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Tech Trends Lesson Plan: There’s a First Time for Everything

March 7, 2012

This week I reviewed the Horizon Plan and selected a technology to incorporate into a lesson plan.

I have read past Horizon Reports, and find them interesting to read through and contemplate future technology trends. I usually concentrate on the more immediate technologies that will come into play on campus within the next year or so. I find that technology changes so quickly beyond that, that it is difficult even for experts to predict accurately. I figure I will learn those technologies as they become more important in everyday life!

I have never created a formal lesson plan before, so I found that to be a challenge. I wish that we would have had more formal instruction about the theory and practicalities about how to create a lesson plan before this assignment for those of us who have never created one, or had any theory about them before.  However, I simply used ideas that I have had and used, and hope that is sufficient.

Every fall I teach many courses in First Year Seminars to introduce First Year students to library resources. I first give them a tour of the facility to familiarize them with the library as place. I then spend the next two class sessions discussing search strategies and applying them to library resources.

I decided to implement QRCodes for this purpose. I feel that QRCodes can get the student’s attention, and achieve the objectives of students learning about the library space, searching strategies, and research skill applications.  Students can use their own smartphones, or borrow them from the library to complete a QRCode scavenger hunt and complete various activities described in the lesson plan.

Librarians at my institution have discussed implementing QRCodes for library tours and instruction, so this could potentially represent a first step in that direction. I especially like that students can progress through these learning stages at their own pace; spending more time on areas that are most relevant or unfamiliar to them.

This assignment required us to use Scribd to embed the documents. While I see the benefits to Scribd with easy embedding, I think I would prefer to use one familiar platform such as GoogleDocs. But I appreciate the opportunity to learn this new tool. I discovered a ‘bug’ in the Scribd software: while you can easily import Google Docs from your account to Scribd which was very useful, you cannot import revised documents. Instead you must then save the GoogleDocs to your computer and then upload the revision which was rather frustrating. When I saved the document to my laptop, and then uploaded the revision, the status bar said there were 105 documents ahead of me and it took quite awhile.  I don’t think I would choose to use Scribd for personal or work documents.

This lesson plan assignment addresses the following AECT standards: 3.1, Media Utilization and 3.3, Implementation and Institutionalization because this utilizes and implements media such as QRCodes within the lesson plans.  I think it is important to first create the objectives and lesson plan, and then embed the technology to avoid the fallacy of using technology for the sake of technology, rather than to further the educational process. I believe that this assignment furthers learning about library resources in a way that engages students.

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