My Experience With Lesson Planning Thus Far…

As an aspiring high school faculty member (teacher or counselor) I have been very intrigued with what engages high school students and the methods I can use to effectively get information across to them. According to the article Ten Simple Strategies for Re-engaging Students (Edutopia), One of the best ways to engage students is to have fun. This doesn’t come as a surprise as all teachers were students at one time and know that fun is the key to creativity and retention. However, its important not to lose sight of what really matters, the students. Far to often, teachers will lecture materials straight from the book hours on end without giving the students an opportunity to use critical thinking and higher level understanding to learn the information. This is one area that I was most looking forward to incorporating into my own unit plan.

My unit plan thus far has centered around the idea of structured powerpoint or lecture time (although very limited) followed by various class activities to engage my students. Keep in mind that although these lessons should be fun, they should also effectively teach the students what they need to learn. This is where the ISTE-S standards come into play. The three that I will center my lesson plan around are 1) creativity and innovation, 2) communication and collaboration, and 3) Critical thinking and problem solving. By structuring my lessons around these three main standards I should be able to engage students while effectively teaching them the material needed.

I will also need to cater to different learning styles so I will be utilizing many different technologies in my classroom (undecided on which ones). I will also need to be prepare plan B’s just in case these technologies don’t work as planned. In doing so, I will assure that my students are able to learn the material no matter what obstacles are thrown at me. With this being said, I am currently fine tuning my lesson plan and will start planning here in the coming days.

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Benefit of Podcasts and video creation in the Classroom

If properly used, podcasts can be a very effective in getting information across to students in a very user friendly way.¬†Will Richardson talks about the simplicity in Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts by stating, “Like the other technologies that I have talked about in this book, you do not need a lot of technical expertise to make it work” (Richardson, 2007). This simplicity allows for students to voice their own opinions about class content in a way that is engaging and calls for next level thinking. Although I never used podcasts in my educational career growing up, I feel like this technology can be effectively used to engage future students.

Richardson suggests that older students (high school) tend to lean towards video presentations when given the option of presentation styles. Video production is very fun for students as they can add their own style to the curriculum instead of falling asleep to 2 hour lectures on the same material. Video production also urges students to use critical thinking to learn the course content, along with the application of the newly learned material.