Analysis of Learning and Teaching Needs
Mia is a teacher trying to implement interesting multicultural activities in her classroom. She is finding it difficult to make these activities more meaningful and impactful for her students. She noticed this problem when she overheard her students saying negative comments about people from different cultural backgrounds. Because of these comments, Mia came to the conclusion that she must find a new approach to teaching her students about different cultures. Mia decided to use a new model for multicultural education that pairs students from different cultures around the world as digital pen pals. The relative advantage of this model is that students are able to use technology to connect with other students with different cultural backgrounds. This technology-based model allows students to connect and share in ways that would be impossible without technology. Live video tools, instant messaging, virtual chatrooms, and email communications are all ways that Mia’s students can instantly connect with students around the world. Specifically, the students would create travel brochures to share with their partners about their culture. By using this model, Mia hopes that the students are able to learn about other cultures in a more personal, meaningful way. Because the students will be learning by personally engaging with other students, Mia also hopes that her students will learn to respect and appreciate other cultures.
Although Mia is excited about using this new model when teaching multicultural studies, she is not equipped with the technology knowledge needed to successfully implement it. She does not know how to use digital cameras needed to create the travel brochures. Mia also does not know where to locate the online resources needed to implement the model. Mia is also not fully equipped with the content knowledge needed to use the new model. She knows little information about the cultures they will be studying. Although Mia’s content knowledge and technology knowledge are lacking, she is confident that her pedagogical knowledge is strong enough to create a curriculum using these new activities. In order to improve her TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge), Mia would have to make some changes to her approach to this new model. Mia needs to learn what software and other technological tools to acquire in order to begin this model. She also must learn how to use these tools proficiently in the classroom. It is essential for her to master these tools prior to implementation so that if problems arise during the lesson, she would be able to address them without much class disruption. Mia must also improve her content knowledge before using this model. It is crucial for Mia to be knowledgeable about the different cultures included in her lesson. This model will promote student inquiry, and Mia must be able to answer the questions the students may have to maintain their interest. If Mia masters the TPACK she needs for her new model, her students will not only learn new information about different cultures in a more exciting and meaningful way, but because of the personal nature of the lesson, they will also learn to respect those with different nationalities and backgrounds.
Planning for Integration
In phase 1, Mia had to analyze the needs of her students and her TPACK needs to successfully implement this new multicultural studies model. Now that she has determined those needs, she is ready to move to phase 2 and plan for integration of this model. Mia determined that using a product rubric to evaluate the brochure would help assess student achievement. She could create the rubric and assign values to the characteristics she wanted the students to reflect in their brochures. For example, she could assign the most points for the highest number of characteristics. If she wanted the students to list ten characteristics, she would assign the most points for those that listed all ten characteristics and the point value would decrease as the number of characteristics do. In order to gauge student interest in the model, Mia could survey the students upon completion of the unit. In this survey, Mia could ask the following questions to determine their level of interest: On a scale of 1 to 5, with one being least interesting and 5 being most interesting, how do you rate this lesson overall? What did you like most about the lesson? What did you like least? If you could suggest one way to improve this lesson, what would it be? Answers to these questions would help Mia improve the model for her future students.
Mia is primarily using a directed approach for this multicultural lesson. She chose this method because she feels that the directed approach with explicit directions for each part of the assignment would be the most suitable approach to this specific model. The website she was using as a guide to implementation had helpful and specific ideas for assigning tasks for individual group members and guidelines for the sequence of activities for the project. Therefore, she chose to follow the website’s directed approach for implementation of the assignment. The website suggests following specific steps for project success. After Mia introduces the unit at step 4, and assigns them to groups at step 5, she should perform pre-assessments to gauge the students’ technological skills and attitudes toward the content at step 6 of the process. This will determine what skills Mia needs to teach her students prior to moving to step 7 which begins the initial digital communication with their partners. Mia could determine their email and Internet skills by having her students send a practice email to her. She could also have the students access a search engine to find an answer to a specific question to determine their Internet skills. For example, she could ask the students to find the most populated city in India using Google and have the students email their answer to her. This would be a quick way to determine their basic email and Internet skills.
