What you need to know
A ‘lesson’ is used here as a shorthand for the sequencing of learning activities into a short span of learning.
This is the point at which the designed curriculum becomes reality. And where the skill of the teacher really comes into play – a lesson is when the curriculum comes to life for a particular group of learners.
Why good lesson design matters
We no longer think of the curriculum as fixed and 'delivered' to students.
Learning with technology can mean something much more disruptive and creative – for example, holding interactions with others both in the classroom and outside to find out what you need to know.
This kind of co-creation can mean better engagement and deeper learning in all parts of the sector – there is no doubt that timely use of apps that allow you to make learning dynamic and ‘in the moment’ capture students’ interest.
You will, however, need to think carefully about how the activities undertaken during face-to-face sessions fit with online elements of the course; equally, how well your planned activities help your students acquire digital competence and professionalism – see digital capability and employability section.
Instructions need to be clear so that students know where to find information, what tools they are expected to use and whether they can choose these for themselves. Consider also how inclusive your use (or non-use) of digital tools will be.
Your aim is to create rich, challenging tasks that extend beyond the physical boundaries of the classroom and stimulate and maximise your students’ learning potential.
What the experts say
“Using Twitter, my students can tweet in 140 characters a response to a question using a hashtag that enables their peers to see/respond to the points shared, whilst encouraging a succinct, articulate, mature and literate dialectic.”
Scott Hayden, digital innovation specialist, Basingstoke College of Technology
Be inspired - case studies
Dundee and Angus College – bringing learning into the 21st century
Dundee and Angus College shows how innovative technology can add an extra dimension to timetabled learning.
The choice of tools in the college’s Learning Lab ranges from virtual and augmented reality, 3-D printing and 3-D capture to programmable cars, Minecraft, gesture control and video capture tools, Xbox gaming and drones.
Access to the Lab can be on a drop-in basis or as part of a special interest group. However, teachers also include a visit to the facility as part of a sequence of classroom activities for subjects ranging from numeracy and human biology to construction and surveying.
“Our Pro-bots (programmable cars) have been used in core skills and computing to engage learners in problem solving and logical skills whilst providing innovative ways in which to deliver and develop numeracy and basic programming skills.”
Joy Howat, team leader for learning technologies, Dundee and Angus College
Portsmouth College – empowering innovation
Adopting Apple technology with its associated App Store and iBooks on all full-time courses for 16-18 year olds has transformed lessons at Portsmouth College.
Technology as the norm in teaching and learning has stimulated new approaches, provided greater pace and variety during lessons and at the same time boosted teachers’ technical know-how and students’ independent learning and employability skills.
As well as opening up engaging, interactive opportunities for learning in and beyond the classroom, staff have been able to provide one-to-one support, assessment and feedback alongside their teaching role in the classroom.
“Digital has made this kind of sophisticated yet personalised learning experience a reality for us.”
Simon Barrable, deputy principal, Portsmouth College
- Share the top 200 tools for learning 2017 with your team
- Try out the UCL learning types wheel
- Use our effective practice planner template (docx) to design your technology-enhanced learning activities - you can also view a worked example of the effective practice planner template (pdf)
- Find out how our expert, targeted support and assistance can help you apply digital technologies to best effect when designing learning