TPACK Lesson Description
Students will be identifying different perspectives of people in America that were affected by the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. The population of learners for this lesson consists of a whole group of twenty-two seventh grade students in my U.S. History class. The lesson will occur with some face-to-face interaction and some online interaction between the students and myself. The students were asked to answer a question, “Was the Transcontinental Railroad a positive or negative force in America?” prior to the beginning of the unit on Westward Expansion. In this lesson, the students will engage in online research utilizing provided links to gain information about the different perspectives of each group of people. They will organize their information in a graphic organizer which will be accessed online. They will draft an essay on their finding which will also include whether or not they have changed their opinion after the research. Students will partner up and share their essays with one another for peer editing collaboration before submitting a final, polished essay for assessment to me through Google.docs.
The main Content (C) of this lesson is for students to clearly identify in what ways different groups of people in America were affected by or during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. The groups of people being examined are: Homesteaders/Ranchers, Native Americans, Immigrant railroad workers, Railroad company owners, citizens on the east and west coasts of the U.S. Students will gain insight to this information through the planned websites listed for them to use for the lesson.
The main Pedagogy (P) is based on three of Marzano’s research-based strategies. The first strategy to be addressed specifically targets note-taking to pull out useful information on each group of people listed. The second strategy will involve cooperative learning in which the students will peer-edit for a partner and receive constructive feedback on written work before drafting a final product. The last strategy involves using graphic organizers to sort out the acquired information and recording it in an organized chart to help them analyze the depth of the effects on the people they are researching. This lesson will be best carried out with some face-to-face interaction when discussing online engagement with others. Modeling of procedures on how to achieve student goals are necessary to assure clarity of directions.
The main Technology (T) for the lesson is the utilization of google.docs to share information with each other for using the organizer to collect information, writing an essay, peer-editing response and sharing the final draft with me. A secondary use of technology involves using the schoology platform to engage in the lesson from the start, gain access to all organizers, websites as well as enter the response to the initial question.
The Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)
Seventh grade students using graphic organizers while researching historic information under clearly defined headings offers needed guidance to focus on specific information related to each category when note-taking. Cooperative activities such as peer-editing is beneficial for constructive feedback and suggestions for production of a well-created finished work.
Support: Students produce information in which they can see in an organized form and determine the outcome of how each group was effected by the construction of the railroad. This allows them to develop an essay that clearly identifies the initial question and will or will not validate their initial prediction or opinion. Utilizing cooperative learning is a way to confirm their thoughts with their peers through feedback.
The Technological Content Knowledge (TCK)
Using schoology and Google docs will be the primary place for students to gain access to the lesson module and links to gain content knowledge throughout the module. The module includes all websites, note-taking organizers and organizer activity which allows the students to work at their own pace on their own time without the constraints of a face-to-face classroom. It is within the parameters of schoology and Google docs that the students will gain access to the content, easily be able to share, comment and suggest edits to their partner’s work. The first assignment for students it to use schoology to add their opinion to the discussion board before beginning any research. This is Marzano’s ninth strategy which incorporates questioning before the lesson has begun.
As the instructor, I will set strict criteria of expectations when having online discussions with one another. Guidelines of acceptable language and behaviors will be addressed prior to the lesson. If students have questions, I will be available to them through schoology messaging which is also where the discussion boards will be set up. I can prevent students from seeing other posts until they post themselves. This will assist me in seeing what opinion each student actually has without copying someone else’s thoughts. I won’t use this measure when students are discussing their findings with each other because that would halt communication altogether.
Modeling of how to share work with another, as well as suggesting editing and comments on work, will be done prior to the lesson in a face-to-face class.
Support: Students feel more confident in completing assignments when they work with others in a non-threatening environment. Marzano’s sixth strategy of working cooperatively to achieve learning goals. They have stated that working cooperatively helps when editing written work because of issues such as spelling, grammar and capitalization are difficult without the “extra pair of eyes looking it over.”
Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK)
Using schoology as the platform allows the instructor and the students to come together in one place for all learning materials for the module itself. The lesson is explained, the note-taking organizers and concept map activities are available on the site for access at any time. The students simply upload forms that are to be filled out while working with the content to their google docs and submit them so I can monitor that they are getting the information necessary to complete their tasks. Having all forms and directions in a central location is important for students so they can get help, re-read instructions and gain access to all forms. Should a student need to start over, it is easy to go back to schoology and download another form.
Support: Utilizing ideas from Marzano’s strategies numbers two and seven. Students will be clearly instructed on how to follow the directions to reach their goals. After the initial question, they will have an interest to find out more (hopefully) and will follow the steps to complete their objectives of research, note-taking, writing, and gaining more insight to the various perspectives of people affected by the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)
The prior knowledge of how to use the available technology will allow them effectively apply the pedagogical strategies to record and assess new content information gained through research and note-taking. They will finally use the technology to gain feedback which allows each student to produce a written assignment that demonstrates deeper learning.
Support: The fusion of the technology, pedagogy, and content will blend well for this lesson because the students are somewhat familiar with schoology and how to access courses and modules located there. Following the website links will lead them to the information they are seeking, and utilizing Google.docs to fill out their organizer is something they can easily complete because of their prior knowledge of how it works. Developing written assignments on Google.docs is an activity that has been done before, so they should be able to carry out the technology-end of the lesson without issue. There is a plethora of information to be gleaned from the provided websites to easily gain access to information which should be used to complete the organizer to help students determine the effects on each group in relation to the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. The content is new to them, so using familiar resources is a logical step to help them engage in deeper understanding of each group’s situation.