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An educator with over twenty years of experience, Debbie Tannenbaum works each and every day to “transform” learning using technology. She’s also an educational technology consultant, ISTE Certified Educator, author, blogger and speaker. In this episode, we apply our step-by-step unit planning protocol to dream up a new unit!
Unit Planning Step 1: Context/Spark
Debbie teaches a 14-week technology course as an enrichment activity for fifth and sixth grade students. She’s taught the course once before, but wants to elevate the student ownership of the learning and enable students to create something they’re really proud of. She wants students to become tech leaders.
Unit Planning Step 2: Pursuits (from Dr. Muhammad’s HILL Model)
Identity: How will our unit help students to learn something about themselves and/or about others?
Identity as tech leader in justice realms: “creative communicators” and “global collaborators” in ISTE standard language
Criticality: How will our unit engage students’ thinking about power and equity and the disruption of oppression?
Critically discuss how people can use tech to harm (and how to use it to elevate justice).
Joy*: How will my unit enable, amplify, and spread joy? [Joy is: beauty, aesthetics, truth, ease, wonder, wellness, solutions to the problems of the world, personal fulfillment, art, music.]
Creation and creativity!
Unit Planning Step 3: Driving Question
What is the formula for becoming digital leaders?
Unit Planning Step 4: Summative Project (Publishing Opportunity and Possible Formats)
Publishing Opportunity: Space on the public website or an option to share live PD
Possible Formats: Students can create virtual tech PD for students, teachers, and/or family members. They may use iMovie trailers to create videos to get people interested in specific student training.
Unit Planning Step 5: Unit Arc
Lesson 1: Introduce DQ. Circle Protocol: discuss and come to consensus on community agreements (Who do we want to be?) Mind map protocol: Use keywords to develop name and logo as an exit ticket. Tech tool: Canva
Lesson 2: Build a Base Phase (build foundation). Look at the district’s vision of how to use tech (e.g., transformational, equitable access) and unpack ISTE standards.
Lesson 3: What does equitable access mean? Trust of students with responsibility
Lesson 4: Case Study- 3 presentations: visual appeal, creative commons, digital responsibility
Lesson 5: Case Study- YouTube for good. Come up with 3 interview questions
Lesson 6: Case Study- Interview stakeholder (e.g., family member, teacher) about their PoV on the DQ. Share out response. Use DQ as exit ticket.
Lesson 7: Case Study- Becoming a Creator
Lesson 8: Case Study- Situation where you got feedback- was it helpful or not? Which protocol do you like?
Lesson 9: Return to driving question. What is the best answer? (What is your lens) Exit Ticket: What is your draft?
Lesson 10: Protocol: What I Need
Lesson 11: Protocol: What I Need
Lesson 12: Protocol: What I Need
Lesson 13: Presentation
Lesson 14: Reflection
You can find Debbie on www.tannenbaumtech.com and on Facebook and Twitter @TannenbaumTech.
To help you help your students with tech, Debbie shares free teacher tech tips to educators on her email list. You can join here. And, if you’re looking for more details on the ideas in this blog post, listen to episode 119 of the Time for Teachership podcast. If you’re unable to listen or you prefer to read the full episode, you can find the transcript here.
If you enjoyed this episode, check out my YouTube channel where I explain how to talk about how to prepare teachers to use new curriculum:
For transcripts of episodes (and the option to search for terms in transcripts), click here!
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Lindsay Lyons (she/her) is an educational justice coach who works with teachers and school leaders to inspire educational innovation for racial and gender justice, design curricula grounded in student voice, and build capacity for shared leadership. Lindsay taught in NYC public schools, holds a PhD in Leadership and Change, and is the founder of the educational blog and podcast, Time for Teachership.