School districts adopt a contextually embedded staff development program that focuses as much on learning theory, curriculum integration, problem solving and curriculum alignment to standards -- as the infusion of technology. During lesson plan and curriculum development the first question that should be asked is "why are we doing this activity with kids?" and then the second question might be "can technology do it better?" or "how does technology fit with this activity?"
if good teaching & learning practices are not established in the classroom, the Internet won't improve them.
when learning through inquiry is well established in class, there is the greatest likelihood that online resources will be used productively.
although the Internet can promote learning online, the greatest value of the Internet is its support to learning and teaching in the classroom.
[For a research-based discussion of contextually embedded staff development see Coulter, Feldman, and Konold (a 4 part series found in Learning & Leading with Technology ISTE. Sept- Dec, 2000]
[also, Feldman, Konold, & Coulter (2000). Network Science, a decade later: The Internet and classroom learning. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.]
To guide the planning process, use the following 6 questions
1 - what is the educational purpose of the activity?
2 - where does he activity fit into the curriculum?
3 - how will using the technology enhance the activity?
4 - how will students use the technology resources?
5 - what experience do students have with data analysis and thoughtful discussion?
6 - what will happen if the technology resources become unavailable?