2f. Coach in best practices of instructional design for technology-enhanced learning experiences

Reflection

Substandard 2f focuses on best practices in instructional design as related to technology-enhanced learning experiences. Thinking back to my reflection of the SAMR model in my work for Substandard 6b, I believe that many teachers who are new to or reluctant toward technology would benefit from starting small. Teachers can begin at the Substitution and Augmentation levels to gain comfort and confidence with technology.

For my evidence, I have laid out two frameworks (Understanding by Design and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) that coaches can utilize with teachers when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences. These frameworks would work well for both veteran technology-using teachers and newbies alike. By putting the emphasis on the learning goal/process and not the tool, teachers begin to see how technology can facilitate learning of existing content instead of technology feeling like an additional set of standards to teach.

Evidence: Understanding by Design

UBD

Understanding by Design (UBD) is a framework taught in many teacher certification programs which can be easily adapted to guide teachers in the development of technology-rich learning experiences. A best practice in incorporating technology into content areas is to first determine the summative task, then identify learning experiences to prepare students for the summative task, then finally determine which technology tools might enhance or facilitate those goals. It’s not about using technology for the sake of technology, but rather to meet the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy in a way that supports 21st Century learning.

In the Winter 2018 quarter of the Digital Education Leadership program, I had the opportunity to rethink a unit plan in terms of the UBD framework and inclusion of technology in a way that enhanced the project. The focus of my unit is 21st Century research skills and incorporates Language Arts content standards in addition to ISTE student standards. Throughout the unit, students learn to find credible sources, cite sources, evaluate sources, and synthesize information online. The summative task is a curated list published online which is a culmination of research.

Below is a link to my post in which I outline my process. I have also uploaded my final project which includes resources that can be downloaded and used in the classroom for anyone interested in completing a similar project.

Evidence: TPACK Framework and Learning Activity Types

The TPACK framework was developed in 2006 by Punya Mishra and Matthew J. Koehler. The acronym stands for Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. TPACK is concerned with the intersection between content knowledge (what to teach), pedagogy (how to teach), and technology. As shown in the Venn diagram below, each of the three areas interacts with one another and in the center you have all three coming together to shape the learning environment. The end result is a framework that (ideally) incorporates technology seamlessly into the curriculum instead of being viewed as a separate skill set.

TPACK-new
Matthew Koehler [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons "TPACK-new"
"The simplest idea at play in TPACK is that a person who is a world-renowned expert in a subject might not be a great teacher because they lack the pedagogical knowledge to make the subject accessible and understandable. To be a great teacher, we have to combine our knowledge of the subject with our knowledge of how to teach. With the increasing focus on technology, we need to also learn how to combine technology with our content and pedagogy to create an effective learning environment."

So how can this framework be applied to instructional design? Judith B. Harris and Mark J. Hofer set out to take the TPACK framework and create an easy to use template for creating effective learning experiences. The five step process outlined below incorporates best-practices in educational technology such as creating learning goals first and choosing technology tools after.

In addition to the five step process, the LAT (Learning Activity Types) taxonomy can assist teachers in choosing which technology to use. For example, the following is one of 44 LATs for Social Studies:

    • Activity type: Engage in Data-Based Inquiry

    • Description: Using student-generated data or print-based and digital data available online, students pursue original lines of inquiry

    • Possible technologies: Digital archives, extant data sets (e.g., C.I.A. World Factbook, U.S. Census data, Thomas), student-collected data, spreadsheet

For more information and examples of LATs applied to various content areas, please visit the Activity Types website hosted by the College of William & Mary School of Education.

Note: Resources shared in accordance with authors’ CC license (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Sources:

Harris, J., & Hofer, M. (n.d.). Learning Activity Types. Retrieved April 30, 2019, from College of William & Mary School of Education website: https://activitytypes.wm.edu/

McGraw-Hill Education (Ed.). (2017). What Is TPACK Theory and How Can It Be Used in the Classroom? Retrieved April 30, 2019, from McGraw-Hill Education Blog: https://www.mheducation.ca/blog/what-is-tpack-theory-and-how-can-it-be-used-in-the-classroom/

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