Module 9 – Planning Lessons with Technology

I have two years teaching experience but hesitate to consider myself an experienced lesson planner.

The TIP Model (Roblyer & Doering, 2014, pp.66-77) and TPACK (Koehler & Mishra, 2005) are useful tools but it is important to note, as broadly acknowledged by Okojie, Olinzock & Okojie-Boulder (2006), that lesson planning is a complex, multidimensional process involving content, technology and a range of factors subsumed by the concept of pedagogy. Teaching Australia (2008 as cited in Marsh, 2010, p.195) defines pedagogy as strategies, skills and abilities applied to foster good learning outcomes. Cherner and Smith (2016) highlight the following pedagogic elements in their analysis of TPACK: differentiated instruction, rigor, literacy skills, classroom management, feedback and assessment and lesson planning and assessment. They contend that failure to consider any of these elements will adversely affect instruction.

As a science teacher I use the 5E Instructional Model (Bybee, 2014). The model involves planning a learning unit in five stages: engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration and evaluation. The model is constructivist in orientation (Goodrum and Druhan, 20112). In terms of the planning I have found Roy Killen’s Planning for quality teaching and learning (2009, pp.77-99) very helpful. Killen’s advice starts with clarifying why you are teaching the lesson. He contends that if you are not clear about why, do not expect your students to be clear about it either. This process requires one to consider the lesson’s relevance and purpose, how it relates to the subject, students’ prior knowledge and new concepts. Next write clear learning outcomes and decide how you will assess whether students have achieved the outcomes. At this point Killen cites and suggests using a taxonomy of learning such as Bloom (1956), Harrow (1972) and Anderson & Krathwold (2001). Next select the content that students will need to understand to achieve the outcomes. Drawing from TPACK, consider your Content Knowledge and what you may need to review. It is advisable to re-read the section of the subject textbook, if applicable, to pre-empt any issues. I also research some questions to deepen my understanding. Killen then recommends considering appropriate pedagogic strategies. He proposes (p.84) using the following question to guide the selection of strategy, “What learning experiences will make it easy for students to achieve the lesson outcomes?” Drawing from TPACK’s   intersection between pedagogic and technological knowledge, Killen’s question can be rephrased as, “What combinations of pedagogic strategy and technology will provide the learning experiences that make it easy for students to achieve learning outcomes.” Roblyer and Doering (2014, p.65) summarise a range of perspectives to develop these combinations: to remedy identified weaknesses or skills by, for example, the use of drill-and-practice software; to promote skills fluency and automaticy; to support self-paced learning and reviews of concepts; to foster creative problem solving and metacognition; to build mental models and increase knowledge transfer; to foster collaboration; to allow for multiple and distributed intelligences; to generate motivation; to optimise scarce resources; to remove logistical hurdles to learning such as boring and repetitive tasks; and to develop information and visual literacies. Although this planning process has been presented as a linear approach, it is in practice non-linear. Elements may have to be reconsidered as the plan develops. Drawing from TPACK’s intersection between the three knowledge domains, reconsider content and possibly also assessment to ensure that all elements of the plan are consistent and aligned. The boundaries between content, pedagogic elements and technology knowledge are not clearly defined and the planning process involves carefully interweaving these components.

Killen also recommends considering constraints in the planning process. By this he means being realistic about what and how much can be learnt and the resources available. I suggest keeping things simple as a new teacher even if this means limiting the use of enriching strategies and enhancing technologies. It is more important to focus on your students and delivering well-executed lessons initially than going into a lesson with too much to be concerned about in terms of strategy and technology. I speak from experience.


Bybee, R.W. (2014). The BSCS 5E Instructional Model: Personal Reflections and Contemporary Implications. Science and Children, 51 (8), 10-13.

Cherner, T., & Smith, D. (2016). Reconceptualizing TPACK to Meet the Needs of Twenty-First-Century Education. The New Educator,  1-21. Retrieved January 20th, 2017 from CSU Library

Goodrum, D., & Druhan, A. (2012). Teaching strategies for science classrooms. In Venville, G., & Dawson, V. (Eds.). The art of Teaching Science: For middle and secondary school, Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Killen, R. (2009). Effective Teaching Strategies: Lessons from research and practice,  (5th ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Learning.

Koehler, M., & Mishra, P. (2005). What happens when teachers design educational technology? The development of technological pedagogical and content knowledge. Journal of Educational Computing Science, Vol 32(2), 131-152. Retrieved December 31st, 2016 from CSU Library

Marsh, C. (2010). Becoming a Teacher: Knowledge, Skills and Issues, (5th ed.), Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

Okojie, M., Olinzock, A., and Okojie-Boulder, T. (2006). The Pedagogy of Technology Integration. Journal of Technology Studies, Vol. 32(2), 66-71. Retrieved December 20th, 2016 from

Roblyer, M. & Doering, A.H. (2014). Integrating education technology into teaching: Sixth Edition. Essex, UK: Pearson Education.


Author: simonromijn

Science Teacher

2 thoughts on “Module 9 – Planning Lessons with Technology”

  1. Hi Simon,
    Once again an informative and insightful post with great ideas on how to work through a lesson plan.

    I am also a fan of the 5Es Model and tried to base all my professional placement lessons on it. I found as time went on and I had more lessons to plan that it went out the window a bit, so I started using the OES Model (Orientating, Enhancing, Synthesising), which was one of the models in our Science Curriculum textbook (Venville & Dawson, 2012, pp. 89-90).

    You are so right about knowing why you are teaching the lesson. One of my reflections on my prac was that the students often didn’t know why we were doing the lesson. Knowing up front and letting students know up front must contribute to positive classroom management outcomes. As you point out, it makes planning assessment a lot easier if you know what you are planning to learn/teach. Designing outcomes, assessment, content and activities closely follows the pattern of constructive alignment that is now the basis of much teaching at university level (Biggs & Tang, 2011).

    Thank you for the reminder to keep it simple – often a hard lesson to learn.

    Tang, C., & Biggs, J. B. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university (4th ed.). Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education.
    Venville, G., & Dawson, V. (Eds.). (2012). The art of teaching science: For middle and secondary school (2nd ed.). Sydney: Allen & Unwin.



  2. Hi Ellen,

    In practice I am relaxed about moving around the 5E model. There are so many issues involved in getting the scheduling right such as access to the library and laboratory.

    Thanks again for your feedback,



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