Tech Integration Workshop - Step 8: Gather Lesson Ideas

Note: Do not do this lesson until you have watched the Watch First video.

Lesson + Action Guide Video:

Once you have watched the video please complete this step in the Workshop Checklist.

Return to the Table of Contents for the Technology Integration Workshop.

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Transcription of Videos:

Lesson & Action Guide

Hello everyone, and welcome finally to Step 8 which is “Gather Lesson Ideas” of the Tech Integration Workshop here at SchoolTechnology.Org.  My name is Brad Flickinger - and let’s get right into it!

But before I do, this is kind of a bit of a hybrid type lesson because I am going to put together the lesson part and the assignment part all into one mix-up right here. And you will see why - because I will talk a little bit about what I do, and then I’ll talk a little about what you should do.  And it only kind of works for this Step.  You’ll get an idea what we’re doing here!

Alright!  First part I want to REALLY get clear here is PLEASE do not work in isolation when it comes to you and the technology for your building and integration, and 21st Century Skills.  It will drive you crazy, okay?  Don’t try to be a little “island of technology in the sea of your school!”  You want to DEFINITELY work with your teachers!

So what I do is I put aside some time, to be able to come into their classrooms, help them out a little bit, work with their students, work with them, talk to them about what they are covering and how they like to teach things.  It gives you that connection so that in Step 9 when you go to embed these 21st Century Skills into  the lessons you will get their style, you will get their kids.

And that only happens by going in and interacting with the teacher AND the students to see what is going on.  And you will be surprised - because you will be like, “Oh, I really kind of see this different style here. That would be really good for my projects I want to do with presentation software,” or “Oh, I see these kids are really like this - and that would be great when I want to incorporate spreadsheets into it.”  Maybe you are covering the Math department and you want to go in and see the things there, and you can go see and, “Oh, we can do graphs, we can do charts…” - all those great things.

So, interact with your teachers and observe what is going on in their classrooms.  And make sure - well actually probably don’t call it an “observation” because that sounds very “Administrator-ish!” - just tell them you want to come by and see what is going on.

And what I like to see is how the students actually interact back with the teachers, and get a feel for what they are capable of. Because sometimes, if you just see them in the computer lab, they are only doing one type of thing and you don’t really see what they are capable of. And you can say, “You know what? I can really push these little Third Graders to do bigger and better things because I have seen what they have done in their classroom.”  Those types of things you will learn.

And once you have done those observations, then it is time, like I do, I sit down with my teachers one-on-one to kind of discuss what I want to do, as the Tech person, and what they have.  And usually at the time they bring out their curriculum map for the whole year; they lay it out and say, “Well is this is what I cover in August, and September and October…” - so you get an idea.

And you can point to something and say, “Okay, here I see that you teach about Russia, right here.  Well that is about the time I want to be able to teach the students how to use podcasting AND Google Earth - so how about I take some of that from you and I do like the Geography section, and then they can do some of the History of Russia, those types of things. We will make it into a podcast, and I can get that back to you and you can grade that and maybe we can replace this little Quiz area right here?”

And then you’re working together!  That’s perfect! That is how you can take some workload from them and at the same time you get that classroom connection that you so desperately need because, I mean, if you just teach them podcasting without the classroom connection, there is not really any BANG behind it, and there is certainly not even the grading and those type of things - where THIS finally the kids get it because it is coming at them from all these different angles and it has purpose behind it.  And teaching without purpose behind it is USELESS.  So put some purpose behind it.

And then I also like to work with the whole Department.  So I might meet with the Third Grade team or the English Department or Math Department in the older Grades, so that you get an idea and can say, “Oh, you’re covering Math. Okay, I can work into my spreadsheets these types of things during this month here…”

And then you get that nice little mingling.  Because you are going to need this type of information for Step 9.

So watch your teachers; meet with your teachers - and then what you are going to be surprised is how great it all comes together when you have done all these Steps because, you know, here are some students with their teacher going, “Hey look!  We’re studying the Renaissance.  We’ll check out our Renaissance Blog that we did in Computer class that matches what you’re doing in here!  And here’s some Artwork here, and here’s our comments on the Renaissance Art.  And here’s our comments on Leonardo da Vinci; and here’s a blog about him...”  All those things.

Everybody gets connected - and THAT’S what you are looking for.

So do those things for Step 8, like I said:  Watch your teachers, meet with your teachers.  And then in Step 9  we will be able to put all those ideas together.  And try to get any bits and pieces of information you can, like their curriculum maps and those types of things so that for Step 9 you are well ready to go on.

Thank you very much!