III. Teaching, Learning, and the Curriculum.

Teachers implement curriculum plans that include methods and strategies for applying technology to maximize student learning.



A. facilitate technology-enhanced experiences that address content standards and student technology standards.


Technology can easily be used to support and supplement content standards. For example in the technology workshop that I helped develop for my school as part of the Far East Technology Conference, many of the teachers who participated in the trial run decided to write unit plans that addressed a number of standards in a single unit. During the workshop teachers wrote backwards design unit plans to create cross-curricular activities that involved a variety of topics in science, math history and language arts.  Most teachers who participated in the conference utilized standards from at least two subject areas as well as some of the creative software programs that the district purchased: Pixie, Web Blender, Inspiration, Kidspiration, and/or MS Photo Story to help their students create websites on a variety of topics.


Students and teachers can also use websites to develop portfolios to show that a student has met content standards. Web based portfolios can be used to archive written artifacts, pictures, videos, audio files and other forms of documentation. For example, this JavaScript Web Art Gallery contains student art work for School year 2005-2006 in grades K-5. Students can use online resources to share their achievements with other students, parents and the outside community.

B. use technology to support learner-centered strategies that address the diverse needs of students.


Using the same web design in the classroom workshop example discussed above, students who participated in this activity were very excited to share their results with the faculty. At the end of the project we held a half day sharing session in which students were invited to talk about their projects with the workshop group and share how they felt about the technology experience.


For example, one 5th grade teacher had her students investigate Force and Motion. During that project one student researched Roller Coasters. He explained to the group that he loves them and that is why he chose to research them for his topic on Force and Motion. He used Inspiration to help him plan his website topics, used online databases to look up sources of information and photographs for his project and he spent a great deal of time writing about his topic. He included such topics as gravity, friction, and why you do not fall out when you are in a loop. In this case, the teacher was able to incorporate science, math and language arts into a single project meeting goals across the curriculum and grabbed a student’s interest by allowing him to explore a topic he enjoyed. The teacher expressed that this project excited students who are often less motivated about research projects.  


A 4th grade teacher who participated in the same project had his students write about inventors and at the end of the project he asked each student to create a Photo Story about the inventor or innovator they chose. Students put together a short movie file with narration, pictures of the inventor, and pictures of the inventions or innovations they were famous for. By using creative software such as Inspiration, Web Blender, and Photo Story students can create products that not only meet curriculum goals but also allow them to explore their creative talents.


At our school one computer teacher regularly makes use of SMART Boards in her classroom. She explained in an interview the advantage of using the SMART Board is that the kids can see what you are pointing at instead of trying to follow  the small mouse pointer on the regular InFocus projector screen. She said that she mainly uses this innovation to help teach her younger students new programs, especially those in Kindergarten and 1st grade.

C. apply technology to develop students' higher order skills and creativity.


As described above the technology workshop on using web design in the classroom opened the participants up to new ways to have their students conduct research reports.  Students made use of many different creative software programs to create a final project.


Not only can students use software programs to help them creatively present information on topics, but they can use online communications to promote discussion and foster higher order thinking skills. In my classroom blog idea for example, students can discuss topics that are presented in the blog with one another as well as professionals in the field. Teachers can invite professionals to participate in online discussions through message boards, chartrooms, instant messaging programs, or video conferences.


When using online communications, students can think of questions to ask professionals in real time using synchronous communication tools or they can take time to carefully research a topic and present their findings or arguments using asynchronous messaging means such as e-mail or posting messages.


Programs like Math Cats’ "Broken Calculator" can challenge students to think of new ways to solve problems. As explained in my paper, the calculator has certain buttons blanked out and it forces the child to come up with alternate solutions to the math problem as the most obvious, simple solutions are often blanked out. With Broken Calculator students already have the answer; they have to come up with the right question.

D. manage student learning activities in a technology-enhanced environment.


When allowing the students to work online, a teacher has to monitor them very carefully.  Content filters help protect students from some inappropriate content. But when communicating online, some services such as Gaggle help teachers provide a safe environment for student communication. Gaggle offers both e-mail accounts and blogs in a student friendly environment where teachers can monitor and filter all messages that the students send or receive. Services such as Gaggle can be used to collaborate and communicate with other teachers, professionals in a variety of fields or with other students at schools around the world.


Students who work collaboratively online through the use of wikis such as the one I created called, "Let’s Learn About Korea," on Wikispaces. Wikis are easy to monitor because all contributions are tracked in logs. By checking the various archived versions of the wiki and comparing the progress, a teacher can easily see which students are contributing to the project and which have not.


Teachers can also help younger students save time when researching by pointing them to reliable and age appropriate information databases such as: EBSCOhost, SIRS Discoverer, or CultureGrams.


Both students and teachers sometimes need a reminder of the technology policies that affect the school. In my Power Point Presentation: "The Technology Policies We Need Now and Why" I discussed some common mistakes that teachers make when maintaining their classroom computers such as opening or forwarding suspicious attachments or installing unauthorized software on the school computers. Each year students and teachers are required to sign an agreement regarding the policies on the use of school computers, e-mail and internet connections.


Standards quoted from ISTE NETS - NETS for Teachers.