adapted fromOnline Educational Center materials

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Teacher's Role
Consider how you will deal with supervision, answering students' questions, facilitation, etc. Take into account the experience you students have had with technology outside of class. Make plans to assist those students who possess limited Internet and computer experience.

Goals of Lesson
What do you want to accomplish? What kind of learning experience do you intend for students to have--information gathering, information sharing, process writing, artistic/creative expression of their current understanding, organization of information from various print and media sources or peer collaboration and evaluation?
Identification of Internet Resources and Use of Materials
Identify and analyze the resources that you expect the students to use. What tools are you going to allow them to use, e.g., e-mail, downloading, Web (and access), etc.? Clarify the extent to which fellow students, parents, etc. can be used as resources. Provide some "at-home" technology activities or options, if possible.

Time Parameters
Consider the following parameters: how long the project may take to complete, how much lead time will be required if students are doing a collaborative project or need time to wait for replies, etc. Provide unstructured time at the start of a new technology-based activity for exploration and becoming familiar with the materials. Alert students to the approaching end of the technology-based activity.

Hardware, Software, and Equipment Issues
Always model (and practice with) any new piece of software first. Use a projection system to display computer monitor to the class if possible. Use large and readable fonts for demonstrations. Be prepared for the inevitable technological issues that may arise. Protect against student hacking or misuse. What other options are available if the technology goes down? Keep the technology equipment or materials out of the reach of students until they are actually needed.

Curriculum Should Drive the Use of Technology, not Vice Versa
Internet-related projects can, and often should, include non-Internet, traditional resources - books, video, print sources, hands-on tools, etc. Use the Internet in ways appropriate to the lesson/curriculum/project - sometimes on-line experiences are not the best way to accomplish some or all of the goals of a project. Look for what fits and supports your teaching goals. Don't try to force technology into your curriculum. Use technology as a tool to present the curriculum rather than to "teach technology." Computer resources should be a means, not an end.

Cooperative Groups
Have students work in pairs or in cooperative groups of two to four students, depending on the project. Change partnerships according to needs. Also consider computer skills and the specific assignment when pairing or grouping students. Provide group and individual grades, assigning specific work to be accomplished by each team member, to help ensure accountability.

Clarify Steps to Success
Set up simple step-by-step procedures, directions, checklists, or examples for students to follow. For instance, bookmark resources or guide students through the stages of the lesson plan so that they are goal-directed, and know how to proceed. Describe, or better yet - show, what the final product could be - a written report, a document, a verbal discussion, a multimedia presentation, a Web page, etc., and how it will be evaluated or graded.

Organizing Devices
Consider how the use of templates to help guide the format and content of the student work might reduce student set-up and planning time. Next, consider how the use of templates might limit the scope of the final project and how such devices might feel confining to students. Finally, decide if you will offer students a choice in format and templates or begin with a set formula for project completion.

Feedback of Progress
Provide opportunities for students to show progress to you at frequent reflection on their work times, so that they can be steered in the right direction if off-track. Once the technology activity begins, immediately check all students with a quick "once-through" to monitor either the equipment or identify students who haven't understood the directions. Provide a "group-focal point" such as a projected computer image or large-screen monitor to help discuss procedures and results. Peer evaluation of computer projects should be included.

Classroom Management

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