Chapter 3:  Planning Instruction

In this chapter we describe a heuristic for planning instruction using app affordances. 

We argue that an understanding of app affordances on mobile devices can be used to help students learn uses of disciplinary literacies.  The key question we address in the chapter is

How can you plan instruction based on activities for engaging students through uses of app affordances?

 We describe how to plan instruction that builds on the uses of app affordances for helping students learn literacy practices that support learning.  To do so, we provide you with set of 10 planning points that serve as a heuristic for thinking about planning instruction, questions that need not be addressed in any particular order.   

  1. Defining learning objectives related to your classroom context—what you want your students to learn, as well as how your learning objects are related to your own larger curriculum goals as well as state standards.  
  2. Applying theories of constructivist, connectivist, and critical inquiry learning related to defining learning objectives.
  3. Identifying those disciplinary literacies involved in students’ uses of information/data, reading, writing, multimodal production, simulation/games, reflection/assessing disciplinary literacies related to the particular subject you’re teaching.   
  4. Identifying specific literacy practices associated with the uses of these disciplinary literacies.
  5. Determining how differences in students’ prior experience, knowledge, needs, abilities, and interests shaped their ability to employ these disciplinary literacies, leading to varying your instruction based on these differences
  6. Selecting relevant app affordances that will best serve to foster students’ use of certain disciplinary literacies, for example, the use of photo editing apps to create engage in multimodal production.
  7. Creating authentic learning activities to achieve your learning objectives involving uses of disciplinary literacies, activities with some actual purpose and audience, for example, creating podcasts about issues facing a school to post on a school newspaper.  
  8. Modeling and scaffolding students’ uses of app affordances to employ disciplinary literacies.
  9. Fostering students’ reflection about their work by providing them with feedback related to their students’ ability to employ app affordances to achieve certain learning objectives.
  10. Reflecting on your own instruction in terms of what went well and ways you can improve your instruction.