Using this wiki as a platform for my ideas, I have spent the last week fully developing a technology infused lesson plan for an upcoming unit about Ben Carson. In January, my sixth grade students (in the classroom where I am completing my full-time student teaching for my graduate degree) will be reading an autobiography about Ben Carson and exploring the major themes in the book as they apply to literature analysis and their own lives.
In the creation of the unit plan, I decided to use a classroom blog as the platform for students to post reading responses and share their learning with the world. As a part of a learning technologies class, I fully developed the lesson in which I introduce students to the classroom blog. In the lesson, students will explore the characteristics of blogging, create blogging guidelines, and publish their first reading response comment. Overall, planning this lesson was somewhat different than planning a lesson that does not rely so heavily on technology.
First and foremost, planning a technology infused lesson requires extra time to actually create technology resources. I spent a significant amount of time creating the classroom blog that my students will be using as they progress through the unit. I also spent time using Diigo to create resource lists of links that my students will be exploring to glean information about general blogging and Ben Carson. Another consideration was previous technology knowledge that students will need to be successful during the lesson. In my lesson plan, I included a list of skills that students will need to have before we begin this lesson; luckily they are basic skills that nearly all students will have.
Despite the added time and considerations of planning this lesson, I believe I was ultimately successful. Using a classroom blog will promote a collaborative learning environment that would be impossible without using the blog format. I found that planning a lesson using technology made targeting students higher order thinking skills much easier! Students will be engaging in synthesis, analysis, and evaluation with very little questioning from me. In order to be successful during the lesson and create the products that I have asked for, students will definitely use their skills of critical thinking.
I hope that this lesson is as engaging as I anticipate. I truly feel that integrating technology into my planning has provided an opportunity of authentic learning for my students that will improve their thinking, writing, and technology skills. I will certainly need to reflect once more after I have implemented the lesson in January!