How high is the technology-infused learning activity score out of 48? That’s your 21st Century Skill score for the selected activity.

How can you modify the activity so that the students do more 21st Century skills in the project? Then you will be preparing the students for the 21st Century, for their future.


World, 21st Century Skills and the Classroom

World 21st Century Skills  School Curriculum

Time (Dec. 18, 2006) “How to Build a Student for the 21st Century” by Claudia Wallis and Sonja Steptoe, pgs 50-56.

What is not a 21st Century Skill activity: memorizing all the rivers in South America

What is a 21st Century Skills activity: “After reading about Nike’s efforts to develop a more environmentally friendly sneaker, students have to choose a consumer product, analyze and explain its environmental impact and then develop a plan for re-engineering it to reduce pollution costs without sacrificing its commercial appeal.” (p. 54)

What is the difference between USA curriculums and other countries whose students outperform USA students? Their curriculums focus on key concepts taught in depth. They focus on “portable skills” -critical thinking, making connections between ideas and knowing how to keep on learning. USA curriculums focus on a succession of forgettable details.(p. 54).

How “in line with the way the modern world works” is your class? (p. 56)


Where does Learning Really Take Place? School Classroom or At-Home Technology


In the school hallway, I heard Butch comment to Nancy that he did not get today’s math so he was going to get his buddy to help him. He commented that he would have to wait until his buddy got online. Nancy asked where the buddy lived. Butch replied that he lived in China.

I overhead two students talking as they were leaving school. Jack was complaining about not understanding the Social Studies lesson. Pam responded that he just had to go on the net and find a good explanation. She shared with him a site,, that she used. She added that she always went to the site to understand or even to review the Social Studies topic.

Pedro’s confusion about his science learning has been solved by his IMing his friends and asking them to explain the information. His friends from all over the country explained the science principle in their own words and gave some great examples.

Ming has difficulties in school. He always asks his teacher what the next topic is. Then he does a web search for a visual explanation of the concept so that he can see the “big picture” of the topic. He searches for visuals about the topic. Only by “previewing” the topic can he begin to understand what the teacher is explaining.

Sara asks for school work help on a regular basis. She videoconferences (Skypes) with her cousins who are her age but live across the country.

Leo calls a friend whenever he needs to learn about a topic. She puts it in words Leo can understand.

How do your students learn what they did not learn or understand in your class? Who or what is their “real” teacher for learning?


Learning and Technology Score: Time on Task vs Student Learning using Bloom’s


I realize that technology can be a motivator. I realize that students like to see their work when it is done on the computer. However, I also realize that there are only so many minutes in a class period and so many class periods in a year.

How efficient is the students’ time on time on task vs. their final learning? If a student takes five hours to do a project, does that mean it is better than a one hour project?

One way to evaluate a learning project is to use Bloom’s Taxonomy where a point value is associated with each level of Bloom.

1 = Knowledge
2 = Comprehension
3 = Application
4 = Analysis
5.5 = Synthesis
5.5 = Evaluation

So if Juan works for five hours on a PowerPoint country report (factual information or knowledge), his score would be a 5 (hours) x 1 (Knowledge) = 5.

If Huan works for one hour on a PowerPoint country evaluation report ( 5.5), his score would be 1 (hour) x 5.5 (Evaluation) or 5.5

Time is not the critical factor in learning. It is the level of learning.

So, in your class, how much time and on what level of Bloom are your technology-infused learning activities? What is your learning score for each activity?


Developing ELA Inference Reading Skills Through Technology: Literal Reading


Once your students understand questions words, they can move on to answer questions.

-Provide students with a short sentence and ask many questions about the sentence. “John goes to the store at three o’clock. When does John go to the store? Where do he go? Who goes to the store?” Make the questions as literal as possible. Have them use their word processor to highlight the question word in each question and change the font color to a specific color. Then they highlight the answer in the same color. For example, they would underline “When” in red and underline “at three o’clock” in red. Give them many different one sentence passages until everyone can answer the question words for the literal passages.

-Next give them a complex sentence and ask many literal questions about the sentence. “In the northeastern part of the city at noon the tall man crashed his new truck into the tree because the sun was so bright.” Who crashed the truck? When did the truck crash? Where did the truck crash? What did the truck crash into? When did the truck crash? Why did the truck crash? They can word process their answers. Help them so that they can answer the Ws for any of these literal questions. The students can go almost directly (literally) from the question to the answer in the passage. Repeat longer complex sentences until all students can successfully answer the literal questions about the complex sentence.

-Then give them a short paragraph and ask many literal questions about the paragraph. Make sure the answers are in different sentences in the paragraph. Have them answer the questions by using the Smartboard or Mimeo so the class can verify that their answers are correct and that they know why the answers are correct. Give them many different paragraphs until everyone can answer the question words for the literal paragraph.

-Celebrate their success by showing them some beautiful pictures and asking literal questions about the pictures.

– Only proceed to inference questions when all students can successfully answer the literal ones.


