Series: New Teacher Survival Guide

New Teacher Survival Guide: Technology in the Classroom
Lesson Objective: Watch a new teacher plan and execute a lesson improved by technology
Grade 6 / Social Studies / Technology


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Thought starters

  1. When planning a lesson - even when you're planning on incorporating technology - what is the first question you should ask yourself?
  2. What does Sheryl argue is the power of technology?
  3. How will that aid in students' retention of material and their engagement?
  4. What is the impact of technology on this lesson?

It's cool to see these wonderful tips of using technology in classroom for new teachers. In my opinion, exploring and being familiar with interesting websites for teaching is a good way to start. Then select an appropriate one depending on the standards. Also, making connections with other educators is another idea. It's really helpful of learning from others' sharing. 

Recommended (0)

Wow, this video is very informative and practical.  I'm glad that I saw this video before starting my teaching career. I have always been wondering how I could use technology to expand and deepen my students' understanding of the content provided in class. I learned that besides making connections with other teachers who are working at the same school, I should also develop a close relationship with the technology coordinator. Even though I use a lot of technology in my daily life, I cannot troubleshoot if there is something wrong.
Another important thing that I learned is that the focus should always be learning. First, the teacher should take a look at the content area he/she wants to teach. Then, he/she looks for different activities that could help students retain the information longer, and that is when technology comes in.

Recommended (0)

This video helps you realize how technology can enhance the learning experience in the classroom. In today's society, technology is evolving everyday, and this video helped to show how technology can keep students engaged in the learning process in numerous ways. I liked how the teacher mentioned adding a specific objective so that students are focused on the learning outcomes. Working as a teacher assistant, technology is incorporated every day, from projects to educational videos, and educational games. As future educators, we must become familiar with new technologies.

Recommended (0)

This was a good video that helps you realize how technology can add to a lesson and how much preparation it takes to make sure it is successful. I liked the tips in preparing the lesson and the reflection on what went well and what could be done to improve it. I also liked the idea of students making up their own questions and interviewing an expert in the field thousands of miles away showing students how far technology can go and its benefits to their learning. Using technology as an assessment by having students create their own voicethread is creative and unique to each students take on the assignment! 

Recommended (0)
This "guide" is filled with tips teachers can use to engage their students with technology. It shows how one first year social studies teacher benefited from the practical high impact ideas a mentor shared via Skype, observations, and face-to-face pre and post conferences. My takeaway is to keep my focus on the content and add technology that helps enhance the content, test it out before you teach with it, and collaborate with someone you trust to give you honest feedback while encouraging you.
Recommended (0)


  • Series Title Sequence:
    New Teacher Survival Guide

    Program Title:
    Lesson Planning


    Beat 1 Introduction to

    Series Title Sequence:
    New Teacher Survival Guide

    Program Title:
    Lesson Planning


    Beat 1 Introduction to Patricia


    SEE Patricia Patricia: “Make sure all cellphones are turned off and put away quickly.”
    SEE Patricia collecting cell phones.
    My students love using technology. They use it every day, I mean with cellphones and computers at home and everything.
    I try to use different technologies in my classroom. I do have a classroom web page. Ever day I put up the homework
    SEE Patricia on camera in front of class
    What we're going to do today is we're going to read different survivor stories of the Holocaust. And how you're going to do that is on our website. We're going to go downstairs to the computer lab and you're going to go onto our website, our classroom website. Ok, what's our classroom website, by the way?

    SEE Patricia on camera

    SEE Patricia using technology in the classroom.

    SEE her talking about her student blog

    They love to see, you know, the animations that I put or the pictures and things like that. So it motivates the students more instead of just reading from a textbook or, you know, taking down notes from the board.

    Beat II: Sheryl and Patricia plan a lesson using social media



    Nussbaum: It’s so nice to meet you.
    So tell me who you are!

    Paiva: [Laughs] My name’s Patricia Paiva,
    Nussbaum: Right.
    Paiva: I teach language arts and social studies to a bilingual classroom. It’s actually my first year teaching. I’m having a great ol’ time.

