Technology integration is an important way to create meaningful learning experiences. Lesson planning for teachers can be overwhelming when incorporating the use of computers in activities. In this article, the process for integrating technology is outlined in four easy steps.
Technology Integration Lesson Planning Process
When designing computer-based activities, give consideration to how technology can be used to acquire, organize, demonstrate, and communicate information. The planning process for technology integration is similar to planning a curriculum unit. The main differences are HOW the students acquire the knowledge and skills, HOW they demonstrate and apply the knowledge and skills, and HOW learning will be assessed or evaluated. These differences have a major influence on the structure of a lesson plan as they incorporate the use of the computer.
In addition to the skills and knowledge that must be taught as part of the curriculum, consideration must also be given to the technology skills students need to learn. Often teachers assume that the students will figure it out on their own. However, this can waste instructional time. It is a good idea to plan ahead, so that the time in the computer lab is well spent.
Step 1: Examine Curriculum Documents
- select the topic
- identify learning objectives within a subject
Step 2: Determine Knowledge and Skills
- determine students’ background knowledge and existing technology skills
- decide how students will acquire new knowledge and skills
- gather resources required to achieve instructional goals
Step 3: Select a Technology Product to Apply Learning
- choose a technology-based product for students to create
- outline the content it will contain
- select the software program(s) needed
- list the technology skills required to complete the task
Step 4: Select a Method of Assessment and Criteria for Evaluation
- determine the method of assessment
- set the criteria to evaluate the technology product with a focus upon content,
quality of information, layout and design, and technology skills demonstrated
Technology Integration Sample: Lesson Planning for Teachers
Imagine you are planning an endangered species unit.
Step 1 Examine Curriculum Documents: As part of this unit, your students must investigate how animals have adapted to their environment and analyze the effects of human activities on habitats. You decide that you are going to integrate technology to achieve these aims.
Step 2 Determine Knowledge and Skills: One of your first considerations is what your students already know about the computer. They need to have basic computer skills. For example, they need to know how to use the keyboard and mouse, login to the computer, open and close programs, and save files. If your students do not possess these skills, you will need to teach them.
Another consideration is what your students know about endangered species and what they still need to learn. You may decide that in addition to books, your students will use the Internet to research. However, they may not have the skills to use the Internet. Perhaps students have never used a web browser or search engine. This means that you will need to teach these skills as well.
Step 3 Select a Technology Product: You decide your students will write a brief report about their animal using a word processing program. The report will include facts and pictures. Again, your students may not possess the technology skills necessary to complete this task, so you will need to teach them.
Step 4 Select a Method of Assessment and Criteria for Evaluation: Upon completion of the report, you will evaluate the work. Consider a method of assessment and criteria for evaluation. When selecting the criteria, decide if you plan to evaluate only the content and design of the report or if you will also include the application of technology skills.
Lesson planning for teachers involving technology integration can be simple. Planning ahead is the key to success.