Saturday, November 10, 2012

Technology Integrated Lesson for Grandparents' Day

This blog describes the initial ideas of a technology-integration lesson. In it, during the next couple of days, I’ll explain why I want to focus on this lesson, and what technological tools the students and teacher will use. I will make changes to it as I go along, so keep coming back.

These are my initial ideas of a technology integrated lesson that will use Web 2.0 tools. I teach computer science, English, history, and science to 7th and 8th graders. I usually like to take advantage that I have them with me at the computer lab three times a week to integrate technology into their regular classroom lesson plans. Thus, for that reason, my students’ weekly assignments for history, English, and science are creating/posting blogs, creating/updating websites, searching for information, and/or working together in collaborative applications such as Google docs.

As in most schools, we celebrate Grandparents’ Day, it will be held next week, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to also integrate technology to the celebration. I have planned two activities that the students will perform with their grandparents: The first activity will be a simple one and will not really involve technology, here, students and grandparents will take each a quiz where they will be presented with a 12-item matching exercise. The students’ quiz will test them on their knowledge of old-fashioned slang words, and the quiz that the grandparents will take will test them on modern, teen slang words. On the second activity, students and grandparents will work together to fill out a family tree that will try to gather the information of six generations, all the way back to the great-great-grandparents. In my experience, most people, and in this case my students, can only recall back the names up to their grandparents, so I wanted to take the opportunity that their grandparents were here because they will most probably know and recall the names of their parents and grandparents.

Once we have all the information, back to the great-great-grandparents, the students will collaboratively work to fill out a Google spreadsheet with their relatives’ information including the student’s name, relative’s relationship (i.e. father, mother, grandmother, grandfather, and great-grandparent), the name, and the last name of the relative. After we have gathered all this data, the students will search on the Internet for the origin, and meaning of their last names, and they will add two extra columns to the Google spreadsheet with this information.

When all data is entered, we will publish that information using Exhibit 3.0, an open-source software that lets you easily create websites where data can be displayed in grids, sorted, searched for, and displayed in interactive maps. For examples of this software go to

Marco Cesar Saenz
Using Web Tools in the Classroom

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