After she determines her students’ skills, Mia also needs to determine her resources needed for the project, guidelines for privacy and security, and a back-up plan for interrupted Internet access. In order to display the project website to her whole class simultaneously, she would need to arrange resources. She could use a tool such as an interactive whiteboard to present the website. This would be a great tool because she could discuss the website and use the interactive tools to highlight important material as she discusses it. She could also use a projector that connects with her computer to project the website onto another surface if an interactive whiteboard is not available. In order to protect her students’ privacy, Mia needs to set up guidelines for exchanging information digitally. She could provide examples of what is acceptable to share and what is not acceptable to share with their partners. For example, she could create a “do’s and don’ts” list and display it in the classroom. “Do’s” could include information such as number of siblings, pets’ names, favorite subjects, etc. Examples of “don’ts” could include personal information such as his or her address, phone number, etc. Mia must also have a back-up plan in place in case Internet access is temporarily unavailable. An example of an alternative plan would be to have library time to research three fun facts about the culture to ask their partners about during the next email communication. The students could also decide on three fun facts about their own culture to share with their partners. This plan would allow them to work on the project without using technology. Mia could apply these techniques for the project to ensure successful implementation of the new model.
Post-Instruction Analysis and Revisions
Now that Mia has analyzed her needs in phase 1 and planned for implementation in phase 2, she is ready to move to phase 3 and evaluate and revise her strategies. According to her students’ rubric scores, Mia needs to make some revisions to her lesson plan. Her students scored poorly in the grammar, spelling, and punctuation area of the project. What she could do to prevent this in the future is include an area stressing the importance of grammar on her checklist. Her students may be familiar with informal communication on-line, therefore, Mia needs to emphasize that this is an academic project and the writing should reflect that. Mia could include steps such as “avoid slang” and “follow all grammar rules including punctuation and spelling” in the production checklist. She could also include a step at the end of the checklist such as “proofread the brochure for grammatical errors” to ensure the students improve their grammar next time. If only five of the seven groups were doing well on their projects, Mia would need to find out why this was the case. She may need to closely observe the groups as they work and figure out why two of them are not doing well. If she observes them closely, she should be able to determine the cause of the problem and work to fix it. For example, if the group members are having difficulty with their assigned tasks, she could help them along the way and possibly change their roles within the group. If she determines that the students in the lower-performing groups are not managing time well she could help them avoid distractions. While observing the groups as they work, one teacher suggested that Mia allow the media district office to do the final products for the students. This does not seem like an appropriate solution for Mia. In this case, the students would not have the benefit of working diligently on a project and seeing their hard work in the final project. They may be discouraged and feel that their work was not good enough to share with their partners. The goal of the lesson is to have the students collaborate and complete a project by thinking critically and being creative, and in the process learn about new cultures in a meaningful way. If someone else completes the project for them, it could take the meaning away from the lesson and not be as effective in the future.
Personal Response Questions
1. I believe the TIP model is a helpful resource for technology integration because it provides a framework for teachers to follow for successful technology integration. I especially find the phases of the TIP model helpful because they break the steps into specific categories to consider when integrating technology. When considering integration, it is essential to determine the learning and teaching needs, plan for integration, and reflect on the experience and make necessary revisions for improvement. The TIP model emphasizes these important considerations and provides a plan to help teachers implement them successfully.
2. When integrating technology into my classroom, I do foresee using a framework like the TIP model. It is important to follow a framework when integrating technology to ensure success. Because the TIP model is a relatively simple plan to follow and covers important aspects of technology integration, I would use it or another similar integration framework.
3. I believe this model is especially helpful for technology integration because it emphasizes important aspects of technology integration. Phase 1 of the TIP model focuses on analyzing needs. If technology would not make a lesson or assignment better, then why use it? Phase 1 also emphasizes the importance of TPACK, which I believe is especially important when integrating technology. How technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge connect is the foundation of successful technology integration. Phase 2 of the TIP model focuses on planning and preparation. For me, this phase is especially helpful for implementation. Phase 3 helps teachers improve their lesson for the future. I believe the three phases and the steps within these phases make the TIP model a great framework to follow for successful technology integration.