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Putting it all together

Putting it all together

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, you will consider how theories and models involving technology, pedagogy, and content all fit together to form effective instruction.

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Source: Image light, Public Domain,; Image of TPACK, Creative Commons,

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Welcome. I'm Trisha Fyfe, and in today's video lesson, we will be covering the lesson Putting It All Together. As we learn about this topic, we will work towards one objective and answer the following question together in this lesson. What does it look like to combine technology, pedagogy, and content in your instruction using different theories and models?

Throughout this video lesson, we will walk through a sample unit. And in doing so, we'll focus on content, pedagogy, and technology and how these three domains of knowledge should work together to form effective instruction. Let's start by looking at Understanding by Design. Remember, this framework for instructional planning has three different stages.

Stage one, identify the desired results. Stage two, determine acceptable evidence. Stage three is to create the learning plan, and here's where you do the fun part, create all those learning activities for your students. There are many benefits to using the method of backward design that we see in the Understanding by Design model. It promotes effective instruction by ensuring close links between standards, learning goals, and assessment, therefore aligning these areas.

We are also able to assess if students are learning as a whole with the performance assessment. And we're able to create opportunities for personalization and differentiation along the way. In Understanding by Design, the goal is to get students to understand and apply knowledge, not just offer drills and practice. Transfer of knowledge, rather than memorizing and recalling information, is more likely with Understanding by Design, as all of the concepts and objectives are aligned.

And Understanding by Design ensures a deep, connected understanding, rather than working for content coverage on a curriculum that is a mile wide and an inch deep. Let's take a look at a sample Understanding by Design Unit We'll explore the unit and then connect several theories and models that help bring together technology, pedagogy, and content.

So here we have a second grade lesson on the water cycle. Our understandings will be that students will understand the weather changes in different patterns. And our essential question is, why does weather change in patterns such as a cycle? Let's look at our learning plan. Students will do a think-pair-share activity and create questions, or we can use guided questions if they're having a hard time, such as what do you use water for?

Where can water be found? Where have you seen the word cycle? What does cycle mean? Then we'll play a water cycle movie from Brain POP or Brain POP Jr. and discuss elements of the water cycle using a diagram as a class. We'll then have students create their own water cycle with partners. They'll put their container in a sunny place and observe what happens by recording, drawing, or taking pictures of their observations and measuring their plant's growth.

Students will lastly create a presentation on the water cycle and what it is using a diagram, as well as their observations in step number five. By the end of the unit, students will be able to define the terms condensation, evaporation, and precipitation and be able to retell the steps of the water cycle to their classmates. They'll also recognize and identify patterns in the water cycle.

So again, we'll use this lesson throughout the video, specifically a learning plan, as we go through some of these models and frameworks. And I'll connect back to this. Let's first review TPACK and then see if we implemented these ideas. Remember, TPACK is a framework that is an extension of Shulman's PCK or Pedagogical Content Knowledge.

In TPACK, the focus is on the different domains of knowledge that teachers should consider when planning instruction. Content Knowledge-- or CK-- Pedagogical Knowledge-- or PK-- and Technological Knowledge-- or TK. When we teach effectively, we want to interweave these ideas together. These three domains of knowledge intersect, creating PCK-- pedagogical content knowledge-- TCK-- or Technological Content Knowledge-- and TPK-- or Technological Pedagogical Knowledge.

In the center, at the intersection of all three areas, we have Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge-- or TPACK. And this is where all three areas overlap and we combine technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge in our teaching and instruction. Let's take a quick look back at our learning activities. In red, you'll see the areas that we can connect back to the TPACK as far as technology goes. With second graders, we need to use appropriate and intentional activities and tools.

We can help develop understanding of concepts by using digital movies and resources on Brain POP. We can also bring in things like digital cameras. And while it's not clarified here in this lesson plan, we could add in technology tools for the presentation options, such as maybe a PowerPoint presentation with assistance, or possibly some video recording. As far as pedagogy, we have various groupings here, as well as hands-on activities for these students. And content knowledge will be apparent as the teachers discuss elements of the water cycle and guide students through these activities and discussions.

