Friday, April 8, 2011
Never write another lesson plan
We find ourselves in an age of information abundance, thanks to the Internet. Among many other changes, lesson planning has become a process of organizing content that's available online rather than generating it from scratch.
Content selection and filtering is changing the way material is presented to students. A short time ago, the challenge was finding good, engaging material to present to students. No longer. Today, there is an abundance of material available. There are databases of lesson plans, enrichment material from textbook publishers, videos on YouTube, copyright-free books and images and access to images of the great art collections of the world.
Today, a teacher can seek and find too much material so show. So she must use her judgment to select those that best fulfill or complement her teaching goals. Or possibly, she could show different materials to different student groups.
This is an example of how the Internet is helping teachers improve their teaching yet requiring that they do less work. That's the goal.
As a result of all this stuff, creating lesson plans from a blank sheet of paper is no long the way to start. Rather, start by looking for available lesson plans and materials that fit and then tailor them to your purpose.
Just as critical, however, is the process of reflection. However wonderful some content is anticipated to be for the class, the proof is in how well it works to convey understanding of the lesson. You can only truly know that when it is applied in the classroom. And, based on that experience, notes about presentation and emphasis are still crucial for making the lesson better next time.
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lesson plans, time saving