A Plain English Instructional Model

We’ve been working hard to help Maine’s schools adopt a “More Verbs, Fewer Nouns” stance when thinking about the technology in our schools. We want schools to be sure they are focused more on what they want to do with the devices than with the devices themselves. There is no doubt that there is a lot of “noun” work that needs to happen to make the learning (the “verb” work) happen, but we want to make sure that when we talk about tools and devices that it is in service to the kinds of learning experiences we provide for students.

One way we’re trying to further that conversation is by introducing what we call a plain English instructional model. That model includes the following components:

  • A Plain English Instructional ModelTech for Foundational Knowledge: How can we help students learn the basics?
  • Tech for Practice and Deepening Understanding: What tools and resources help students develop some fluency with those basics?
  • Tech for Using Knowledge: How can we contextualize learning and make learning engaging and meaningful? How can students use their knowledge? What is the role for creating and creativity, and for project-based learning.
  • Tech for Assessment, Evidence of Learning & Feedback: How can technology help us capture what students know and can do, and provide feedback to help drive continuous improvement?
  • Student Motivation & Engagement: How do teachers ensure that students are mentally and physically engaged? How can teachers create the conditions for student self-motivation?

This instructional model is not intended to replace any general or content specific instructional model that a school has already adopted. In fact, it is quick work to do a crosswalk between those models and this one. 

The goal of this Plain English Instructional Model it to provide a framework around which educators and school leaders can have a conversation (a plain English conversation!) about teaching and learning and the role of technology in pedagogy and instruction.

 

In the next post, we describe the advantages of a Plain English Instructional Model.

 

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