I have been given the opportunity to develop a 21st century technology class for 6th grade.  There are no restrictions on what I can or should teach.  I am looking for input on topics that you feel should be included.


The core curriculum will be based on ISTE NET-S.  The class will be green.  All work and resources will utilize the Cloud.  Students coming into 6th grade are already familiar with Google Apps - Email and Document Sharing (wordprocessing).  It is a given that Google Apps will be part of the curriculum and a more indepth use of the many tools will be taught.


Social Networking should be included but in what form?  Digital imaging - which online tools? Study Aids?  Research tools? Which Web 2.0 tools? What else?


I am anxious to get your input.



Tags: 21st, Century, Classroom, Curriculum, Technology, Tools

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Wow, Carol! How exciting! I'd love to teach such a class. Here are some ideas I have -- take or leave them:

  • For social networking, I'd HIGHLY recommend Edmodo. It has a ton of features specifically for educators, and it's easy to use for both students and teachers. It's set up a lot like Facebook, but there are no private conversations (everything is on a public wall), which is great for oversight. Also, anyone in the class can share links, documents, videos, etc., and those are archived in a "library," which students can organize as they see fit using folders. Plus, the teacher can post assignments and students can turn in assignments completely through the site. Teachers can even grade assignments and post grades (students can only see their own grades) on Edmodo. I think it's a really powerful classroom management tool. (If you're interested, I wrote a blog about social networking in the classroom that might help you.)
  • For projects and presentations, I would give students a choice. I'd show them 7 or 8 web 2.0 presentation tools (i.e., Prezi, Go!Animate, Pixton) and allow them to choose which tool they wanted to use to present information. With each presentation, ask students to choose a new tool so they get a variety of experiences and learn to troubleshoot new software -- a necessary skill in this ever-changing world. (I created a presentation on this process that you might find helpful.)
  • I'm sure you'll have students blog throughout the class to share their work with the world. (I'd definitely be interested in what they're doing!)
  • I might also consider having students create video games during the class. Both iPhone and Android have programs that allow anyone to create apps for the phones (Apple charges $99 for the iPhone program, but the Android program -- through Google -- is free). Also, there's a program called Kudo Game Lab for XBox, which students can use to create their own XBox games.
  • Lastly, I've always thought that tinkering projects, clubs, and classes help students build necessary 21st century skills. If you're interested, I wrote a blog about tinkering that might offer you some ideas.

I hope you'll share some of your students' projects with the Classroom 2.0 community. Good luck!


Katy Scott

Stretch Your Digital Dollar

thank you so much for all this useful information.
I am currently enrolled in a Technology for Teachers class. We have learned to use Prezi and Scratch. These are both great programs. Prezi is a great alternative to for presentations other than using the same old PowerPoints again and again. Scratch is also an amazing program. Scratch allows students or even teachers to build their own programs. This one is more difficult to use and students will need some guidance to get a handle on how to use it. The final product with Scratch is always good...not to mention FUN!

These are some great ideas for tools - you also want to think about the "why" of the class. Perhaps you can ask the students about their familiarity with various topics and their desire to learn more. (We've found that these surveys should not go home, otherwise you get the parents ideas). Don't ask about tools, ask about action - movie making, animation, creative writing, 3d modeling, scriptwriting, music composition, photo editing, graphics, etc.


There is so much out there that is not about documents.


Then, create some opportunities for projects that encompass a couple of tools and technologies. A video needs a script, needs editing, needs sound, needs music - let the project drive the needs. A cartoon needs storyboards, needs graphics.. A Google Earth map could use some buildings built in Sketch-up, etc. Making a video game needs a programming language (Scratch), needs graphics, needs music, and so on. Don't let Scratch scare you - you may not know how to program, but the kids will pick it up quickly and there is lots of guidance on the Scratch website on classroom use.


If you structure these projects with time for tinkering, you may find that the students come up with ways to keep going with them and add more. You may have to spend some time, of course, untraining them to ask for the recipe to get the assignment "done" - school tends to make children really good at getting the checklist and just checking stuff off. These kinds of projects help break those bad habits!


Good luck with this and have fun!


Teach them to use Evernote. They can highlight research, post it to Evernote and include the source info automatically. Great for plagiarism discussions and quickly gathering information. Gets rid of having to make jot notes on paper and then lose them.


Ustream - create your own internet tv station


Prezi to create presentations

This site has fabulous resources: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/




Wow. You are so lucky to be given free reign.! Enjoy.

I teach our technology courses in 6th - 8th grade and I'm considering shifting some things around.  I only have the kids once a week for 10 weeks.  In 6th grade, they build web sites.  We start by creating content in Google docs where they also learn about sharing documents and editing/commenting on each other's work. We also create surveys/forms in Docs and generate graphs/charts out of them. Then we learn HTML and CSS before moving to Weebly for all the rest of the content.  That all works really well and the kids learn a lot.


Where I'm thinking about shifting gears is in 7th and 8th grade.  I teach Scratch in 8th grade, but they seem bored with it.  So I'm thinking about switching Scratch to 7th grade and do something like blogging/social media awareness with 8th. 


But it's a challenge to figure out what I'd do in 10 weeks' time--essentially 10 sessions.  Before I propose anything, I'm trying to work out everything.  Would love to hear what you come up with.

I am not sure if this tidbit of information will help but why not use moodle to tie it all together.  You can find more information at moodle.org and how to use it.  In a nut shell it is a online classroom management software that is free to use. 



Might be too late for this year, but how about an online Internet Safety lesson for next year. I can include your students in my Moodle class.



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