Want to travel to Alaska, but don’t know where to go? Let your students take the reigns and convince an audience through an Alaskan Travel Infographic.
In the past, this mini unit had students create a travel brochure with short paragraphs and hand drawn pictures; ‘low tech’ tools. Looking through a new lens, I thought this was a perfect project to implement ‘high tech’ technology. Koehler and Mishra say, anything artificial is considered technology, but as educators we need to learn the pros and cons of the technology before implementing it for a pedagogical purpose (2009).
TPACK is technological pedagogical and content knowledge. “The skills, competencies, and knowledge specified by the TPACK framework require teachers to go beyond their knowledge of particular disciplines, technologies, and pedagogical techniques in isolation,” (Koehler, Mishra 2009). This requires teachers to be flexible to figure out how to best choose a technology to enhance a student’s learning.
In this mini unit, students are learning about Alaska. They are learning the climate, geography, economics, culture and history. That’s the content.
Through modeled research, students will focus on learning about three cities, one being Juneau. Students will use informational mentor texts and online resources to gather information and take notes. That’s the pedagogy.
Students create an infographic on easel.ly. They create this graphic to present their information to entice travelers to go to Alaska to experience its rich culture, ways of life and geography. That’s the technology.
I chose an infographic for students to showcase their learning because it is a new way for them to express information. My students don’t enjoy reading a textbook as much as they do graphic novels that have pictures and text embedded together.
TPACK’s framework allows myself as a teacher to make decisions based on what I’m teaching, how I’m teaching it, and how I want my students to show their understanding.
The 21st century learner wants to use digital tools to get their point across and show their learning. Students in my classroom love to use the internet and their cell phones as much as possible. By having my students do this project engages them more than an essay or a basic brochure. In addition, giving students an authentic audience is essential. Knowing these infographics will be given to a travel agent will make their final product better.
As this is a multiple day lesson, students will be able to help each other and use one another as resources. This lesson will allow students to have the opportunity to be proud of their work as a finished product to share with their classmates and authentic audience.
When the project is completed, ask yourself and your students, “would you want to go to Alaska?”
This lesson plan is for the final project. Research must be completed before this project can be implemented.
Koehler, M.J., & Mishra, P. (2009). Too cool for school? No way! Learning and leading with technology. Link to article: “Too Cool for School” EJ839143