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Introduction to Pedagogical Tools

Introduction to Pedagogical Tools

Author: Trisha Fyfe

This lesson provides an introduction to digital and instructional planning tools that enhance instruction in K-12 classrooms.

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Source: Image of light bulb, Public Domain, ; Skype logo, Public Domain,; Image of Digital Bloom’s, Creative Commons,; Image of paper and pen, Public Domain,; Image of computer and keyboard, Public Domain,

Video Transcription

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Welcome to a tutorial an introduction to pedagogical tools. I'm really excited to share with you today, or maybe remind of you of if you've use these before, some of the many tools for planning in your classroom. In this tutorial, we are going to focus on this question here. What are some of the digital and instructional planning tools available to enhance instruction in my own classroom?

And a short answer to this question is, we are going to investigate four models, or frameworks, including digital blooms, the SAMR model, Understanding by Design, and essential learning questions. As we move forward with this pathway, we will even dive deeper into each of these tools.

Digital blooms is where we are going to start. Most likely you've learned in detail about Bloom's Taxonomy, which is a hierarchy of thinking skills arranged from low order at the very bottom of the pyramid usually and going to the top high order thinking skills. Digital blooms uses the same levels in the same low to high order hierarchy, but they use technological tools and technology knowledge and skills in this model here.

The next framework that want to talk about today is S-A-M-R, or SAMR, and this is a framework that will help you implement technology in your classroom. Teachers more novice to technology might feel more comfortable starting with the lower two levels, or substitution and augmentation, and it's here that, as teachers, you strive to enhance lessons.

So an example of this might be taking a writing lesson and in instead of having your students write it out by hand, maybe having them type it out on a Word document. As teachers become more comfortable with technology, they really should strive to move towards the higher two levels, modification and redefinition, and it's here that teacher should strive to transform lessons.

And this involves creating new tasks with a goal to redefine learning. It's here the teacher should transform teaching and learning, and this might happen by using Skype to communicate with another student, or a group of students in another state, or another country, when you're learning about cultures, for example.

Our third model that we're going to talk about today is called Understanding by Design, and it was developed in the late 1990s by a few gentlemen by the name of Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins.

And Understanding by Design is a framework for instructional planning involving three stages or steps, the first being to identify desired results and from those identified results, or objectives, you move to stage two which is determining acceptable evidence. What will your assessment methods be?

From those assessments, it's only then that you'll move to stage three, which is creating your learning plan or your lessons and activities portion of your lesson.

The last of the four models are frameworks that we are going to discuss today is the use of essential learning questions. And while these were designed for Understanding by Design, many teachers use these already today, and have for years, in their own planning.

Essential learning questions are part of the Understanding by Design framework. They also get at the big ideas, or the big picture, that you, as a teacher, want your students to learn about or know. They're open-ended questions, they support instructional goals and standards, and they are questions that promote discourse in your lessons.

So let's review quickly what we've learned today. We took a look at four models, or frameworks. Digital blooms, SAMR, Understanding by Design, and essential learning questions, and the goal of this tutorial was just to give you a brief glimpse of each of these models and frameworks. Throughout the next few tutorials, we really are going to look more thoroughly at each of these models and frameworks.

I'm excited to look at each of these models with you. I think that they'll be excellent tools for your classrooms. Let's apply these ideas. Have you experienced any of these models in your own learning? What might help you determine which models to use ideas from in your teaching?

For more information on how to apply what you've learned in this video, please see the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. The additional resources section includes hyperlinks, useful for applications of this course material including a brief description of each resource.

Notes on "Introduction to Pedagogical Tools"


(00:00- 00:37) Introduction/objectives

(00:38- 01:06) Digital Bloom's 

(01:07-02:05) SAMR

(02:06- 02:45) Understanding by Design

(02:46- 03:20) Essential Learning Questions

(03:21- 4:17) Review/Reflection

Additional Resources

Bloom's Digital Taxonomy

This website contains resources, images, and planning tools for using Bloom's Digital Taxonomy in the classroom. The three key resources and the quick sheets are useful planning tools for teachers who are interested in adhering to Bloom's when building lessons.

Using SAMR to Teach Above the Line

This article by Susan Oxnevad explains how to truly integrate technology into instruction, differentiating between the use of technology in the classroom and the full integration of technology in teaching and learning. Scroll down for a clear description and example of Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefintion.

What is Understanding by Design and Why Should I Use It?

This is an article by Jennifer Moss that clearly outlines UbD, provides examples and templates, and demonstrates the purpose behind the framework. Click on the examples of UbD by course as exemplars that you can follow as you build your lessons and units.