A great teacher asked me for a checklist to remind students about some common practices with iPads. I did a little research, considered some enduring understandings, and put it all into a Google Doc. But I wanted it look better than it did. [you will likely need to scroll to the bottom]
I teach a high school Social Studies class that emphasizes in developing English language development. We have started this project on creating info graphics that inform. Below is the nature of the unit and the general outline of the assignment.
The Technocratic Revolution: Science/Technology/Communications.
With the exception of communications-often coupled with transportation-this category of issues receives little attention in the earlier sources examined. However, virtually all historical sources emphasize the role that science, technology, and communications have played in the lives of all humans. The study of science and technology provides an ideal vehicle for social studies, as well as math and science learning. Students will discuss both the pluses and minuses of the impact of science and technology on peoples’ lives (now and in the past) worldwide.
The communication cluster includes innovations, networking, freedom of use, the information revolution (access to, balanced flow, and censorship) and increasing speed coupled with decreasing costs.
While this unit is specifically directed at how science and technology are shaping the world, the significant study of past historical ideas and innovations can show us how change occurs in the past.
The history of human development is closely tied to ideas, technology, and the search for truth. This unit is an depth focus on the nature of those ideas and innovations that have contributed to transforming the global landscape as well as redefining human relationships. With technology and science as major agents of change, students will be asked to reflect on specific periods of scientific development in order to establish a broad perspective across regions and time.
· Students will identify key contributions to scientific thought
· Students will explain human achievements to science & technology.
· Students will differentiate between what is positive and/or negative about science & technology
· Students will analyze a period of scientific growth in depth by forming an essential question and building a document based product that supports the question.
Task 2: Infographic on Innovation –
- Choose one of the following: glass, textiles, paper/money, energy, communication and construct an infographic with a target audience that is global. The title of the infographic is “What the world should know about___________________” (or a better title if your the creative type).
- Read Five Things To Know About Technology and consider how changes and developments over time have been agents of change. (energy for example, with steam powering the Industrial Revolution, demographics changes accelerated.)
- Consider how visuals may be integrated to form new ideas.
- Use the Coffee infographic as an exemplar.
- Weave history, statistics, and anecdotal research into the infographic; pique interest of the audience
- Consider the power of continuity and color contrast/combinations when designing the infographic.
See examples of infographics; Tools for making infographics; Consider organization (timeline, subject, theme)
I think I blogged about this during the first course because at the time it was the relevant question on my mind as I began the course. I actually created a workshop called Mashing the Past that emphasized ways to integrate technology into a curriculum. Teachers should have a sound fluency of the curriculum’s they are teaching in order to identify when technology can upgrade units. I think Heidi Hayes Jacobs, a leader of Curriculum 21, makes an excellent point that assessment is a logical place to start with upgrading units.
I have also found it useful to produce unit plans in google docs that incorporate specific tasks with web based resources. The tasks all utilize written reflection, exploration, construction, and collaboration. The technology is appropriate and students are encouraged to pursue their own interest in connection to the essential question of the unit. Below is an example of a unit plan from my General Psychology class.
I tend to bank on creativity, backwards design, and a large treasure chest of tools to shape my lessons. The technology more or less enhances traditional assignments, yet can seriously transform learning when the process is heavy in meta-cognition. As you can see from the unit plan above, the process takes a significant amount of energy and focus.