Content Tech: Setting Objectives

Content Tech
Ideas for Technology Use in the Classroom

Carrying on with a focus on the book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works, the first planning question is: What will students learn? There is one instructional strategy associated with this question, setting objectives.

“…when students are allowed to set some of their own learning goals, their motivation is higher than when they pursue only teacher set goals…” (p.18)

Taking the time to have students involved in the learning goal process can be a challenge, especially when teachers often know exactly which goals will help the most. As the quote above clearly says though, student engagement increases when they have the time to reflect and provide input into their own learning (something that is true of adult learners as well).

Most of the tools presented in this section represent technology making processes more efficient (e.g. word processing a KWHL chart, emailing a newsletter). One that stands out as a real enhancement of the setting objectives strategy is to use organizing and brainstorming software with sound recording capability to create a audio/visual KWHL chart.

We have Inspiration software on all of our computers. Consider the possibility of creating a template in Inspiration with the topic of your next unit on it. As a pre-assessment of understanding, ask students to rapid-fire the KWH pieces of the diagram, AND record a sound clip for each of those items providing more detail or an example. This multi-modal feedback would activate more input from the students and possibly reveal more understanding or lack of understanding.

The authors point out a challenge with using software such as Inspiration since most students do not have it at home to use. This relates exactly to the post I wrote a few months ago about making software accesible. A solution in this case would to use an open source solution, such as Cmap. Using Cmap would break down the walls between school and home.

For the next Content Tech, we’ll be looking at the instructional strategy of providing feedback.

Book citation:
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.