Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they be executed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Intel Essentials Course has spring-boarded District 59 teachers
to think outside of the technology box! As a Master Teacher, I have
had the opportunity to facilitate two Intel Essentials Courses
through Consolidated Community School District 59 located in
Arlington Heights, Elk Grove, and Mount Prospect, Illinois. Prior to
facilitating an Intel Essentials Course, I was required to complete a
unit plan titled, My Eyes on Technology. As with any lesson, it is
still a "work in progress" and continues to evolve into something new
and exciting every time I teach it to my Applied Technology students.
My Eyes on Technology introduces sixth graders to the ethical side of
technology. Intel's array of technological tools guided my
educational decisions to integrate technology into specific segments
of the unit. Using an interactive KWL chart that was displayed on a
SMART board, students brainstormed answers to the essential question,
"How does technology impact a society?" Throughout the duration of
the unit we were able to revisit the interactive KWL. The KWL guided
each student's awareness of how various societies, whether it was a
first or third world country, are impacted by unique technological
During another segment of the unit, students analyze a looping
PowerPoint presentation (with music) that includes child labor
photographs from past and present periods of time. The presentation
includes journaling prompts that the students respond to as they
watch the slides. In addition, students compare and contrast past and
present day inventions by critically analyzing a products impact on a
society. Not only does this reinforces 21st Century skills, but
provides students a voice in what they consider to be an impact on
their everyday lives.
Integrating Technology into this unit expands students' technological
literacy, geographical awareness, vocabulary, identification of
figurative language, and ethical awareness. Reflecting on this unit,
I plan to have future classes use Google Docs and Voice Threading to
digitally capture and share their perspectives with each other.
Because of Intel's Essential Course and My Eyes on Technology, my
students are more conscious of how technology impacts not only a
society, but also how it impacts their personal lives!