21st Learning Buzz Words

I love this blog post titled ” A Dictionary for @1st Century Teachers: Learning Models & Technology” published by one of my favorite online resources, [email protected]!

All classroom teachers should review this blog post and start trying new strategies in their classroom.

It is a great resources to review and save when planning lessons for digital classroom students.


Digital Age Learning Ecosystem






Great Blog post from Dr. Clark & the BYOT Network


My teammate, Jamie Pearson, and I teach a class for CCSD teachers each summer called “21st Century Classroom”.  We focus on PBL, Digital Assessment Tools, Learning Environments, Blended Learning, Web 2.0 tools, Flipped Learning and Screencasting, building PLNs, and much more.  After reading this blog post, I may “borrow” Dr. Clark’s naming of Digital Age Learning since it IS fourteen years… almost fifteen years into the 21st century.

The post is a MUST read… but let me list the eight elements that are highlighted in the post:

  • A Sense of Community
  • Essential Questions
  • Captivating Digital Content
  • Assessment for Learning
  • Multiple Technology Tools
  • Designs for Differentiation and Accessibility
  • Supportive Classroom Environment
  • Engaging Instructional Strategies

In order to have a successful digital age learning ecosystem, teachers may need to change the way they approach lesson planning and think more like an instructional designer.  Setting up learning opportunities, providing rich resources (digital and paper), and letting go of some control will take a different mindset and willingness to take chances.

I like the image below to help me understand teacher mindsets… and how to change…. one step at a time to embrace a growth mindset, not a fixed mindset. (Image source: @Primary_Ed – Twitter Post) 

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 12.56.44 PM







LINK for larger display:    fixedvsgrowthmindset


Great poster for the classroom to encourage growth mindset for students/classroom.

QR Codes In The Classroom – Refresher

Recently a few teachers have contacted me needing  a refresher on how to create QR codes and ways to use them in your classroom…

Here are some helpful links – –

EDpuzzle – – Free Video Editor

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 5.53.43 AM  http://edpuzzle.com/

What it is:  EDpuzzle is a neat new educational site to help you better utilize video in your classroom for learning.  You can find and crop video to use only what you need, add audio notes within the video or do some voice over work for a video, and you can embed questions throughout the video to track student understanding. EDpuzzle collects data as students watch and interact with the video.  You can see if and when a student watched the video, and see the progress of all students through the answers to embedded questions.

How to use EDpuzzle in your classroom: What makes EDpuzzle great is the level of freedom given in cropping, sharing, and tracking video use in the classroom. EDpuzzle enhances the “flipped” classroom by allowing you to embed formative assessment directly into your videos. As students watch, you can check understanding and ensure active watching vs. passive watching. In a flipped scenario, this gives you the ability to completely tailor a lesson the next day based on the formative assessment results you get from homework. This is truly utilizing assessment to inform instruction (which is the point of assessment!).

EDpuzzle can be used in conjunction with videos that you have made for your students, or with videos that you find.

Tips: Don’t have access to YouTube at school?  No worries! You can still use EDpuzzle with your students. EDpuzzle lets you search for video by topic, or pull video from Khan Academy, Learn Zillion, National Geographic, TED, Veritasium, and Numberphile as well.  LOTS of incredible learning just waiting to happen!

Examples:  With documentary-type videos, EDpuzzle can be used to embed writing prompts.  Record a prompt throughout the video so that students can pause and write out their reflections and thoughts.  I find that good documentaries are often SO packed full of good things that by the end of the video, only the last 10 minutes get well-reflected on.

Have you seen Vi Hart’s YouTube channel?  She goes through math in a casual stream-of-conscious type approach.  Embed related practice math problems based on the topics that Vi is sharing in her videos.  As students get those light-bulb moments of, “oh, that is how that works!” capitalize on the new understanding by giving them a place to put it into practice and try it out.

Do you record your students learning? EDpuzzle could be a fantastic way to record audio feedback to the videos that they upload.  These can then be shared with parents and students for review.

For primary teachers, EDpuzzle could be used as part of a guided reading center.  YouTube has lots of great read-along videos. (You can also create your own based on class reading!) Use these videos along with EDpuzzle to check for comprehension.  As the video plays, embed questions to check for understanding.  Students can independently go through the guided reading (or Close reading) activity, while you work one-on-one with other reading groups.  Rotate the reading groups throughout the week so that each student gets the opportunity to go through the EDpuzzle guided reading activity, and each group gets one-on-one time with you.  This is a fantastic way to maximize your time and get valuable feedback from all student learning.

EDpuzzle could also be used in this way as a science center (with a video pertaining to an experiment or new learning), a math center, etc.

