You are on page 1of 6

Technology Integration Learning Plan

ISLT 7377 Introduction to Technology in Schools

As a journalism teacher I am constantly aware of how quickly and fundamentally the world of
journalism is changing. Even as recent as ten years ago the primary delivery vehicle for news
was the newspaper and the primary research vehicle for articles was the library in which was
stored other newspapers. That is an oversimplification in actuality but for high school students
that was, for all intents and purposes, the reality.
Now the landscape has changed. News is reported virtually instantaneously and comes from
many more directions than the printed page. Writers still need to write however. Reporters still
need to report. The task of providing the coverage of news has not changed much but the way
in which it is delivered has and the way in which it is researched has.
The intent behind this plan is to get students proficient in internet research skills that actually
save time rather than waste it (i.e. just Googling) and result in credible sources and information.
Most student journalists drift toward writing their own opinion. It requires the least amount of
research and in a time crunch they often realize their own researching skills involve merely
Googling and it doesnt take them long to come to the conclusion that they are wasting more
time than they have just clicking around the internet.
As this is, at its root, a learning activity (albeit one that will work itself into job performance rather
immediately) there are sound learning theories that this plan will attach itself to. Primarily this
will align with Information Processing Theory as at its essence this exercise is about gathering
information and evaluating whether it is useful and beneficial to support, explain, or refute
claims made in a journalistic writing setting. It will be important for students to store and retrieve
this information, not only the procedural pieces but the amount of information gathered, in their
active working memory. The level of automaticity with which students will retrieve stored
information will hopefully be strengthened and made more efficient due to the fact that this is a
recurring procedure.
The easiest way to determine their needs is to simply have them write a news story on a current
topic and let them use the internet to find all the supporting information they need. As they
conduct their initial research they will be required to document the method with which they find
their information for their story. This documentation will be used to establish a baseline skill level
in effective search. The documentation will be made up of:
Their method of search
Their resources (MLA citations will be sufficient but not included in the final story)
Resources they students discover that can be shared with other staff members

The essential question for this plan will be What is valid research? This question encompasses
two ideas; the method and the results. When students can actually conduct useful and helpful
research using the internet as well as evaluate the validity of what they find then they will have
succeeded in this activity. This learning activity will span several days as an initial instructional
time but will ultimately last throughout the year as their research will be constantly evaluated for
every story they write in their tenure on the newspaper staff.They will be required to document
their support as well as detail the method(s) they used to find that support.

Design and Development:

desired learning outcomes or objectives knowledge, cognitive skills, and/or
attitudes you want students to develop
The first and foremost objective is for students to know that simply
typing a question into Googles omnibox (or any search engine for that matter)
does not constitute a good research practice.
Students will understand how to use keywords in their searches.
Students will also understand how to utilize content aggregators
such as RSS feeds, social bookmarking, alerts, etc. in order to mine for
Students will gain a working knowledge and procedure for
evaluating the credibility of sources.

resources, media, and learning integration strategies to be used

The following web resources will be utilized.

structure and sequencing of the learning activity

Over the course of 1 week students will write two newspaper
stories. The first will be on a topic from a list of choices and they will be given no
particular instruction on finding information on that subject, just that they must
have adequate research to support the newsworthiness of the article. They will

be required to document their support as well as detail the method(s) they used
to find that support. After analysis of their research there will be instruction in
what constitutes effective search strategies and will then be asked to write a
second story utilizing those concepts.
Key terms essential for students understanding
search engine
Key terms essential for students understanding

assessment of student learning (how will you determine what they are learning)
This will be primarily through formative assessments and
conferencing throughout the process. As this will be a multiple day plan and even
continue throughout the time a student is on the student newspaper staff there
will be many opportunities for checks of learning.
Students will be required to cite their sources using
MLA format in their initial articles (these wont be published however in
the actual newspaper)
Students will be required to submit to a list of
helpful resources shared with the entire staff.

Obviously, in order to conduct this plan all students must have easy and ready access to the
internet. The lessons taught would rely heavily on sources from Common Sense Media and
resources provided by scholarly (usually university) libraries. In the event there is no access to
the internet, extensions will be given. However, in our school the reliability of our internet
connection is very high.

The evaluation of the TILP will involve the following questions.
Did learners achieve my intended objectives? At the end of the week were they
able to conduct better internet research and evaluate credible sources?
How do I know? Will their writing be more powerful with better, more accurate,
and more credible data?
Did they learn anything incidental that was unplanned for? Are there any new
techniques or tools they discovered while conducting their research that can be brought
to bear for future students?
How feasible was the learning activity? Was it over the kids heads? Was there
sufficient time devoted to the process?
What, if anything, should I change? Are there any new iterations of the unit that
should be implemented? What did I as the teacher learn?
How will I use this evaluation data? Will I be able to effectively change the unit to
improve it for the next group of staff members?
What did the use of technology enable that couldn't have been done, or done as
well, without it?

Scoring rubric: The scoring rubric will be kept rather simple as this will ultimately become an
ongoing process. Quick simple feedback will be essential both from a student feedback
perspective as well as a time necessary to grade perspective. In the end there will be
hundreds of stories with hundreds of sources. A lengthy grading process will be

search topic

merely typing the

topic of the article
into a search engine

evidence of reading
pertaining to the
article at hand that
generates other
search terms

evidence of deeper
thought, beyond
reading others work,
regarding search
terms and related
subjects that could
yield optimum results


merely using
Googles omnibox

evidence of
collaboration with
other staff members
regarding ideas
related to a story

evidence of
collaboration with
other staff members
regarding ideas
related to a story as
well as a thorough
C.A.R.S analysis on
each source


use of a search
engine only

use of a search
engine along with
other database

use of search engine,

other database
resources and use of
gathering tools such
as alerts or social