In an upcoming unit that I am creating, Integrating EdTech in the K-12 Classroom, a lot of time and intention was put into creating an engaging electronically-mediated unit. My top 4 elements that I implemented into the self-paced course for adult learners (educators) were:
- Analysis Phase: Learners are asked to go back to a previously taught lesson that did not go as well for them as they had anticipated, or a lesson that needs a bit of revamping for one reason or another. As they go back to their previously taught lesson, students are self assessing the lesson based on a self-selected technology integration framework (SAMR, TPACK, TIM, or 4Shifts). Through the self assessment, students are looking for key characteristics and components where EdTech is transforming their lesson. If they cannot find these areas, this gives students a solid starting point for beginning their redesign. The overall hope of using Analysis is that students would be self-evaluating and beginning their lesson redesign work.
- Design Phase: Learners are taking their analysis of a previously taught lesson to begin their design, or redesign, work. Students are asked to integrate at least one EdTech tool into their lesson to begin transforming learning beyond the paper-pencil classroom. Through the design phase, students have choice in how they will be integrating technology and why. It is important that the learners can justify their reasoning for implementing the tools that they choose to implement. Leaners also have choice in how they represent their lesson and their redesign, in other words, students do not have a set template or format for submitting their work.
- Social Learning Theory: Learners are given many opportunities to collaborate with peers. At the beginning of the unit, learners are selecting their technology integration framework and sharing their ‘why’ with a group of peers who select the same framework. Later in the unit, students are asked to gather peer-feedback and collaborate with a peer to enhance their lesson redesign and talk through their EdTech integrations. Finally, the course has a big push on utilizing EduTwitter to connect with colleagues and educators around the globe. Twitter is a highly used social media platform for educators and building a Professional Learning Network (#PLN) allows learners to grow beyond the seven weeks of this course.
- Bloom’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK): The whole of my self-paced course is based on Bloom’s DOK levels and ensuring that higher order thinking and learning is implemented throughout. Learners will be asked to redesign, explain, defend, articulate, create, and justify… Each of these different asks, push the learner to genuinely understand the benefit of transforming lessons through integrating EdTech into lesson plans. Integrating Bloom’s higher-order DOK levels can only seamlessly happen if time and intention are put into the different lessons and activities. The learning targets for this unit are:
- Students will be able to redesign lessons to implement technology that meets students’ diverse learning needs.
- Students will be able to explain how specific technology tools can enhance a lesson.
- Students will be able to defend their instructional shifts, and articulate why specific technology tools will better meet students’ diverse learning needs.
Overall, there are many different elements that can be implemented in electronically-mediated courses, but my top four include analysis phase, design phase, social learning theory, and Bloom’s DOK. Each unit and lesson will push new boundaries, but these four elements were the best fit for engaging students in a redesign process.