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Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework - October 1999



The Use of Instructional Technology in Health Education

Technology can enhance the teaching and learning of health concepts by connecting students with health professionals from outside the classroom and providing access to information and resources that students and teachers have found difficult to obtain. The advantages of today's powerful computers, used alone or linked to the Internet and the World Wide Web can be used to better understand the Core Concept of Health Literacy, Healthy Self-Management, and Health Promotion.

Using technology enables students and teachers to:

  • Communicate with other students around the country and around the world via email or video conferencing.
  • Create web pages, videotapes (using a camcorder), or multimedia presentations to impart their own views of health or social concerns to other students.
  • Observe health information through the use of software, CD-ROMs, videodisc or videotape. Simulation software allows students to experiment with new ideas and new identities without putting themselves at risk.
  • Obtain information around health by using a variety of media and evaluating the quality of material they obtain. The Internet increases student and teacher access to a vast amount of health information because national health organizations and health resources are available from a connected classroom.
  • Work independently and take ownership for their own learning. Students using technology are active in acquiring the skills and knowledge that will help them function effectively.

Instructional technology involves the use of computers and other new technologies as a tool for learning. Technology can include computer software, the Internet, audiotapes, compact discs, telecommunication equipment, videotapes, laser discs, CD-ROMs, slides, films, transparencies. The availability of instructional technology integrated throughout the K-12 curriculum can provide a more diverse and accessible learning environment enabling all students to become capable information seekers, problem solvers, and effective communicators.

The Technology Literacy Competencies are a guide for districts to plan a systematic approach to assure that all students receive technology skills appropriate to the educational needs of the 21st century. These competencies are based on the National Educational Technology Standards Project in consultation with the U.S. Department of Education. In response to Massachusetts Education Reform's call for a statewide education technology plan, one of the initiatives is the inclusion here of Technology Literacy to guide districts in technology planning.


Competencies by grade 8

Performance Indicators

Students can…
Basic Skills and Operations
  • Identify the major tools of technology that are used in a learning environment (computers, VCRs, audiotapes, and other technologies).
  • Operate computers, VCRs, audiotapes, and other technologies using input devices (mouse, keyboard, remote control) and output devices (monitor, printer).
  • Solve routine hardware and software problems that occur during everyday use.
  • Select and utilize appropriate applications (e.g., word processing programs, database spreadsheet, multimedia, web browser) for a variety of classroom projects.
  • Communicate about technology using appropriate and accurate terminology.

Open and close an application, and save to a hard drive, with assistance.

Access, create, and manipulate data in all strands of the health curriculum framework.

Aid another student in choosing and utilizing the correct application for a class project.

Social, Ethical, and Human Issues
  • Work cooperatively and collaboratively with peers when using technology in the classroom.
  • Identify ethical and legal conduct when using technology in the classroom and describe personal consequences of inappropriate use.
  • Practice responsible use of technology systems and software.
  • Analyze advantages and disadvantages of widespread use and reliance on technology in the workplace and in society as a whole.

Distinguish between personal ownership of ideas and cite other's ideas.

Understand and abide by acceptable use guidelines (e.g., preserve the integrity of data and use resources for educational purposes).

Create collaborative multimedia presentations; cite all sources; share technology with group to complete project.

Technology Productivity Tools
  • Use technology tools (e.g., word processing programs, multimedia authoring, presentation, Web tools, digital cameras, scanners) to increase productivity of individual and collaborative projects.
  • Create appropriate multimedia projects individually or with support from teachers, family members, or student partners.
  • Use assistive technologies to remediate skill deficits when necessary.
  • Use technology tools and resources for managing and communicating personal information

Write a report on a word processor summarizing how the class responded to a video on water pollution.

Use digital cameras to capture local consequences of ecological hazards.

Use a draw/paint program to design and illustrate a poster as part of a report on evaluating strategies for improving local environmental health.


Competencies by grade 8

Performance Indicators

Students can…
Communications Tools
  • Use computer based technologies Including telecommunications to access information.
  • Use technology resources (word processing, e-mail, Web environments) to communicate ideas and thoughts.
  • Design, develop, publish and disseminate products using technology resources.
Gather information online about violence prevention with support from teachers, family members or student partners.

Research on and off line consumerism and e-mail an inquiry to an expert in the field.

Research, design, and produce a class Webpage on consumer health.

Research Tools
  • Use online tools to locate, evaluate and collect information from a variety of sources.
  • Select and apply technology tools for research.
  • Evaluate the accuracy, relevance, appropriateness, and bias of electronic information sources concerning health-related problems.
Locate and evaluate for validity a health-related Webpage.

Analyze medical advertising in print and on an internet site. Produce a video or multimedia presentation to share this analysis with the class.

Research on line the work being done around the world on deforestation. Analyze the information and write a report or create a multimedia presentation to share with the class.

Problem Solving and Decision Making Tools
  • Use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.
Use presentation software to communicate information on health related statistics.

Use a database of epidemic diseases to solve a specific question.

Design and setup a database on signs, symptoms, causes and treatments of diseases. Use the information to analyze the data.


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Last Updated: October 1, 1999
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