Implementing Common Core Standards in the Classroom Using Technology
Profession Learning Communities (PLC) and Technology
One of the key pieces in the Common Core Standards is Professional Learning Communities (PLC). Many school districts have already implemented PLC under various names. Teachers are accountable for the success of one another. Teachers are required to developing lessons together, comparing successes, and learning from each other. Teachers will no longer be islands. Having more ways to share information and lessons with one another will make this easier. Check out my blog on Top 15 Productivity iPad Applications for Teachers. Several school districts have set up websites dedicated to sharing lessons.
Standards in the Common Core
The standards have increased in depth. They are fewer and more focused. No longer will they cover large quantities of material for each grade level, but they will focus on greater understanding of each concept. Students will think and problem solve. The standards align with college and work expectations as set by international standards.
The standards stress not only procedural skill but also conceptual understanding, to make sure students are learning and absorbing the critical information they need to succeed at higher levels – rather than the current practices by which many students learn enough to get by on the next test, but forget it shortly thereafter, only to review again the following year. corestandards.org
Because 45 states have enacted the Common Core standards, lessons are easily shared across the nation.
Common Core Testing involves Technology
Another change is testing. Computers will play a major role in the process. Constructed response instead of multiple choice will be the norm. Students will have to become more comfortable and familiar with using technology in an educational setting.
Instruction and Technology
Instruction will be highly data driven. Data analysis will drive instruction. Teachers will create new pacing guides to fit the common core standards. The greatest impact of the new standards will be in the STEM community (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The rote method of direct instruction is not applicable. A site for mathematics is Tools for the Common Core.
Technology in Education
Another idea that has merit is the flipped model (reverse instruction) of teaching. This model is especially apt for the high school level student and uses student curiosity and love of their phones and iPods. Please check out my upcoming blog on flipped classrooms.
New materials that meet the demands of the common core are not readily available yet. Check out Sample Lesson Plan for First Grade by Common Core for an idea. This lesson mentions Wordle. Wordle provides an option to include technology, education, and learning.
I plan to discuss in greater detail methods of involving technology with the common core.
Wordle Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons