Educational technology (EdTech) is becoming an essential part of curricula in K-12 schools, and the number of ways to apply technology in classrooms is limited only by a teacher’s creativity.
For teachers interested in adding EdTech into their lesson planning, one of the biggest questions is often how to best incorporate it into their specific subject matter or class level. Here are four examples of how teachers in different subject areas and with different levels of experience can incorporate e-learning into their lesson plans.*
*The following examples are used to illustrate how teachers may see themselves; they are not experiences of real people.
Example #1: Dan
Middle School Math Teacher, Private School
Experience: 3 years
Dan is focusing on improving math instruction, communicating effectively with parents and students, and collaborative teaching and learning.
Dan’s digital learning plan: Dan has his students create their own videos teaching a math concept, modeled after digital learning coach Crystal Kirch’s method.
Each student works out a math problem on paper, then slowly and clearly explains each step in a video. Students can then view each other’s videos and learn peer-to-peer. The videos allow for deeper engagement of all students with the material.
Math is easy for Dan as the teacher, but this may not be the case for some students. By having them create instructional videos to work out the problems for others, he can help students understand the process better and really grasp the concept.
Example #2: Mary
High School English Teacher, Suburban Public School
Experience: 17 years
Mary is focusing on writing instruction for diverse learners, culturally-responsive teaching, and literary analysis skills.
Mary’s digital learning plan: Mary asks her students to design a website weekly for a particular poet that features an image, poem, “about” page, and more.
Students work in groups to research the poets and create the content for each site. They then edit the text on other groups’ sites to ensure that correct spelling, grammar, and language is being used.
This exercise helps students learn about their poets and literature, understand how to properly research and collect data, and learn how websites are designed and used online.
Example #3: Steven
High School Social Studies Teacher, Suburban Public School
Experience: 25 years
Steven is focusing on personalized learning goals for all levels in his gen-ed classes, communication with parents and students, and implementing new, common assessments in his department.
Steven’s digital learning plan: Steven has his classes use stop motion to take frame shots with clay or Legos and make a video demonstrating a specific event in history.
Students work in groups and research an assigned historical event. They then must recreate and narrate the event with their Legos or clay supplies and create a stop motion video. The students enjoy watching all the videos at the end of the semester, and the creative, interactive learning lesson helps his students not only remember the facts, but work on collaborative skills as well.
Check out this Lego stop motion video of the history of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Examples #4: Rachel
Elementary (2nd grade) Team Leader, Urban Public School
Experience: 10 years
Rachel is focusing on curriculum design in all core areas of her class, culturally responsive teaching, and instructional coaching.
Rachel’s digital learning plan: Rachel has her class work on a civic issue in their community: They recently learned that Minneapolis parks department plans to update their parks and facilities, and is seeking input as to which parks and which equipment should be priorities.
The class takes a field trip to a Minneapolis park, surveys locals at the park to find out what facilities or areas of the park they feel need updating, and then creates a letter together back in the classroom to provide their suggestions to the parks department. After their project is complete, Rachel’s class Skypes with another second-grade class in an urban area that has completed a similar project. The two classes get to ask each other questions about what they learned and how they conducted research, encouraging a more global experience and empathy toward different types of environments and people.
No matter your content area or grade level, adding innovative lessons like the ones above can engage and motivate your learners. In Capella University’s online MEd program, available in both GuidedPath and FlexPath learning formats, developing lessons like these are how we expect teachers to demonstrate their mastery as they complete their courses. There is no such thing as “add-on” work when you use what you build in class.