Have you ever struggled with student engagement and effective technology usage? Would you like students using technology to interact meaningfully with content rather than just staring quietly at a screen? With our 4C's lesson design model, we will help you focus on student engagement and organic tech integration while honoring your years of teaching experience and skillset.
In our book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Supporting Digital Learning, we say "If you plan with the 4C's in mind, the tech will take care of itself". We believe you should "lead with learning, never with tech". Using our 4C's lesson design model, we begin with a conversation about your learning goal and your teaching experience & toolbox. With those things in mind, we brainstorm the student moves in how they will engage with each of the 4C's, communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration. In this process, as coaches, we lean on your years of experience, skillset and content knowledge as we delve into each of the 4C's. You are the expert and you know your students best.
There is nothing fancy to it. On a whiteboard or scratch paper, draw an open-ended four square, one square for each C. After deciding on a learning goal, discuss and jot down ideas for how students will engage with each C in pursuit of the learning goal. It is this brainstorm where technology naturally finds its way into a lesson. If no technology is needed for students to engage in one of the C's, no worries. We aren't going to push technology for technology's sake. If the technology is the best fit for your students to engage in a C, it is used. When finished with the 4 C's brainstorm, your lesson ideas, with organically integrated technology, can easily be plugged into any district or school mandated lesson plan template. This can be a great activity for departments and PLCs.
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Questions and ideas to consider when brainstorming with the the 4 C's
Creativity: What will students create to demonstrate understanding?
Communication: Who is the target audience for the student work? Just the teacher? Whole class? School community? Local community? The world via the web? What structures do you have in place for real-time teacher to student feedback?
Collaboration: Where and how will students give each other peer feedback as they work together? How might they act on the peer feedback?
Critical thinking: How will students engage in problem solving? How might they think outside the box? Will they be given voice and choice to choose the best tools and methods for demonstrating understanding?
Teachers and Coaches: With what tech tools am I familiar? With what tech tools are my students familiar? What strategies are my go-to teaching strategies? What are the various skillsets of my students? What student accommodations need to be made?
Coaches: Recommend technology tools if a teacher is hitting a brainstorm roadblock. Recommend a technology tool if it truly is the best way for student engagement and demonstration of learning. If a teacher isn't familiar with a tech tool, offer to co-teach part of the lesson.
Our book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.
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