One of the most common questions I get asked is how to successfully plan for technology use in the classroom. Even though the digital technologies curriculum in Australia has been available for quite a long time, many teachers seem to be very uncomfortable using it or simply don’t know where to start with applying it in the classroom.
I have two really simple methods of planning for technology use and skills in the classroom, both of which can be easily replicated in both early and upper primary.
The first is the use of a scope and sequence. There is a continuum available on the Australian Curriculum website, or your school can develop their own. I developed my own because I wanted the Digital Technologies and the ICT capabilities to be available for reference in the one place. I also wanted to include some basic computer skills, like opening and closing applications, which are not made explicit on the curriculum, and assign these to particular year levels. With a good scope and sequence in place, I know exactly what I need to teach for each year level.
Based on this scope and sequence, I then develop a series of units based around these skills and understandings. For example, this year my technology units are broken up into ‘Introduction to technology’, ‘Coding’, ‘Cyber Safety’, and ‘Internet Explorers’ (yes, I know it doesn’t exist anymore, but the ability to create a unit around the early years being explorers and searchers was too good to pass up).
These units are written differently to how I would write an English or Maths unit, as I want room for explicit teaching of specific skills, but I also want to integrate it across the curriculum. There is no point teaching students how to use an iPad in ‘computer time’ if they can’t then use those skills in reading groups. It allows for technology to become a part of the whole curriculum day to day, rather than just to our one allocated time.
If you would like an example of one of my technology planners, I have one available here in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
How do you plan for technology use, both explicit teaching and across the curriculum?