For secondary students, use EDpuzzle is a great way to check for understanding.  It is also a wonderful way for students to create and demonstrate understanding.  EDpuzzle would be ideal for sub days. EDpuzzle would give you the ability to “teach” remotely and embed the same questions and promptings you would give if you were live in the classroom.  While you won’t get to hear all of the discussion, you will have some feedback to better understand how your students were thinking.

Source: iLearnTeachnology

Here are some links of good video resources:  (Come back again… I will be adding to this list!)

Critical Past –  is a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos.  All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage.  Most of the footage comes from U.S. Government Agency sources.  All of the videos and photos can be viewed for free online and shared with others via url, Twitter, or Facebook.  The videos and photos are also available to purchase for download.

Technology Integration and Blended Learning

What is the difference between technology integration and blended learning?  There are a lot of differences.

They are similar because they both use technology…

Technology integration is when teachers use technology in a lesson or have students create something to show mastery of standards.  An example of technology integration is to have students create a presentation using a computer program or Web 2.0 tool.  There are different levels of technology integration in a classroom.

Blended learning combines face to face (F2F) classroom learning with global online content giving students more control over support resources, time, pace, and place of learning.  There are different models of blended learning.  The thought behind blended learning is that the teachers’ role is to facilitate student instruction and mastery of standards, not a delivery system of knowledge.  Learning is not like an assembly line in classrooms of the 21st century.  The focus of blended learning is on instructional design, not the technology tools.  Blended learning requires a learning management system such as Edmodo or Blackboard.

The video below does an excellent job of explaining the differences between blended learning and technology integration.


Blended Learningscreenshot






Note: a great FREE learning management system is Edmodo.

Here are some resources for technology integration and blended learning:

CCSD Instructional Technology Web 2.0 Resource Page

C. Kennedy’s Resource Page

Blended Learning Models

Technology Integration Matrix

SAMR Model of Technology Integration


Top 100 Sites and Apps for 2013



Click on the link to take you to a blog post from Techlearning that lists 100 web sites and apps that were great in 2013.

I will be going through the list and will be blogging about tools that stand out to me.  

Email me if you find a tool on the list/ or not on the list that is awesome and needs to be shared with others.   [email protected]




Image Source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Kj0gXzI6aNY/UpTflTzNOLI/AAAAAAAAIYk/Byp1OPi5Cd8/s1600/Fotolia_23476752_S.jpg

NEWSELA – – Great ELA tool for ELA/Reading Teachers

Are you an ELA/Reading teacher who is looking for current articles that will engage students, but are challenged with finding articles for all of the different Lexile levels in your classroom?  Well NEWSELA is for YOU!!!











Positives for NEWSELA

  • Free (for now!)
  • Easy sign up
  • Current news articles on different Lexile leves
  • Teachers can create a class and assign articles to students (PAPERLESS classroom/ BYOD classroom/ Flipped Classroom)
  • Teachers and students can annotate the articles

Teachers cannot send different articles to different students at this time, but you could work around that by creating “classes” with similar Lexiled students in them or use Edmodo to send out articles.

Let me know what you think about NEWSELA!

Thanks to Candice Wilkes of LMMS for the ‘heads-up”!

Digital Learning Day – – Feb. 5th, 2014



Digital learning is any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience. It emphasizes high-quality instruction and provides access to challenging content, feedback through formative assessment, opportunities for learning anytime and anywhere, and individualized instruction to ensure all students reach their full potential to succeed in college and a career.Mark your calendar and share your event on the web site.

What are you doing on Feb. 5th, 2014???


Digital Learning Day – Feb 5, 2014:



Plan an activity or an event:  Ideas to consider resource page:


Lesson Plan Ideas:




Think About the A,B,Cs…. When Using Technology Tools

When planning lesson plans and allowing students to use technology tools in the classroom, teachers AKA Instructional Designers should think A…B….C!

Here is a section from a recent blog post from  .

A- Authentic Audience
Every technology task (and every task in general) should have an authentic audience. Students should be solving problems and tackling challenges that affect real people in real ways. Not only does this increase engagement for students, but it also prepares them for future endeavors!

B- Benchmark-able
As students work through a task, they should be able to determine if their progress is increasing or not. Students should have clear benchmarks or indicators of success. In short, students should never submit something “not knowing how they did.” We can use rubrics or feedback from the authentic audience to craft these parameters with (not for!) students. Ensuring that every task assigned has these type of built in feedback mechanisms is critical!

C- Cloudy
The tasks that our students will face after they leave the K-12 system will not be clear cut. In fact, they will likely be very multifaceted, complex, and confusing. Students will have to make sense of murky problems and uncover solutions from a series of possible choices. Making our students more comfortable with work that “has no single right answer” is necessary given the demands of the modern workforce.

Using our ABCs will help prepare our students for LIFE, 
not more school.