Current Events and Technology This unit plan contains five complete lesson plans that combine the use of technology with a current event. Each block is an 80 minute period; however some lessons require some scaffolding, modeling, or research before the lesson begins. I designed the lessons for middles school students, grades 6, 7, and 8, but they can be adapted and used at every grade level. To implement these lesson plans each classroom will need several computers (or one for every student) and internet access. As a teacher, you should be able to model the lesson and be an expert on the technology that is being used in case students have questions or issues with the lesson. I chose to current a unit plan on current events because it is a topic that is relevant to students’ lives and events that are occurring right now. The students can use these events and make connections to what they are learning in subject area classrooms. The five lessons and their corresponding current event are as follows: 1. Black History Month/Technology Station: This lesson is discusses the importance of Black History Month and African-American individuals who have left a lasting impact on history. Several different topics are presented; the technology station has access to the internet and several online sources that talk about African-American events and people. The students can watch videos, search through websites, or read online sources about important African-American figures. 2. Current Events/Cast UDL Book Builder: This lesson allows students to choose any current event (approved by the teacher) and create an online book using Cast UDL Book Builder. The students will have to create an account on the website, but it is free and easy to use. There are tutorials and examples that can be referenced and used to model. The students can get creative uses images, sounds, special effects, and colorful fonts to create their online story. The story should be factual and relative to what the students are learning in class. 3. President’s Day/Facebook: In this lesson students will create an actual facebook (or a mock facebook using a template) for a president. If a real facebook is used students will have to create a free account at facebook.com. The students should research information about the president so they can fill in several different categories such as political views, relationship statues, hobbies, and interests. The students can make real statuses for the president related to events that occurred during the time when they served in office. 4. Local Elections/Glogster: Glogster is an online poster website where students create an account and then use several tools to create a multimedia site. Students can sign up for a free account and use the tools on the site to create a poster who is running for local election. It takes some time to get used to the effects in Glogster, but the poster can contain hyperlinks, videos, sounds, pictures, clipart and much more. This lesson encourages students to research information about local candidates and what position they are running for. It is a way to get students involved in local politics. 5. Unrest in the Middle East/Internet Workshop: In this lesson the class is broken into five different groups. Each group is given an essential question to answer and present to the class based on the unrest in the Middle East. The class is given four different websites that they can use to synthesize the information and create an answer. At the end of the lesson students have a complete answer to five different questions regarding the unrest in the Middle East. The students are the teachers in this lesson and the teacher guides the students’ research and facilitates the discussions/presentations to the class. Each lesson can be adapted to meet the goals and objectives of a subject area classroom and different themes can be implanted. Current events is a great way to get students involved in their community or keep students up to date on international events. The technologies used in this unit plan can be used for several different subject areas and are collaborative and engaging for all students. Overall, the use of technology to teach current events is beneficial because students can use the internet and other news sources to get instant updates about what is happening and consult multiple sources throughout one class period.