Thursday, January 19, 2017

Systematic Instructional Design

This set of Readings, Watchings, Listenings, and Doings (RWLDs) will prepare you for the lecture on "Systematic Instructional Design" and also help you plan an interdisciplinary thematic unit of instruction.  

 (Click the CC at the bottom of the video window to turn on the Closed Captioning.)

Identifying Your Destination
The Teaching/Learning situation is not limited to identifying a "coooool" activity and then connecting forms of instruction and assessment to it. To effectively design and develop learning activities, it is necessary to identify the desired outcome first.  This provides direction for your instructional activities.

Your desired outcomes for Iowa classroom activities are determined by the Iowa Core Curriculum (or other relevant standards that you will find on the Assignment page.) The subject-specific standards are organized by Essential Concepts/Goals. Each of these Essential Concepts/Goals is supported by Skills/Objectives that will provide observable  behaviors that can be measured to indicate a student's mastery.

You, the teacher, want to do a thematic unit on Plant Life.  You want to do some experiments with plants (Science), Capture the data with graphs (Math) and create a report on your findings (Literacy).  

This video demonstrates the process you would follow accessing the Iowa Core:

(Click the CC at the bottom of the video window to turn on the Closed Captioning.)

In the Thematic Unit, Plant Life, you have addressed 3 topics and their Standards/Essential Concepts/Skills.  Here is a table of what was addressed in the video:

You have identified what your students will be learning and now you must design and create a set of lesson activities that will help your students master this skill.

It's just common sense to begin with the end in mind, but this is called Backward Design. If you don't know where you are going, how will you know how to get there?

Here is a video that uses the metaphor of planning a trip to describe Backward Design.

Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?  If you don't know where you will be going, you won't be able to figure out how to get there.

Backward Design is the basis for an instructional design system called Understanding by Design.

The Understanding by Design framework has 3 parts:
  1. Identify Desired Results
    1. What will students know?
    2. What will students be able to do?
  2. Determine Acceptable Evidence
    1. What performance will meaning-making and transfer
  3. Create the Learning Plans
    1. Learning Plan (instruction)
    2. Learning Activities (experiences)
Bernajean Porter does a good job of explaining the aspects of Understanding by Design. The most significant point that she makes is that starting with the "End in Mind" is just common sense.

Understanding by Design
is a framework which provides direction for unit lesson planning. It begins by identifying the Desired Outcomes and Results and then makes a plan to achieve that outcome.

Technology Standards for Students
Subject standards are necessary for knowing WHAT to teach in subject areas and Technology standards can provide guidance for HOW to support learning in these areas using technology. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has developed Standards for Students that organize the necessary skills personal roles. A collection of four skill descriptions (with active verbs) have been identified as necessary for each role.

Download these ISTE Standards for Students.  These seven roles include:
  1. Empowered Learner.
  2. Digital Citizen
  3. Knowledge Constructor
  4. Innovative Designer
  5. Computational Thinker
  6. Creative Communicator
  7. Global Collaborator
Putting It All Together with TPACK
Teaching and Learning through technology is much more than just using Powerpoint and Twitter. It is an integration Technology, Pedagogy (Teaching Strategies), and Content Knowledge.  The venn diagram below shows how each of these areas can combine and impact the others.  Certain forms of Technology can be used to support specific teaching strategies (Pedagogy).  That is TPK intersection.  Specific forms of pedagogy are used to teach specific forms of Content Knowledge.  Ultimately the TPACK educator is interested in teaching in the "sweet spot" in the middle where all three areas are fully integrated.
    Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by
Read more about the TPACK model (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) which we consider a framework that identifies the knowledge teachers need to teach effectively with technology.  
You can also watch this video which provides a brief introduction to TPACK in 2 minutes. 

Prepare for Your Thematic Unit
Find the Thematic Unit Description project requirements in eLearning under Labs (Class Projects). Familiarize yourself with the expectations and resources provided for your first big project in the course.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Building Higher-Order Thinking Skills

Do YOU know what HOTS means? It takes using HOTS to figure out that answer. HOTS are based on Bloom's Taxonomy of thinking skills which offers a continuum from Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS) to Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). This information will assist you as you plan your course projects. Enjoy the journey...

Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally
How does Bloom's Taxonomy fit into today's learning opportunities:
  • Review the six levels of the taxonomy. Pay careful attention to the "observable verbs" that connect with each level. 
  • Read aloud the verbs for Analyzing, Evaluating and Creating (Higher Order Thinking Skills - HOTS)
  • Review the digital activities that can be used to teach skills at each of the levels.
It's the Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) that make learning meaningful. These are the activities where learners enjoy the thinking/development process because they require learners to become involved in developing the outcome. Memorizing names (Remembering) to write on a test has no meaning to a learner. When a learner uses personal ideas to develop a product in a problem-based learning experience (Creating) has meaning for a learner and can make a difference in how the learner approaches the world.

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
One of our most innovative, popular thinkers takes on-in exhilarating style-one of our key questions: Where do good ideas come from? Johnson provides the story of how we generate the ideas that push our careers, our lives, our education, our society, and our culture forward.

So HOW do we integrate Higher-Order Thinking Skills into our Learning and Teaching?  Here are a few ideas:

Collaboration in the 21st Century: Sir Ken Robinson
Sir Robinson explores how education can prepare students for the collaboration they will use in their future lives. This is an inspiring video that explains how collaboration supports innovation.

How Digital Tools Prepare Students for the 21st Century
A research-based white paper that explains how using graphic organizers can assist students in learning.

Examples of Activities that Promote Higher-Order Thinking
This title isn't completely true.  Some of the activities encourage Higher-Order Thinking Skills, but some of them are actually Lower-Order Thinking Skills (LOTS).  Use a copy of Bloom's Taxonomy to identify which are HOTS and which are LOTS.

Higher-Level Thinking in the Classroom - Middle School
Teachers from Georgetown School District demonstrate how they promote higher-order thinking in the classroom. This even includes a principal's perspective on the process.

Recorded lecture - Please watch AFTER completing RWLD's above.

Extras (Not on the quiz):

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Welcome to the Educational Technology and Design course!

We are excited to start a new semester and to work with you in the brand new Schindler Education Center.

RWLDs (Reading, Watching, Listening, and Doings) in this  blog are your weekly assignments in lieu of the traditional textbook and will be to complete prior to the corresponding lecture. We will be releasing a new set of RWLD weekly (refer to the course schedule, and eLearning for the details).
  • Face-to-face sections, we will explain everything, and answer all your questions on Monday during our first lecture and Wednesday lab
  • Online students, please look for the message from your course instructor, and ask your questions in the designated area in your eLearning course. 
For now, please bookmark this page and stay tuned for more :-)

We will see those of you registered for a face-to-face Monday, January 9, in the Schindler Education Center . You are encouraged to bring your laptops, tablets, or smartphones.

Have a great semester!

~ EdTech&Design team

Image by M.Galloway