Let's look at our next framework. This is Universal Design for Learning, or UDL. Let's look and see if we implemented these ideas. Universal Design for Learning is a set of three principles for designing curriculum and instruction. Principle one is providing multiple means of representation. As teachers, we know that students process and learn information in different ways. And we need to be thoughtful about how we present information, making sure there's variety.

Our students will never fit into the one-size-fits-all category. We need to address the areas of perception, language expressions and symbols, and comprehension when providing multiple means of representation. Principle two is providing multiple means of action and expression. Students also differ in how they can show us what they've learned, as well as how they operate in different learning settings. Writing, drawing, or creating, as well as verbal communications are all ways students might choose to express what they learn.

Strategic thinking, organization of thoughts and actions, as well as practice for fluency are all part of any of these options that they choose. Providing several different options for students to express themselves and show their learning is essential in universal design. Principle three is providing multiple means of engagement. Students also engage in learning differently and have different motivations to learn. We as teachers need to provide several avenues for engagement and implement various methods for motivating our students.

Let's take a quick look back at our learning activities. For principle one, providing multiple means of representation, we present our content using several different methods-- questioning, discussion, videos, and a hands-on experiment where students record information together. Principle two is providing multiple means of action and expression. And we do this by having students work as pairs to discuss ideas, complete an experiment and record the information, and have students present the information. Principle three is providing multiple means of engagement. And here we again use group work and hands-on activities.

Let's look at our next framework. And this is Marzano's high-yield instructional strategies. These are nine strategies that are essential to your teaching. Let's look back at our unit again and show evidence of these instructional strategies. For identifying similarities and differences, we can use charts and diagrams to help with some of the questions possibly. Summarizing and note taking, we can use these strategies when students are taking notes on their observations.

And we can also encourage written and verbal summarization of what happened or the results. Reinforcing effort and providing recognition. This is not addressed necessarily in the lesson plan, but we would want to make sure that we found a way to reinforce effort with students through the entire process. For second graders, we would use a lot of verbal feedback and encouragement.

Homework and practice. While there is no homework evident in the lesson plan, it would be important to provide opportunities to practice the information at home. For non-linguistic representations, we use charts and graphs for the observations, as well as the hands-on experiment, which all provide opportunities for learning. Cooperative learning in this unit, we use several types of groupings.

Setting objectives and providing feedback. This is not evident in the lesson plan, but maybe by discussing goals for the unit at the beginning and tracking progress along the way we can create a great tool for students. For generating and testing hypotheses, we want to make sure and include some predictions before we start our experiment. And lastly, questions, cues, and advanced organizers, here with younger students we are using many questioning techniques and a lot of verbal techniques.

The last idea that I want to look at today is deeper learning. Problem-based learning provides many opportunities for deeper learning. When we strive for deeper learning, we present rigorous content in innovative ways. Students have opportunities to make connections and apply learning to the real world. The goal is to prepare students for post-secondary college and careers.

Deeper learning prepares learners to master core content, think critically, and problem solve, collaborate and communicate effectively, and become self-directed learners that are able to use feedback. In our unit, we started off with questioning. What do you use water for? Where can water be found? Where have you seen the word cycle before? What does cycle mean? These questions are meant to begin the process of making those connections.

Let's talk about what we learned today. We looked at the question, what does it look like to combine technology, pedagogy, and content in your instruction using different theories and models? I reviewed with you some really important models and frameworks to consider. TPACK, Universal Design for Learning, Marzano's instructional strategies, and the idea of deeper learning. Now that you're more familiar with these concepts, let's reflect.

Which of these theories and models have you seen in action in the educational setting? What were the benefits of using those theories and models? Thanks for joining me today and discussing the lesson Putting It All Together. I hope you found value in this video lesson and all of these great ideas and are able to apply these theories and models to your own teaching.

To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the Additional Resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply the course material.

Notes on “Putting it All Together”


(00:00- 00:31) Introduction/Objectives

(00:32- 00:49) UbD Stages

(00:50- 01:41) Benefits of UbD

(01:42- 03:10) UbD Sample Unit

(03:11- 04:55) TPACK and Evidence in Unit

(04:56- 06:56) UDL and Evidence in Unit

(06:57- 08:26) Marzano’s Instructional Strategies and Evidence in Unit

(08:27- 09:09) Deeper Learning and Evidence in Unit

(09:10- 09:28) Recap

(09:29- 10:00) Reflection