Choosing Tech Tools
It is critical that technology is used first and foremost to support learning objectives. So, rather than trying to think up a curricular use for a particular tech tool, it is important to first identify the learning objectives for a unit/lesson/assessment task, and then consider what teaching and learning tools will best support those objectives. Sometimes the best tool may not be digital! However, as we continue to develop our curricula to meet the needs of today's learners, it is important to keep in mind that in 21st C. education, all teachers are technology teachers and curriculum development and planning will need to include technology learning objectives as well as subject area objectives.

Below you will find three objective-driven methods to approach tech integration:
1. NETS (National Education Technology Standards)
Method: Identify the standard that you are addressing and then find a tech tool that will assist students in achieving the standard.
2. Bloom's Taxonomy (Links to resources about Bloom's and Tech: TechLearning, EdOrigami)
Method: Identify the Bloom's level of a lesson, activity, assessment task and then find a tech tool which elicits that level of thinking.
3. TPACK (Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge)
Method: Identify the type of activity students will be doing and look at a chart to see suggestions for digital ways to do the activity.

1. NETS (National Education Technology Standards)

Click on the below links, which are part of the Interactive NETS wiki, to find tech integration lesson/unit ideas and tech tool suggestions for the following purposes (standards). There are suggestions for each of the bullet point objectives listed under each standard.
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
Lessons and tech tools which support this standard will need to help students:
    • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, processes and products
    • Create original works as a means of personal or group expression
    • Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues
    • Identify trends and forecast possibilities
  • Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual
learning and contribute to the learning of others.
Lessons and tech tools which support this standard will need to help students:
    • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media
    • Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats
    • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures
    • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems
  • Research and Information Fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Lessons and tech tools which support this standard will need to help students:
    • Plan strategies to guide inquiry
    • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
    • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
    • Process data and report results
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions
using appropriate digital tools and resources.
Lessons and tech tools which support this standard will need to help students:
    • Identify and define authentic digital tools and resources
    • Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project
    • Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions
    • Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions
  • Digital Citzenship
Students understand human, cultural, and social issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.
Lessons and tech tools which support this standard will need to help students:
    • Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology
    • Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
    • Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning
    • Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.
Lessons and tech tools which support this standard will need to help students:
    • Understand the use of technology systems
    • Select and use applications effectively and productively
    • Troubleshoot systems and applications
    • Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies

2. Bloom's Taxonomy

Another great way to think about choosing technology assisted teaching and learning tools is to identify the Bloom's level of thinking you are asking students to demonstrate, and then choose the tool(s) which will best help them do that.

Diane Darrow, a Reading Recovery and library media specialist, has written blog posts that can assist teachers with this method of technology integration planning. Here are her suggestions for how to identify apps and software that will require thinking at each level of Bloom's.

Remembering
When considering software and apps to help student remember, consider the following questions. Does it help the user:
  • Define information?
  • Name facts?
  • Recite information?
  • List facts or details?
  • Recall facts or ideas?
  • Locate facts or ideas?
  • Retrieve information?
  • Describe information?
  • Recognize facts or ideas in context?
Additionally it is helpful to also consider the following elements:
  • Does the app or software employ playful interactive formats that captivate the user's attention? Making learning "fun" is a very valuable component and if the app is also cognitively demanding, can help learning "stick."
  • Does the app or software include performance summaries? This will make it much easier for educators and learners to share results and target personal instruction needs.

Understanding
When considering software and apps to help student remember, consider the following questions. Does it help the user:

  • Summarize facts and ideas?
  • Restate methods or procedures?
  • Interpret relationships?
  • Paraphrase information?
  • Predict consequences?
  • Give examples?
  • Retell information in own words?
  • Retell events?
  • State problem in own words?
  • Explain ideas or concepts?
  • Determine importance?
Additionally take time to consider the following element:
  • Does the app or software employ playful interactive formats that captivate the user's attention? Making learning "fun" is a very valuable component and if the app is also cognitively demanding, it can help learning "stick."

