When we began working together,
Ecklein had one desktop computer in
her classroom and the desire to get
students interested in the concept of
probability. She participated in our
program for three years, and by the
end of the third year, she had badgered her administrator into getting
a portable interactive whiteboard and
was creating projects that engaged the
One of the reading standards that
Ecklein targeted to improve (based
on her data analysis) was the skill of
making predictions. ;is standard
went hand in hand with probability
and reading graphs, so she came up
with a plan to improve them all. She
asked her students to look at their
small town, ;nd out what it used to
look like, and make predictions about
what might happen there in the future.
;e third graders then made recommendations about how they could
a;ect the course of the future. ;ey
walked through town and took digital
pictures of various places. ;ey went
through archives and asked older community members to help them ;nd old
pictures of the same locations. Finally,
they created presentations with pictures and graphs showing side-by-side
comparisons of the demographics.
“;e students went way beyond
what I could have ever imagined,”
On the other end of the spectrum
is Jacki Kooistra, a young science
teacher in an alternative high school.
One of the false assumptions sur-
rounding technology integration
is that, because a teacher is from
Generation X, Y, or Z, she is a digital
native who intuitively understands
how to integrate technology into
her lessons. We have met teachers in
their 20s and 30s who text and use
Facebook on a regular basis but don’t
know how to translate their technol-
ogy skills to the classroom. Integrating
technology e;ectively into the curric-
ulum needs to be modeled, explicitly
taught, and coached.
We have met teachers in their 20s and 30s who text and use Facebook on a regular basis but don’t know how to translate their technology skills to the classroom.
;rough coaching, we helped Kooistra re;ect on her teaching strategies
and come up with a way to deliver
the correct information in a style that
would engage the students. She used
what she had already taught the students as a starting point for her lesson,
then sca;olded from there, focusing
on higher-order thinking strategies.
Her students used digital cameras
and interactive whiteboard so;ware
to put together family scrapbooks.
;ey took digital pictures of their own
physical characteristics and divided
the pictures into categories, such as
eyes, ears, foreheads, and hairlines
with and without widow’s peaks. ;ey
put each group of images into its own
folder on a shared space.
Next, each drew the characteristics
of an imaginary mate out of a beaker.
Using their knowledge of genetics as predictors, the students made family scrapbooks featuring their future children and
grandchildren. As an extension of this
activity, they were randomly assigned
a genetic disorder and asked to write a
;rst-person account as a parent of someone with that particular disorder.
Posttest results demonstrated that
they understood the lesson and could
easily explain the concepts to others.
Assistance, Reflection, and Assessment
We believe our program has been successful because of one-on-one coaching, integration, and real-world application. We treated the teachers in the
program as professionals and tailored
the technology workshops speci;cally
to classroom use and strategies.