We recently ran across this award-winning, project-based lesson plan in EdTech Magazine, and we wanted to share it here for several reasons. First, because it is a fantastic project that seamlessly combines technology, collaborative learning, and real-world experience. Secondly, because it seems like it would be a lot of fun for students. And, finally, because it is an ideal lesson plan for incorporating your smart, interactive panel into your classroom activities.
The project is designed for fifth and sixth grade students and takes an interdisciplinary approach to learning science literacy and digital literacy. The students begin with a whole class discussion, going over the goals of the project, what the students think the impact will be, and what the purpose of the project is. The teacher then divides the students into teams to research business sustainability practices—and the lesson plan defines this term broadly to mean everything from financial sustainability measures, such as hiring practices, to environmental sustainability practices, such as business purchasing and decisions about transportation and utilities. The students are encouraged to research online, interview local business owners, especially of larger corporations, or, preferably, both.
Next, using what they’ve learned, the student teams develop checklists of what they consider best business practices to maximize business sustainability. One thing we love about this lesson plan is that it’s not prescriptive. Instead of giving students a ready-made checklist of business practices to look for, it asks the students to create their own set of criteria. Since each student team will come up with different criteria, the project fosters greater discussion, and greater learning, when it’s time for the teams to share their results.
Read the full lesson plan: How Students Can Use Technology to Learn About Business Sustainability
Integrating a Smart, Interactive Panel into This Lesson Plan
While this lesson plan doesn’t specifically call for a Clear Touch Interactive Panel, it does suggest sharing the learning through a Wiki, and a Wiki launch party, where the project is displayed for parents, other students, and teachers.
Also, the project relies heavily on Microsoft software products, such as Office and Publisher—as well as applications that are not as common in education like Microsoft Photosynth, for making 3D models, and Microsoft Tag, which creates unique barcodes. Unlike many of our competitors, we don’t require you to use our software, even though every interactive display comes preloaded with a comprehensive educational software suite, which means we play well with all Microsoft applications on both Apple and Android operating systems.
In addition to these advantages, using an interactive panel can enhance, or supplement, this lesson plan in two ways:
The original project asks teachers to take students on field trips to large, local corporations to tour their operations and make recommendations for stronger sustainability efforts. While a field trip like this would be a fantastic learning experience, it’s not feasible for all teachers, especially those who work in more rural areas or who don’t have a school budget for field trips. If this is the case for your class, consider taking the students on a couple of virtual tours instead. Sites like youvisit.com allow your class to take 360-degree tours of some of the worlds largest corporations, including Hewlett Packard, Brightstar Corp, and Cisco Systems. Even if you are able to schedule a local field trip, you can use virtual tours to explore other businesses outside of your area to supplement and reinforce the real-world experience.
This project also asks students to interview business leaders in their area to find out about their business practices, particularly where sustainability is concerned. Again, this is a wonderful idea in theory but won’t work for every class in practice. If you teach in a more rural area or have a student population with limited resources, it might not be reasonable to ask them to visit local businesses on their own time. Think about hosting a Skype session or video conference with the head of a corporation instead. Make sure that your students have done their research and prepared their questions in advance.