Developing ELA Inference Reading Skills Through Technology: ELA Prep-Question Words

QuestionWordReadingInferenceMany teachers are getting their students ready for the ELA which take place in New York State in Jan.

A few  suggestions:

Provide students the following on their own laptop, in a small group on a computer, or as a whole class.

– Make sure each student knows what each question word asks. Have students word process all the different types of answers for each question.  Or have them create a concept map using Inspiration. For example for “When” question word, they can write hour, day, month, year, season, after, before, during… Have them share their answers. Have students compile a list for each question word. Many students do not realize the breadth of possible answers to the question words.
-Have them word process three sentences that answer “When” in three different ways and then write the question for each.  They might write “Yesterday I studied math. When did I study math? My brother goes skiing in December. When does my brother go skiing? I was born in 1985. When was I born?” Then the student trades laptops  or the files with another student who answers the “When” question for each sentence.

-Have students brainstorm in a group all the variations on a question word. For example, for “When” they might list the following “At what time…?”, “During what season…?

– Have students use a blog to share all of their different questions that can be used to used each question word.   Then ask students to read a passage and to write as many different questions as they can about the passage.

-Have student pairs read a passage and ask as many questions as they can about the passage.  The pair exchanges the questions with another pair.  Each pair answers the questions and they compare the different types of questions they asked and answered.  They make sure the other pair correctly answered the questions.

How else have you helped your students to prepare for understanding and answering questions words?


Professional Development: Purpose, Modeling, Hands-On, Final Product


I had an opportunity to attend an all day professional development workshop recently.

I wonder if the presenter and the audience had the same real purpose? If people came to learn about A, how much do they really have to learn about the subparts of B, C, D, E, and F? What are the most critical and most used aspects of the subparts in creating A? I am  certain that people can produce a good product without knowing all the intricacies of each subpart. If the presenter is very excited about B, C, D, E, and F, then the people may learn a great deal about B, C, D, E, and F but learn very little about the actual A.

How many “new” features can people absorb in a session?

I believe that we have to model what we want people to learn. If a presenter shows the end product at the beginning, then people have an understanding of what their end product will look like. The learners can ask questions that will lead them to producing the end product.

Presenters need to understand the difference between a demonstration and a hands-on workshop. When a presenter does a demonstration, the people watch. During a hands-on the presenter has to slowly guide the people so they every one can produce something. Is it successful if one person does something and all the others do not? I think not.

How similar is the product  the presenter produces to the product that the people would produce for their classes? What problems might classroom teachers encounter as they implement this technology? What successful classroom examples of this technology does the presenter demonstrate?

Do the people feel comfortable in using the technology in their classroom to help students to learn better?

Podcasting: Use Meaningful Images for Better Student Learning

Podcast Words Visuals

During a workshop on podcasting, people downloaded numerous podcasts. Several math people downloaded audio podcasts on sets and on angles. They felt that, without visuals, the podcast were not helpful; in fact, the audio podcasts made the topic incomprensible. I have trouble with audio podcasts since I am not an auditory learner; I easily get lost in spoken words.

Other people downloaded podcasts that had images along with the spoken word. I had something to look at! However, since I focused on the visuals (Yes, I’m a definite visual learner), I quickly discovered that the visuals were not self-explanatory. They were decorative; they were not informative. (Could I look at the visual and see what its purpose was in the message?) If I tried to understand the podcast by looking just at the visuals, I maybe could understand what the general topic was. I certainly did not get the specific message.

Yes, I did see a podcast that used a movie. That solved my learning problem, right? No, because the actions in the movie did not make much sense without the spoken word.

If you are creating podcasts, please, for visual learners like me, make sure that all of the visuals convey the precise information of the podcast (avoid general images), that the visuals are arranged in such a way as to explain the indepth message of the podcast, and that the visuals are different enough to give me a comprehensive view of the message.

My eyes and my brain thank you for helping me to learn!

Teachers’ Professional Development: Curriculum or Technology


Does your school/district have workshops (“professional development”) on a technology such as Inspiration and then ask the teachers to fit the technology into their curriculum? Or does the school/district have Improving Writing curriculum professional development that includes the technology of Inspiration?

During the professional development workshop, do teachers create an technology-infused product “just for the fun of it” or do the teachers develop a product that they will use in their classrooms?

Does the professional development focus on learning the technology or improving students’ learning through the technology?  Does the professional development concentrate on all the commands/tools available in that technology or does it focus on the most commonly used ones and most critical  for  a particular subject area use?

We cannot claim that student learning is our priority if we start with a technology. We cannot claim that student learning is our priority if teachers “play with” the technology” and do not create classroom learning products or experiences! We cannot claim that student learning is our priorityduring the professional development if teachers do not see how the technology will enhance the students’ learning


Promoting or Discouraging Global Citizens (Multiculturalism) through Virtual Field Trips & VideoConferencing:


Two days ago I mentioned being at a virtual field trip. The students began to laugh and mock out a person who was chanting a prayer to Pele. The person was very demonstrative in saying the prayer in the native language.

