ET605 Problem-based Approach
Learning Activities
David M. Marcovitz

Question: How can computer technology effectively be integrated into the curriculum?

This is a difficult question to answer. Technology is often used as an add-on to the curriculum, not an integral part of the curriculum. This generally makes its use ineffective. You will begin to explore this question during this semester by designing two learning activities that effectively use technology and integrate it into the curriculum. You can think of these learning activities as "mini-units" that take place over the course of several days of instruction. Your learning activities should be complete "mini-units" that cover a certain area of your curriculum, effectively integrate technology, and effectively assess what the students have learned.

You will divide into groups of three or four students and work on this with your group. You will work with the same group for both your learning activities.

There are a few of electronic sources for curriculum ideas you might find useful.

  1. Recent "top-rated" projects from ET605 can be found in Moodle. Note that requirements have changed over the years so these projects might not have the identical requirements to your project.
  2. The book National Educational Technology Standards for Students: Connecting Curriculum and Technology (NETS-S), available online at http://tinyurl.com/NETSBook. This book contains information about and examples of learning activities that meet the National Educational Technology Standards for Students. It is someone dated but gives a good idea of what a decent learning activity is.
  3. The WebQuest model at http://www.webquest.org/ includes examples of WebQuests. Click on Find WebQuests on the menu bar on the left.
  4. The Arizona Technology Integration Matrix. These tend to be lessons (single class session), rather than learning activities (spanning multiple class sessions), but they give you a sense of how to integrate technology in different ways for different purposes.
  5. SAMR Resouces listed on the class home page.

All of these are effective models for integrating technology into the curriculum. Note that lessons in the NETS-S book are professionally created and reviewed and are all excellent examples, but other sources might not be reviewed; many of those examples are excellent, and some are not.

Your goal is to create two learning activities that could be used in your classroom. You may use the template in Appendix B of NETS-S to create these activities or some other format. For curriculum standards, you should use the ones listed in Appendix A of NETS-S; the appropriate content standards from the Common Core, available from http://www.corestandards.org/; the appropriate content standards from the voluntary state curriculum, available at http://www.mdk12.org/instruction/curriculum/; or the appropriate content standards from your school system's curriculum guide. Note that the "Print Version" of the Voluntary State Curriculum standards is numbered for easier reference. For technology standards, use the 2007 NETS-S Student Profiles found at

http://www.iste.org/standards/standards-for-students/nets-for-students-2007-profiles

Whenever using numbers to reference standards, be sure to include a direct link to the Web page where the standards can be found.

You must use at least four different technologies across both of your projects (generally at least two in each project). You must use at least one technology in each project that was presented to the class by either the professor or your classmates. If you use a technology that requires an application not used in class to view, consult your instructor about how to hand in the technology pieces to ensure that your instructor can view them properly.

Additionally, each of your learning activities must include at least 10 references to Web resources that will be useful to students as they complete the learning activities or as extension resources for students. The Web resources should be ordered in some way that makes sense for the activity and include a brief (one paragraph), original description of the resource and how it will be useful to students completing this activity. Generally, different pages from the same site do not count as different resources so you are looking for ten different sites.

Your use of the technology might involve creating the technology for your students or your students creating the technology. If you will be creating the technology for your students, you should hand that in as part of the project. If you expect your students to create the technology, you should create an example of what you expect them to create and hand that in. For most of the technologies, you want to find ways for your students to create something with the technology, rather than merely using the technology as a tool for the teacher. This can involve creating the technology artifact from scratch or filling in a template. For example, you would not expect elementary-age students to create complex formulas in Excel, but it is perfectly reasonable to expect them to fill data into an Excel template in which you have included formulas.

All projects should be given to the instructor in electronic form (zipped and uploaded to the Assignment in Moodle). All written work should be typed in a word processor with numbered pages and one-inch margins when appropriate or made available online via a wiki, Google Docs, or other appropriate site. Each project should include a cover sheet with a title for the project and the names of all members of the group.

Each group member must hand in a Group Self Evaluation Form. This form should be filled out electronically (you must have the most recent version of Adobe Reader). The form should be uploaded to Moodle by each individual (do not include the forms in the zipped folder with the rest of the project). These forms are confidential. Generally, each group member receives the same grade for a project, but the Group Self Evaluation Forms might be used to adjust individual group members' grades.

The group should list which technologies they are using.

Detailed requirements for the Learning Activities and the technology for the Learning Activities can be found in the rubric (Adobe Reader required).

What to hand in (all electronic):

Return to ET605 Home Page.


This page was prepared by Dr. David M. Marcovitz.

Last Updated: June 26, 2014 (updated September 30, 2014 to fix link to rubric)