What teachers need to understand…

We’ve been using the McTighe Understanding by Design model to create a technology plan for our school.  I’m sharing some of our ideas here, in case readers find it interesting or helpful. But before anyone tells me (again!) that there are people in the world who don’t have access to technology, let me reiterate that this is based on my school setting and the requirements of my school. Any other sorts of feedback are welcome and appreciated.


  • The implementation of technology to support inquiry and learning across all learning areas.
  • The use of technology to support creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.
  • The use of technology for global connections to promote authentic learning, not limited to the classroom.

Part 1: Understandings. Teachers will understand that…

  • Technology is an integral part of learning.
  • Integration of technology is not optional.
  • Each teacher needs to take responsibility for their own ICT learning (with support).
  • Literacy today includes technological literacy as well as the traditional literacies such as reading and writing.
  • Implementation of technology should always be driven by learning requirements.
  • Learning is not limited to the classroom. Technology provides opportunities for meaningful global learning outside of the classroom.
  • Web 2.0 allows for communication with and feedback from a wide ranging authentic audience.
  • Web 2.0 provides opportunities for practicing trans-disciplinary skills such as communication, collaboration and critical thinking.
  • Technology can provide access to a broad range of  information, through both primary and secondary sources.
  • Technology creates opportunities for natural differentiation and multiple learning styles.
  • Technology provides opportunities for student choice and facilitates students taking responsibility for their own learning.
  • ICT in an essential part of the information process. (Define, locate, select, organize, present and assess)

It was so simply put by Jessica recently on  Stars and Clouds:

This morning I woke up and thought: Why do people make such a big deal about technology? I ask myself that because it is so much part of my life, it is ‘natural’ to me. Shouldn’t we just accept technology into our classrooms just like we accept books, maths manipulatives, and playdough in kindergarten? Why is it that schools do not reflect ‘real life’ anymore? …

Coming next: Part 2: Knowledge and skills.


6 thoughts on “What teachers need to understand…

  1. I think its awesome that you guys have a vision of making/keeping education relevant to real life. That’s one of my basic motivations behind teaching. Sadly, I am one of a few teachers who integrate web 2.0 tech into my classroom.


  2. Beautiful quote from Jessica. I like that you clearly state the goals and add the teacher understandings. So often I see schools list goals without any guidance on the assumptions being made in the goals. The teacher understandings provides a baseline for these assumptions and gives everyone the same jumping off point.


  3. Very comprehensive list. I like the way your Understandings are clearly stated and not clouded in complexity. When you read through the Understandings it’s almost inconceivable that people wouldn’t get it and know that it’s something that just has to be tackled.

    I think it’s time we did something similar in our school, as take up of technology has been somewhat sporadic.


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