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In the Pipeline–Help with Common Core

Technology has become synonymous with education reform. Like starter on a barbeque, squirt around enough iPads and digital tools and classes start to sizzle. Everyone agrees it’s a transformative tool, but there’s little consensus on how to integrate it into a curriculum. Endless conversation. Spirited debate. A frightening number of pilot programs and great ideas all with decidedly mixed results.

That is, until Common Core State Standards arrived in the classrooms of 45 states. Its rigorous approach to preparing students for college and career treats tech-in-ed as decided science. Of course teachers use it in classrooms, as one of many tools to deliver quality content to eager students. Consider these tech-centric Standards spread throughout the K-8 Common Core strands (truncated for brevity):

  • Expect students to demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding to type a minimum of one page [two by fifth grade] in a single sitting
  • Expect students to evaluate different mediums (e.g., print or digital …)
  • Expect students to gather relevant information from print and digital sources
  • Expect students to integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats
  • Expect students to interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., … interactive elements on Web pages)
  • Expect students to make strategic use of digital media
  • Expect students to use glossaries or dictionaries, both print and digital
  • Expect students to use information from illustrations and words in print or digital text
  • Expect students to use a variety of media in communicating ideas
  • Expect students to use technology and digital media strategically and capably
  • Expect students to use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information

…and this anchor standard:

[quote style=”boxed”]New technologies have broadened and expanded the role that speaking and listening play in acquiring and sharing knowledge and have tightened their link to other forms of communication. Digital texts confront students with the potential for continually updated content and dynamically changing combinations of words, graphics, images, hyperlinks, and embedded video and audio.[/quote]

The underlying theme remains consistent: Creating a 21st Century learner requires technology proficiency. Proof enough is that summative assessments ultimately will be completed online. Students will only be able to do that if they have made technology as comfortable as paper and pencil for demonstrating their knowledge.

If you worry that Common Core throws another layer of required standards over already comprehensive state standards, you’ll love our upcoming series–How to Meet Common Core Standards With Tech. Each volume addresses a separate strand in Common Core’s English Language Arts and Math Standards:

  • Language
  • Writing
  • Speaking-listening
  • Reading—information
  • Reading—foundational
  • Reading—literature
  • Math (grouped into one for this first run)

Each volume shows how to use computers, websites, iPads, graphic art, infographics, web widgets and other tech tools organically in scalable projects that scaffold on what you already teach, and include tech students will find contagious rather than confusing. While supporting your Standards teaching, they provide authentic opportunities to deliver the big ideas included in Common Core:

  • Provide practice al strategies for students and teachers to publish and share
  • Provide flexible learning paths
  • Differentiate for varied student learning styles
  • Provide scalable projects that suit many classroom demands
  • Increase the rigor inherent in teaching
  • Make students accountable for their own learning

In the first volume—Language–you’ll find effective and quick tools to prepare students for Tier 1, 2, 3 word study while covering 68 CCSS standards in language, speaking/listening, writing.

Stay tuned!