The virtual field trip planners probably did not think that viewing students would have an adverse reaction to this culture. However, the students viewed this person as different and negative, a combination that does not usually contribute to being accepting of other cultures. The planners could have found similar examples in mainland USA such as a Native American Shaman praying, a Jewish cantor, a Muslim at prayer time, Wicca priestess “praying”, etc.

The virtual field trip planners did not plan ahead and therefore these students had a negative reaction to this cultural event. The students became less of global citizens by participating in the virtual field trip; they become more of “aren’t these other people weird” citizens.

How do you prepare your students to encounter another culture? Do they “leave” the virtual field trip or videoconference with a positive or negative attitude toward that culture?  Even if the cultural item, people, or event is different and negative, how do you help them to see it in another light? How can you show its similarity and how positive it is?


Virtual Field Trip: On the Right Learning Path?

Virtual Field Trip and Student learning

Today I went on a virtual field trip with some 4th graders. They had gone to the computer lab and had gone through some provided pre-activities. However, they became bored during the virtual field trip. Their complaints:

Too much talking

Fast talking

Too many pictures of people talking and not enough of what they were talking about

Many big words

They did not explain and practice the activity before doing all of it (a dance)

Things weren’t together (all the segments on animals were not together)

They could not call in with a question (the number was not clear on the screen)
The called in questions were all mixed up (not on the info just presented)

There was only one thing (activity) to do during the field trip

The picture was fuzzy (Quicktime and streaming)

It was too long (it was an hour)

Did they learn things? Learn may be too strong of a word. They were exposed to many disjointed ideas. Many segments interested them but most segments were very short (not quite a sound byte but close). The viewing students were never asked to think through a problem (Where do you think the lava would flow? Why do you think only birds were on the island?); they were just bombared with brief details.

We think that next time we’ll use an already done virtual field trip and only use certain segments of it. We can stop the “video” and talk about a concept so that the students understand the concept before going on. We can do an experiment during the field trip. We can help students see how a culture that seems very different is quite similar to them. We’ll engage the students. We’ll structure the experience so students can be on learning path.


Improving Student Learning Through a PowerPoint Guided Lesson

Student Learning Scaffolded by PowerPoint

Tomorrow I have been invited to do a demonstration lesson on how to improve students’ academic learning through technology.

I’ll use PowerPoint to guide the students through the lesson. I will use it to:

Keep the students focused on the topic

Show many visual examples of the topic

Link to websites that give information about the topic or that show movie clips about the topic
Emphasize particular word parts, words, or phrases

Compare and contrast items so students better understand each

Scaffold an activity going from an easy step to a very complex step through several screens in such a way that all students can do the complex step

Review the information (just duplicate an initial slide and move it to another part of the lesson)

Present quick assessments and show the answers to the assessments

Modify (re-arrange) the lesson if students are having problems

Provide instructions to the students so they know what to do during each activity

Move from one segment to another with ease.

Keep the students motivated by changing background colors and designs

And I won’t have to erase and re-erase the chalkboard 🙂


Picasa -Wonderfully Easy Photo Editing and Organizing Tool


If you do not have Picasa, run to and download it.  It organized the thousands of pictures I have by folder.  It does all the basics such as straighen, crop, color, etc very easily.  I took pictures from a  35 year old book and with a few clicks, the images looked as bright as they did many years ago.  Adding an embedded caption is a double click and click on caption process.  Did I mention it was free!

All of your students can edit their photographs that they took for a project in Science, ELA, Math, Social Studies, Art, Music, PE, Health, Technology, etc.  They can move pictures from one folder to another with ease. They can create a slide show with a few clicks. The school cannot complain that it cannot afford good quality photo editing and organizing software when Picasa is available.

On a personal note I have previously uploaded some digital pictures to a website for printing but the pictures were cropped on all sides so I lost the image I wanted.  With Picasa, I indicate what size I want such as 4 x6 and the pictures come out exactly the way I want them.  Picasso would be proud of such picture art!

Technology Integration Projects: Structuring,Time, and Student Learning

Structured Learning or Wasted technology

I watched as a teacher had her students prepare a presentation on a famous person. I heard the teacher say to one student “You’ve been looking at the pictures of her for 20 minutes. Maybe you want to find some information.” Also, the teacher said to another student, “I know he has some good songs but you have just been listening to the songs. Are there some websites about him?” At the 45 minutes of the class, I noticed that most students had produced one screen in their PowerPoint presentation. The screen generally said, “__ is a famous singer.” or there was a picture of the famous person.

Yes, it was a wasted 45 minutes. Was it due to the technology? No! The teacher had not structured the experience for the students. There was no handout that walked the students step by step through going from the knowledge level of thinking to the analysis level of thinking. She had not told students what she expected them to produce by the end of the period. She had not specified the depth of information she wanted from the students. She did not model what she wanted. Without her structuring, the students wasted away the period.

How do you structure your technology integrated projects for successful student learning in an efficient time manner?


Blog Stats

  • 805,279 hits