    I want to know a little bit about the technology. Are a lot of teachers using it?

    Paiva: As teachers, yes, we do use a lot of technology. We try to use as much as we can based on the resources we have.

    Paiva: We have about two or three computers that students are able to use in the classroom and they are able to use the Internet on them. Once a week every week the class is actually scheduled to go to the computer room where all the students are able to use the computer at the same time.
    Sheryl: How about social media? Are you using much social media, you personally?
    Patricia: Facebook, I used MySpace before, but I’m not that into it any more. You know, YouTube, Twitter, things like that.

    Nussbaum: What do you think the obstacles are going to be in terms of you and I co-creating a lesson plan that’s going to use social media?

    SEE visuals of tech coordinator Manny wiping the sweat off of his brow and trying to get the Internet connection to work.

    Tip: Anticipate barriers to implementing a new technology.
    Paiva: Maybe the Internet connection, if we’re not going to be face-to-face.

    We did have some technical difficulties before we started, but we did get everything going.

    It did take us a couple minutes, but I think that’s the only thing I’m mainly concerned about.

    Nussbaum: Now, does the technology coordinator help you when you’re in the lab with them, when you’re working on the blog replies and things like that?

    Paiva: Yeah, he’s …

    Nussbaum: Or are you pretty much on your own?

    Paiva: No. He’s always available. He helps us with everything we need, so he’s really good with that.

    Nussbaum: Developing a relationship with the technology support person in your building just becomes critical.

    Tip: Develop a close relationship with the tecnology coordiator.

    SEE footage of Manny helping out. Nussbaum: If you have a relationship with that person, or another technology-using teacher, then you have somebody that’s going to kind of help you take baby steps and walk through in the beginning.

    Nussbaum: So what were you thinking about teaching? What was the lesson that you were kind of mulling around? Or have you gotten that far?

    Paiva: Right now, in social studies, we’re talking about the Holocaust, What I was actually thinking was having them conduct a web quest. I actually did start putting everything together. I actually had a PowerPoint that I wanted to show them prior to them even starting.

    Nussbaum: When you’re trying to design a lesson that uses technology… A lot of times, what a teacher will do is they will begin with the tools. They start thinking about what are all the cool tools? I know I want to do blogging.

    Nussbaum: Or maybe I want to do VoiceThread. The problem with that is whenever you start with the technology, it’s like a tool going looking for a problem to solve.

    You really want to start with what are we trying to get the student to know and be able to do.
    Beach: So in this Holocaust Lesson, what is it that you want to be different at the end of the lesson than it was at the beginning?

    INTV Sheryl

    The focus really needs to be on the learning. The teacher starts with the content, they look at the state standards. They look at the content that they're supposed to be covering. Then they're going to think about the pedagogy, what kind of activity am I going to do to help these kids retain this information and really learn it more deeply?” That’s when technology comes in.

    Patricia: I actually set up an objective, and if I could read it to you. If that’s OK.

    Graphic: Tip
    First define the lesson objective, then select an appropriate tecahing tool

    Nussbaum: Sure. Sure.

    Paiva: My objective was, “After reading and watching a video about the life of Anne Frank....

    the students will be able to examine the life of other children who lived during the holocaust by conducting a web quest and creating a video/PowerPoint—which I’m not sure about what we’re doing here yet—

    Nussbaum: The PowerPoint piece, isn’t social media. PowerPoint and video is basically where you’re connecting with the computer and you’re connecting with the technology.

    What we want to do is we want to take them past the creation of knowledge, which is what they do in the PowerPoint, or what they do with the web quest.
    Paiva: Mmm-hmm.
    Nussbaum: And now, we’re going to move them over to where they’re sharing, connecting, collaborating, and acting collectively.
    Paiva: OK.
    Nussbaum: That’s where we really start to look at the power of social media in helping kids to internalize the curriculum.

    Nussbaum: We want you think of yourself as a connected learner who can connect to other people. You and I right now are connecting. We’re sharing ideas.

