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Amy Rathgeb

Information Technologies in Educational Organizations (IST 611)

Professor Marilyn Arnone
September 27, 2016
Assignment 1
Task 2: Link the technology to the curriculum
Title and URL: SpiderScribe --
Activity 1:
Core Curriculum area: Social Studies/ELA

Educational level: High School

Role of the selected online technology: Brainstorming ideas for

collaborative research project

Common Core Standard addressed:

CC.11-12.SL.1 Comprehension and Collaboration: Initiate and

participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (oneon-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades
11 12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others ideas and
expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

IFC/AASL Standard for the 21stCentury Learner addressed:

AASL: 1.1.2 Use prior and background knowledge as context for new

Academic Language: Academic language will be incorporated

throughout the semester and unit.

Academic function/instructional language:

Identify problem
Make connections
Use prior knowledge
Draw conclusion
Pose questions
Language demand:

Mind Map
Research question
Activities for incorporating academic language:
Name That Term: Students will each be asked to write their own
definitions of 3 academic language terms in their own words (without
using the original term in the definition). They will then share their
definition with a small group, who will then try to name the term that
the student has described. Then together as a team the students will
try to write a formal definition of the term, using a dictionary for
support and ideas if needed.
For example, for research a student might write, This is when you try
to find out information about something by reading and asking people
a lot of questions. Students would try to guess the term and then
work on writing a formal definition to post on the wall and share with
the class.

Explanation of Activity 1:

The goal of this lesson is to teach students how to brainstorm a

research topic and map out their ideas by drawing on prior knowledge
and learning from one another.
The librarian and social studies teacher will ask students to collectively
identify an issue within their community that needs to be addressed
and to use their prior knowledge of the community and other
communities to come up with possible issues and solutions they can
address in their project. The teacher and librarian will show students
how to log into SpiderScribe and set up a mind map. They will then
model how to add different types of stencils: text box, image, map,
calendar events and files and how to draw connections between notes.
The teacher and librarian will also model how to change the size and
font of notes in the mind map.
The students will then use the technology to begin an inquiry process

into discovering a need to be addressed in their community, engaging

in the connect and wonder phases of the inquiry process. Each
student will sign into SpiderScribe and one person will write the name
of the community in the center of the mind map. Or, they could write
the question, what would make our community better? From there,
students will add their ideas using the stencils on the side. For
example, they can use text notes to write ideas or further questions,
add images of the community or samples of things that would improve
the community (a brand new playground for example). They can add a
map to show exactly where they would put the playground or identify a
block that needs cleaning up, or that needs a stop sign etc.
After the guided practice, the students will begin to develop their
collective mind maps. The teacher and librarian will circulate and
confer with the groups as they brainstorm issues and solutions. They
offer technical support to students in using the stencils to add images,
maps, dates and notes to their maps.
Each group will give a brief summary of their brainstorming session to
the whole class.
Activity 2:

Core Curriculum area: ELA/Social Studies

Educational level: High school

Role of the selected online technology: Students will use

SpiderScribe to identify gaps in their research project

Common Core Standard addressed:

CC.11-12.W.7 Research to Build and Present Knowledge: Conduct

short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a
question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem;
narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize
multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of
the subject under investigation.

IFC/AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner addressed:

AASL standard 1.2.5 Demonstrate adaptability by changing inquiry

focus, questions, resources, or strategies when necessary to
achieve success.

AASL standard 1.4.3 Monitor gathered information, and assess for

gaps or weaknesses.

Academic Language (how it will be integrated; if you have not

taken IST 612, please see resources provided on the Syllabus/Info
menu on the course site)

Academic function/instructional language:

Draw conclusion
Pose questions
Identify gaps
Identify patterns
Refine research questions
Language demand:
Mind Map
Activity for incorporating academic language:
Silent graffiti: For this mindmapping lesson, all students must be
very clear on the meaning of the terms refine and gap.
Each research group will be given two large sheets of paper and
colored markers. The teacher and librarian will instruct the students to
write the word refine in the center of one sheet and gap in the
center of the other. Then, each group will copy down one simple
dictionary definition of each word and write it under the word.
Then the silent graffiti begins. Students will have ten minutes to do this
activity. Half of each small group will spend 5 minutes writing down
every association they have with the word refine. They can free
associate, draw a picture, ask a question, write a poem and interact
however they choose with deconstructing this word with their partners.
At the end of five minutes, the groups will switch papers, spend 1 -2
minutes reading what their classmates wrote, and then silently
continue their conversation for 5 more minutes.

At the end of the activity the groups will hang their graffiti on the walls
of the classroom and everyone will get up and do a gallery walk to read
what sense their classmates made of these terms.
Then the class will have a whole group discussion about why these
terms are important to their projects and how they apply to the days

Explanation of Activity 2:

The goal of this lesson is to teach students how to map out their initial
research findings so they can begin to draw some conclusions and
identify gaps in their research. Students will write additional research
questions to identify the gaps in their research.
If this is the first time the students are using SpiderScribe, the teacher
and librarian will either model the program or show a tutorial video.
The tutorials can also be posted to the class blog for future reference.
The teacher and librarian will hand out a rubric for students to evaluate
their research so far, to help categorize their findings and to draw
conclusions based on evidence. They will use these rubrics to make a
mind map of their research so far and categorize it. During this activity
the students will engage in the construct phase of the inquiry
process, where they put together the information they have gathered
so far and categorize the findings they have discovered. In the process
of constructing meaning from their information, students will use the
mind maps to visualize where there are gaps in their research. They
will use this information to create additional research questions to
assist them with the next phase of the inquiry process.
The teacher and librarian will model for students how to make sense of
their research, categorize their ideas, begin to see connections
between ideas, draw some initial conclusions, and to identify gaps and
areas for further research. They will also model possible frameworks
for organizing mind maps: cause and effect, chronology,
or order of importance. Students will decide how to design their map.
Will it read top to bottom, left to right, circular? Or another design?
As the students begin to work independently, the teacher and librarian
will circulate and help students categorize their research in the mind
maps, identify gaps and patterns, and draw some initial conclusions. At
the end of the period, students will discuss what more they need to
know and refine their research questions to address the gaps in their
research. They will come up with at least three new research questions
they will address in the next phase of their projects.

If incorporated purposefully, digital technologies can deepen student
understanding. The AASL and Common Core standards emphasize
creative and critical thinking as well as collaboration and
communication. SpiderScribe and other mind mapping tools address all
four of these skills. Mind mapping technology makes new modes of
interaction between students possible, allowing students to brainstorm
and think critically about their ideas synchronously and
asynchronously. Loertscher (2011) emphasizes going beyond the
mere transference of old assignments from paper and pencil to some
form of technology to entire reinvention of teaching and learning where
technology is actually boosting both deep understanding and learning
how to learn. Mind mapping is an effective way to teach
metacognition; students can put their collective thinking on the page
to analyze and deconstruct it, draw conclusions and identify gaps. If we
want students to think about thinking, mind mapping is an effective
and enjoyable tool for allowing students to visualize their processes
and collectively map out a process.
Loertscher, D. (2011). The state and futures of educational
technologies. Teacher Librarian, 38(4), 40-41,75. Retrieved from