Many times, teachers try to bring technology into the classroom by “teching up” their old lessons.
They hope that they’ll get big, lasting change from a little bit of tech fairy dust. Many times, it doesn’t change the overall learning experience much — and sometimes detracts from it.
To really get the most out of our technology — using it to kick learning up to another level — we need to start from the bottom up.
Our traditional lessons can be the inspiration for an instructional remix, though. You know, it’s like when a musician takes a popular song and puts his own spin on it.
Remixing lessons? Yes! We can. And we should.
Austin Kleon says it well in his book, Steal Like an Artist:
The writer Jonathan Lethem has said that when people call something “original,” nine out of ten times they just don’t know the references or the original sources involved.
What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.
I was introduced to a new twist on an old way of planning lessons this weekend at CUE BOLD, billed as “The Premiere Lesson Design Event for the West Coast.”
The idea: let’s build lessons that utilize technology through the framework of the Madeline Hunter Lesson Plan.
In this conference, presenters designed fully-developed lessons with the Hunter framework above, using technology to enhance the student experience. They presented those to attendees. There were more than 30 of them, and links to ALL of their slide decks are at the end of this post.
In other sessions, a panel of three presenters would work hand-in-hand with attendees to design a lesson on the spot during the session.
In one of my sessions, I mapped out how a virtual cultural exchange might look. In it, two classes would connect via video calls and other modes of collaboration to share what life is like in their world.
Here’s the whole presentation. If you open the Google Slides file in a new tab or window, you’ll be able to view the speaker notes, which give further instructions on how to actually do this lesson:
Now, let’s dive into a few parts of this lesson …
Here’s where we activate prior knowledge and generally get kids excited and interested about the lesson.
Now, students need knowledge and skills! Here are some ways they can find them:
When it’s all over, we can’t just move on! Students need some time to reflect on what they’ve learned and think about why it’s important.
At the CUE BOLD conference, presenters shared their own Hunter-inspired lesson remixes and made their slide decks available. Click here to access all of them. There are more than 30 of these lessons available on topics like:
In the end, as we try to make sense of the tech-infused classroom, we have to keep one important point in mind.
We can’t keep teaching the same old way and just plug technology in.
We have to change the way that we teach.
And sometimes, a new twist on an old idea can give us the spark of inspiration that we need.
[reminder]What do you do to make sure your tech use is improving learning to the max? What are your thoughts on the lesson plan template shown here?[/reminder]
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