    This is what connected learning’s about. But then we also want to allow your students to connect and to collaborate. To think about who can they put in their personal learning network that’s going to help them learn more about this topic.
    INTV Sheryl
    Starting to use technology as an educator to connect and to collaborate with people around the world using tools like Twitter, they can pick and choose and vet certain educators and then they can throw a question out to their personal learning network. Like, “I want to teach a lesson on the holocaust, and I'm trying to decide what would be the best for to do it while reading the “Diary of Anne Frank.” Does anybody have any ideas?”
    Graphic: Tip:
    Build a personal learning network Nussbaum: So I had an idea as you were talking. I happen to have a good friend who is a first-year teacher as well.And she has just recently moved to the Netherlands. I went to see her in Amsterdam, and guess what’s in Amsterdam.

    Paiva: The museum of Anne Frank.

    Nussbaum: So it might be that we could do something where your students could maybe interview Mary, or Mary could go to the museum and get your students to work with the subject matter expert there via Skype.

    Nussbaum: Do you think that would be anything that would be exciting?
    Paiva: Yea. I think that’s very exciting actually.

    SEE Voice Thread.
    VoiceThread will allow each child to create their own slide, and they can weigh in on that slide.

    Nussbaum: They can even talk and narrate what you’re seeing. You could have those same teams of five… Have a different section that they’re going to create and put it all together in the VoiceThread about different children that lived during the Holocaust and things like that.

    Paiva: [Holocaust.] OK.

    Nussbaum: And make that part of the objective. So that the VoiceThread becomes the assessment.

    Graphic: Tip:
    Integrate technology into the assessment

    Nussbaum: The greatest place to put technology is in the area of assessment. So by thinking about, “What can I have them create? What artifact can I have them work through using this technology to create or connect and collaborate with someone that is then going to prove to me thatthey’ve mastered this lesson?”
    Nussbaum: I think we’ve got a great way to kick it off, with the reading and the interviewing of the expert that’s actually in the Netherlands…
    Paiva: Mmm-hmm.
    Nussbaum: At the Anne Frank House. That’s where this is.
    Paiva: Yeah.
    Nussbaum: Then they’ll get to see the house that she lived in.
    Nussbaum: All right. What questions do you have so far? What are you wondering about?

    Paiva: No. I’m actually very anxious to do this lesson. They’re going to enjoy it. All my students love to use the computer. They always ask every time they’re done with work, “Can I use the computer?”

    Maybe I can come on site and watch you teach.
    Paiva: OK. That will be awesome.
    Nussbaum: Would that be great?
    Paiva: Mmm-hmm.

    Nussbaum: All right. Wonderful. Thank you so much! I enjoyed talking to you today.

    Paiva: No problem. I also enjoyed talking to you. Thank you so much!


    Beat 1: Sheryl and Patricia meet

    SEE Sheryl entering the Ann Street Elementary School.

    Sheryl: Hi, how are you? So good to meet you face to face.

    Patricia: You too!

    Beach: So what are we doing today, how have you decided to...?

    Paiva: So today we're actually going to have a Skype conversation with some people from the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam.
    Paiva: And the students are actually going to brainstorm some questions. They already have some questions in mind. So they're going to just ask them questions about the museum and the history behind it and all of that.

    All right, great, well looks like we're ready to go!
    Paiva: Yes we are!
    Beach: I can't wait.
    Paiva: I know, I'm so excited, as much as they are.
    Beach: All right, should we go to class and go meet the kids?
    Paiva: Yes.
    Beach: All right, great!
    SEE Patricia in front of the class Patricia to class: What we are going to do is we are going to the computer lab very quickly now. We’re going to have an introduction.

    Anna’s going to be the person introducing our class. You have your little card. Put it in your head, whatever it is, you introduce yourself, you introduce your students. you introduce your classmates.

    When it’s your turn to ask your question, I want you to introduce yourselves. Say, Hi my name is blank, introduce yourselves and ask your question. Okay, let’s start with the ladies, line up quietly.
    See kids walking out of classroom/ wipe to Amsterdam.

