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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Workshop Activities for Technology Integration

Hands-on lessons and activities you can adapt for discussion and exploration in your technology integration workshops.

Now that you've established the basics of technology integration, you're ready to explore. On this page, you will find a wide range of activities that will get workshop participants thinking and talking about the best ways to integrate technology into everyday lessons:

These activities are grouped by topic, grade level, and subject area so they can be easily incorporated into a workshop with varied participants. All of the tools used are free or have free versions. It is recommended that the workshop provider go through the steps on his or her own prior to the workshop and have a basic grasp of the technology used.

Activity One: Digital Storytelling

The purpose of this activity is to give workshop participants a chance to experiment with various grade- and subject-appropriate digital tools that will enable their students to tell a story or relay ideas through multimedia.

  • Grades: K-3
  • Subject: Literacy
  • Digital tool: Storybird
  • Technology required: one laptop computer, desktop computer, or tablet per participant; Internet connection; projector connected to an Internet-enabled computer
  • How to:
    1. Show participants sample Storybird stories, pointing out usernames, artwork, page layout, length, and the commenting feature.
    2. Have workshop participants create a teacher account in Storybird.
    3. Model for participants how to choose artwork and begin a story. Point out how the story cannot be built ahead of time and the importance of limiting story length for students' first story so that the story maintains focus.
    4. Give them the challenge of creating a three-page story, including a cover (allow about ten to 15 minutes).
    5. Guide participants through publishing their story, focusing on the privacy settings and proper tagging, which will help them locate their stories later.
    6. Have participants navigate to each other's stories by searching by tag or by username. Have them read the stories and leave comments for each other.
    7. Ask participants to think of how this tool would help their students obtain a better grasp of a specific literacy strand or specific skill that they teach during the year.
    8. Have workshop participants work through answers to questions such as these:
      • How much time will I have with my students?
      • What kind of access to technology do I have? Will I need to make special arrangements?
      • How will I assess student learning?
      • How will student use of this tool allow them to learn something or learn in a way that they couldn't without the tool?

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Activity Two: Digital Citizenship

The purpose of this activity is to have participants familiarize themselves with various grade-appropriate topics in digital citizenship. Participants will choose a lesson or unit to teach in their classrooms.

  • Grades: K-12
  • Subject: All
  • Digital tool: Common Sense Media website
  • Technology required: one Internet-enabled laptop or desktop computer per one or two participants; projector connected to Internet-enabled computer
  • How to:
    1. Ask participants what digital citizenship is. Ask them why it matters. If desired, start a KWL (know, want to know, learned) chart and begin listing what participants know.
    2. Give participants the choice to either work alone or in teams of two to three by grade or subject area.
    3. Have participants register at Common Sense Media. All participants, even if working in a group, should create an account.
    4. Have participants navigate to Common Sense Media's digital citizenship curriculum page to view the curriculum.
    5. Model how to navigate the site to locate resources for particular grade levels and topics (e.g., etiquette, research).
    6. Give participants ten to 15 minutes to look through the materials and choose a lesson or unit that they feel is most applicable to their classroom.
    7. Have participants share the lesson or unit they chose and why they chose it.
    8. Have workshop participants work through answers to questions such as these:
      • How much time will I have with my students?
      • What kind of technology will I need? What kind of access to technology do I have? Will I need to make special arrangements?
      • How will use of this tool transform my current practice?
    9. Time permitting, return to the KWL chart and add what participants share that they have learned.

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Activity Three: Checking for Understanding

The purpose of this activity is to give workshop participants a chance to experiment with using mobile devices to get a snapshot of student understanding or as a conversation starter.

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Subject: All
  • Digital tool: Socrative
  • Technology required: one laptop computer, desktop computer, tablet, or mobile phone per participant; Internet connection; projector connected to Internet-enabled computer
  • Note: Workshop provider should already have set up an account and a sample question and be familiar with how the tool works ahead of time.
  • How to:
    1. Using a premade survey, have workshop participants respond, using their devices (phone, tablet, or computer) to respond to the question.
    2. Explain the various kinds of questions that can be created using Socrative.
    3. Ask participants how they see this tool being used in their classrooms.
    4. Have participants create an account on Socrative so they can write their first survey question.
    5. Encourage participants to experiment with a variety of questions and settings.
    6. Have participants volunteer to share their questions and solicit votes (depending on the size of the group, either have all participants share or have a few volunteer). Participants may not be able to project their quizzes, but will be able to track answers in real time on their devices.
    7. Have workshop participants work through answers to questions such as these:
      • How much time will I have with my students?
      • What kind of access to technology do I have? Will I need to make special arrangements?
      • How will student use of this tool transform my current practice?

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Activity Four: Creating Screencasts

The purpose of this activity is to give participants an opportunity to create a screencast that they could use to explain tricky concepts to their students. This activity can also serve to give participants a start in creating videos in preparation for "flipping" their classrooms.

  • Grades: 4-12
  • Subject: Math
  • Digital tools: Geogebra and Screencast-O-Matic
  • Technology required: one Internet-enabled desktop computer, laptop computer, or netbook for each participant; projector connected to Internet-enabled computer
  • Tip: Have the software already installed either locally on the machine or as a Google Chrome extension.
  • How to:
    1. Ask participants what a "screencast" is. Ask how they are used. If no one can define them, then explain that a screencast is a recording of a computer screen or whiteboard that is used to teach others.
    2. Provide examples of screencasts. The best places to look are at Khan Academy and in any tutorial videos that teach how to use software (e.g., Microsoft Windows Movie Maker tutorial).
    3. Show participants the Geogebra software or web app and its basic features.
    4. Give participants ten minutes to explore the software.
    5. Ask participants to share ideas they have for using this software in their classrooms. Have them think of an upcoming math concept that they will be teaching. Explain that they will be teaching this concept using a screencast of Geogebra.
    6. Give participants five minutes to plan a one- to two-minute lesson using the Geogebra software or web app.
    7. Model creating a screencast using the Screencast-O-Matic site, focusing on resizing and moving the recording window, using the recording controls, and saving a screenshot. (Tip: Have participants save their screencasts to their computers as an mp4 file. Later on, they can explore the other options on their own.)
    8. Have participants navigate to the Screencast-O-Matic home page and click Start Recording. They will then be prompted to run a Java applet, which they should allow. They will then see a box with record, pause, and microphone buttons at the bottom. They can resize and move the box to fit around their Geogebra window
    9. Explain that they will now create a one- to three-minute screencast teaching a concept in Geogebra. Have each participant click the record button when they are ready. (Tip: To cut down on background noise, have participants either use a headset with a built-in microphone -- something as simple as headphones they use with their smartphones -- or have them spread out into different areas of the room.)
    10. Give participants five minutes to record their screencasts and save them.
    11. Give participants two minutes to trade devices with a neighbor and watch each other's screencasts.
    12. After devices have been returned to their owners, ask participants what they liked about the other person's screencast and, as a group, begin to pull together a list of qualities that make a successful screencast.
    13. Have workshop participants work through answers to questions such as these:
      • How will I use this tool with my students?
      • What kind of access to technology do I have? Will I need to make special arrangements?
      • How will both student use and my use of this tool transform my current practice?

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Continue to the next section of the guide, Resources for Technology Integration.

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