Applying
When considering software and apps to help student remember, consider the following questions. Does it help the user:
  • Demonstrate methods and procedures?
  • Carry out procedures?
  • Use ideas or knowledge?
  • Discover a new purpose for skills or knowledge?
  • Employ knowledge in new situations?
  • Experiment with concepts in a different setting?
  • Adjust knowledge for use in a different context?
  • Apply procedures to unique situations?

Analyzing
There are 3 types of analysis:
1. Analysis of the Elements: Differentiating
This component requires the ability to dissect content, identify its parts, and differentiate between them. This is the skill used to determine what information is relevant and irrelevant.
2. Analysis of Relationships: Attributing
The relationship between the parts is what forms content. This skill helps a student deconstruct elements and determine how they function in relation to one another. It refers to the ability to recognize the underlying motive, detect bias, and identify the point-of-view.
3. Analysis of Organizational Principles: Organizing
All content has structure and organization. Analyzing how ideas are organized will help students their purpose or intent. It is the system used to organize the elements that makes it content coherent.
Apps and software that fit into the "analyzing" stage improve the user's ability to differentiate between the relevant and irrelevant, determine relationships, and recognize the organization of content. Verbs commonly used to describe this phase include differentiating, discriminating, selecting, distinguishing, focusing, attributing, deconstructing, structuring, integrating, outlining, and parsing.

When considering software and apps to help student remember, consider the following questions. Does it help the user:
  • Discriminate fact from hypothesis?
  • Distinguish the relevant from irrelevant?
  • Observe the structure?
  • Select important elements?
  • Determine biases?
  • Recognize intent?
  • Deconstruct content?
  • Understand the relationships?
  • Organize content?
  • Outline content?

Evaluating
Apps and software that fit into the "evaluating" stage improve the user's ability to judge material or methods based on criteria set by themselves or external sources. They help students judge content reliability, accuracy, quality, effectiveness, and reach informed decisions. Verbs commonly used to describe this phase include testing; detecting, monitoring, coordinating, critiquing, judging, checking, evaluating, assessing, choosing, defending, contrasting, and appraising.

When considering software and apps to help student remember, consider the following questions. Does it help the user:
  • Check for accuracy?
  • Detect inconsistencies?
  • Monitor effectiveness?
  • Evaluate procedures?
  • Critique solutions?
  • Appraise efficiency?
  • Judge techniques?
  • Contrast performance?
  • Check the probability of results?

Creating
Apps and software that fit into the "creating" stage provide opportunities for students generate ideas, design plans, and produce products. Verbs commonly used to describe this phase include generating; producing, hypothesizing, integrating, re-arranging, brainstorming, designing, modifying, imagining, combining, composing, planning, devising, proposing, assembling, constructing, inventing, and executing.

When considering software and apps to help student remember, consider the following questions. Does it help the user:
  • Construct designs?
  • Generate possibilities?
  • Compose ideas?
  • Propose hypotheses?
  • Produce solutions?
  • Brainstorm solutions?
  • Design products?
  • Assemble plans?
  • Re-arrange operations?
  • Imagine possibilities?

Here are Diane Darrow's posts which have suggestions for K-5 iPad apps which address each level of Bloom's.

3. TPACK

The TPACK model was developed by Judi Harris and Mark Hofer at the College of William and Mary, School of Education. They are
working to "identify the nature of knowledge required by teachers for technology integration in their teaching, while addressing the complex, multifaceted and situated nature of teacher knowledge. At the heart of the TPACK framework, is the complex interplay of three primary forms of knowledge: Content (CK), Pedagogy (PK), and Technology (TK)." (YouTube Video Explanation of TPACK- 3 min)


Below are some links to resources, including charts which match activity types to example tech tools.
For example, if a science unit or activity will involve comparing findings with predictions/hypotheses, the chart lists the following examples of technology tools which will help students do this: Spreadsheets, TinkerPlots (free software), and InspireData (one of the tools available in Inspiration software already on our school laptops).
Charts for other subject areas are in development.