    Beat II: Introduction of the Ann Frank House Museum.
    SEE the Ann Frank House in Amsterdam.
    Lower Third: Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, Holland


    SEE wide shot of the classroom Patricia: Shh, make sure to listen because it’s hard to hear

    SEE introduction by student. Anna: We learned a lot about Anne Frank and we just want to learn more information about it. So, we’re very happy.
    Patricia: We are going to start with some questions, so we’ll have the students come up and introduce themselves and ask some questions.

    Annemarie: OK, can you please have the students speak slowly and loudly?

    Patricia: Yes, we’ll have them speak louder and a little bit closer to the camera.
    Jennifer: Hi, my name is Jennifer and my question is, do you think you ever felt the way Anne Frank did by experiencing what she had been through in the house?
    Diego: Hi my name is Diego, and my question is what must you do to keep the museum open to the public?
    Natali: My name is Natalie, and the question I’d like to ask is how important do you think is the history behind this museum?
    Michael: My first question is, what types of artifacts is present in the museum?
    SEE wrap up. Patricia: We’re still going on with Anne Frank and the holocaust so I’m sure we’ll have some more questions and we’re going to do some more research. But I just did want to thank you personally so much personally for your time and your effort and all your hard work. And let’s just say bye boys and girls..

    Class: Bye.... (applause...)

    INTV with Annemarie

    Lower third:
    ANNE-MARIE BEKKER, historian,
    Anne Frank House Anne-marie Becker: It worked well. It was very nice to see the children and to receive the questions and to ask the questions.

    And I was impressed about how much they knew already about Anne Frank. The questions were sometimes quite difficult for me to answer, but a very nice experience.

    Beat 3 Conclusion and Debrief

    Beach: So, wow, that was exciting, right?
    Paiva: It was. Right. The kids had a great time.
    Beach: They did. How did you enjoy it?
    Paiva: I also enjoyed it personally. You know, I noticed that the kids were so engaged and I love seeing that.

    Beach: It was very inspirational to me. I thought that you did a fabulous job. I wanted to talk, if I could, just a little bit about some of the things I observed in the beginning.
    Paiva: Okay.

    Beach: In prep for the lab, as you got ready to go, I thought it was very clear and I think, a lot of people don't realize when you're going to do a technology-based activity, there's as much that goes on before you go to the lab, then there's the during the lab, and then there's the after the lab, isn't there? And you could tell you had thought that through.

    It’s really important that you think about how the pedagogy is going to change when you are putting together a lesson plan that involves technology.

    You’ve got to rethink your attitudes, your dispositions, your philosophy of education to some extent. How you’re going to group kids, the management techniques you’re going to use. The delivery of the lesson, and the assessment.

    Patricia showed some perfect examples of that, where she had the kids working together in groups, they were collaborating, and then she actually had to think through even in room position, how was she going to change things up once we got down in the lab.

    SEE Patricia in front of class. Patricia: While we are in the computer lab, we are going to sit in front of the projector. We do have some of the chairs already set up, so make sure that you sit quietly.
    Sheryl: So there’s logistical things like that. Then actually in the lesson plans she had to think about, alright, how am I going to give the students ownership of this so its actually them asking the questions and interacting with this person.

    But yet I’m still accomplishing the objectives and the content that I want to do at the same time. You may have seen when she stopped, she kind of summarized, and she then she would let the person go back through. Or if she felt like the students question wasn’t answered or wasn’t clarified.
    Patricia: I just want to tell them again to make sure that they heard. Remember we saw that she had pictures on the wall. Remember that? So what they actually did was take it out, they preserved it, and they put it back onto the wall. and they put like a glass. So it kind of helps preserve it to keep it up to date. Alright?

    Beach: One of the first takeaways that we had when you and I started planning the lesson, is we talked about that you really want to start with the learning. Not the tools. So as you're thinking about the technology, you always want to ask yourself, "Am I doing this just because I think Skype's cool?" Or is there something that would really deepen the learning by using Skype in this way? And there was.
    Paiva: Right.

    Beach: Let's talk about planning. So how did you plan for this? I know the idea is to just use a few tools and then really plan from there because if you get too much technology going on, that's another thing that teachers do sometimes--// You didn't. You used just a few tools. How did you go about preparing?

