This week, the focus of study will be on designing student-centered learning experiences with technology. As a technology leader in your classroom, school, or district, you will be expected to know how to devise technology enhanced learning plans and interventions to meet the needs of diverse learners. But also, you will be expected to know and understand what types of professional development best support teachers for the implementation of various technologies in the instructional process. The readings and video clips this week are meant to provide you with resources, tools, and practices to assist teachers with teaching with technology as well as to design student-centered learning experiences with technology.
This week the Pitler content stresses the importance of implementing learning activities that support cooperative learning strategies. Research by Johnson tells us that when students work in cooperative groups, they make sense of or construct meaning for, new knowledge by interacting with others. Also, Friedman in the book The World Is Flat , says that we are already living in a time when learning and innovation are global. In order to help our students be prepared for a fast-paced, virtual workplace, our students must be able to learn and produce content cooperatively.
The Pitler text references a number of ways to teach with technology and help students gain the necessary experiences to know how to work cooperatively and collaboratively on a variety of projects. A natural environment for cooperative learning is creating multimedia projects. Also, activities such as keypals and communicating with experts can help build a sense of global understanding. Blogs, Wikis, online courses, instant messaging, voice, and video provide avenues for students to work jointly in a virtual environment to share and produce products.
Two of the other readings this week offer suggestions for technology professional development. The research document, McRel Technology Initiative: The Development of a Technology Intervention Program Final Report , includes a framework for technology professional development. Solomon and Schrum discuss the value of administrators leading by example and the need to secure funding for various technologies. In Chapter 7 of Rose and Meyer’s online UDL book, the discussion about assessment strategies for diverse learners may be helpful as you finalize the learning activities for your group project.
The video clips included in this week’s lesson are meant to be a collection of resources for you as well as examples to guide your thinking as you complete your collaborative team project. The video clip topics focus on cooperative and collaborative teaching and learning with technology. We hope that each of you gain something new from viewing and listening to them.
The next step in completing your group project is to design and create technology-based examples of the learning aPctivities your team recommends as a solution for the scenario. The examples should be reflective of what your team brainstormed and recommended in your Google doc plan. Then you will publish the learning activities/units to your team Google wiki/site.