Sometimes the only way to make progress is to leave something behind.
If you came back to school last week and noticed a bunch of shiny new computers or carts of wireless-connected laptops sitting in your classroom, you can bet that the equipment didn’t get there on its own. Someone, somewhere (maybe it was you?) convinced administrators at your school district to spend — and spend big — on the promise that an influx of technology might improve the student experience.
All the technology in the world, of course, means little unless teachers are prepared to embrace it in the classroom. To help educators at your school make good on technology’s promise, our editors have assembled this list of technology-based lesson plans, broken out into three subject areas: Language Arts, Science and Technology, and Social Studies. Ready to put those shiny new computers and other gadgets to the test? Run with one of these six ideas and help your school — and, hopefully, your students — reap a return on that investment.
From educator Abby Houlton, this lesson plan aims to help students become more fluent readers by using a webcam to show learners how they look and sound out words when they read. Houlton says the practice of recording and listening to one’s voice increases fluency and helps students focus on areas in need of improvement. What do you think?
Turn your average, run-of-the-mill essay assignment into a multimedia-rich graphic novel with this multiclass lesson plan from library media specialist Susan K.S. Grigsby.
Science and Technology
This lesson plan, from Catrina Niven and Penny Grisham, teaches students how to use Microsoft’s ubiquitous PowerPoint software to make interactive slides about elements and functions of the human body. Talk about a live presentation!
Fifth-grade teacher Karen Cornejo is one of more than 35,000 educators who have signed on to use Skype in the Classroom, an online community that connects classrooms worldwide via the video-based online calling service. This lesson plan encourages students to learn about rare weather conditions by connecting with students in foreign countries. Ever wonder what it's like to live through a tsunami or seek shelter during an earthquake? Now you can find out.
This interactive lesson plan, from Ed-Tech K–12 Honor Roll blogger and teacher Richard Byrne, uses QR code readers downloaded to students’ personal mobile devices and smartphones to teach a lesson about the American Revolution. The lesson integrates smartphone technology and the electronic codes with several free online resources.
This lesson plan, from Lauren Zucker and Gerald W. Aungst, sends students to a faux website about famous world explorers (allaboutexplorers.com), where they discover, maybe for the first time (though I hope not), that not everything on the Internet is true.
Did you enjoy these lesson plans? Have lesson plans of your own that you’d like to share with colleagues in other K–12 schools? Submit them for free through our revamped Community page.