    Tip: Try out new technology before using it in the classroom.

    Had you used Skype a lot before?

    Paiva: No, it was actually my first time using it. I did hear about it before. I knew a little bit about how it worked. I mean, I knew a little bit, not too much. But I did test it out on my own. I created my own Skype account. I did test it out a little bit at home.

    Beach: So that's pretty important tip, right, whenever teachers are going to use new technologies--we'd never bring a video in and just pop it in and say, "Let's watch this." We always go home and watch the video first and then we bring it in. And so it should be the same way with technology. Teachers should use it first and kind of figure out how to trouble shoot it.

    SEE actuality of Patricia taking awhile to load the pictures.

    So tell me how you thought the lesson went. What did you like? What did you think went well? And what would you change?
    Paiva: I think it went very well. There's some things I would change.
    Just when I was doing the modeling with the voice thread. It was taking a little bit longer than I thought.

    Beach: As you were going through the voice thread, there were some things that I was thinking of as you were going through. Having them each create their own is almost like a whole other lesson in and of itself.

    Beach: But I think what might have been better to fit it in quickly with what today was doing--which I think you were trying to do an assessment of today's stuff--would have been for you to create one ahead of time, like you did. You could have used that as modeling, you could have shown that for your objective but then had them each comment, right then.
    Paiva: Right.Beach: What’s something you took away from this Skype interview.

    The last thing I wanted to talk about was the final takeaway. And that takeaway is when we really look at what happens after the lesson. I thought the discussion that you had with your students afterwards, about technology, was just brilliant.

    SEE sound on tape of Patricia discussing with students. Patricia: We did use a lot of technology today, right? So, my question is, what are your thoughts based on all this technology that we used.
    Jennifer: The great thing about technology is that, in books, we can read about history, but we can’t talk to other people and know what their experience might have been.

    Patricia: Good, I’m glad you brought that up.

    Tip: Discuss with your students what they liked and didn't like about the technology.

    Having that kind of conversation where your students actually can say "This really worked for me, and this is why, and this didn't" not only gives them ownership in the lesson, but it really is helpful for you to think about how to use those technologies in the future.

    Beach: So I'm really excited for you. Do you think you're going to use technology again in your lessons?

    Paiva: Yes, definitely. And that will be just because I keep going back to that engagement that the students had, and that motivation. I definitely want to use it again.

    Beach: Well, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed working with you.

    Paiva: I enjoyed working with you also.

    Beach: Thank you so much. It was a lot of fun.

    Paiva: Thank you.

    Conclusion Montage

    SEE montage of students in the classroom. Bring up music. Perhaps slow motion shots. SEE Sheryl from time to time.

    A lot of teachers say, “who’s got time for that? I just can’t make the time.” If you’re going to ask yourself, why do I change, why should I put the energy into it? Why should I put the effort into it? The reason you want to do it is for the children’s sake.

    We live in a time of fast-paced change. Now what we’ve got to do is to produce kids who are going to be collaborating with people all over the world, often online.

    And as one of the students said today, and did so eloquently, the technologies are just going to change. We’re using iPhones now, but she said 25, 50 years in the future they’re going to be using crazy mad who knows what. We’ve got to make sure these kids have the digital skills to help them be prepared for the world that awaits them.

    The Takeaways

    Anticipate barriers to implementing new technology.
    Develop a close relationship with the technology coordinator.
    First define the lesson objective, then select an appropriate technology.
    Build a personal learning network.
    Integrate technology into the lesson assessment.
    Try out new technologies before using them in a lesson.
    Discuss the technology with your students to determine what worked and what didn’t.

School Details

Ann Street Elementary School
30 Ann Street
Newark NJ 07105
Population: 1353

Data Provided By:



Patricia Paiva Cunha
English Language Arts / 6 7 / Teacher


Teaching Practice

Project-based Learning, PBL, Projects, Engagement

Teaching Practice

All Grades/ All Subjects/ Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Culture

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement


Lesson Planning


Professional Learning


Next Generation Science Standards