21st Century Skills: It’s More Than Just Technology


“Given the growing ubiquity of [technology] in schools, as well as the increasing numbers of educators advocating for their use, it can seem as though education may have reached a tipping point when it comes to improving students’ 21st-century skills. According to the Partnership for 21st Century skills, these can be categorized as the 4Cs: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration.” — Beth Holland

Beth goes on to share that she has started to worry about the growing presence of what she calls the Fake Cs.

Source: EdWeek

7 Characteristics of Teachers Who Effectively Use Technology

“…Using technology in the classroom – and using it effectively – might require some slight adjustments on the part of the teacher to sustain the effort, creative problem-solving, and innovation required to actually improve learning through the use of technology. This occurs at the belief level–what teachers believe about technology, education, and their own abilities to manage technology.

“Looking at the characteristics of teachers that effectively use technology in the classroom, then, can be useful to create an “edtech” mindset–one that believes in purpose, adaptation, change, and meaningful planning.” — TeachThought

Click here to view the infographic of these seven characteristics.

Can Micro-Credentials Create More Meaningful PD for Teachers?


With micro-crentialing educators “can no longer attend a workshop and receive credit for merely being there. Instead, they must take their learning back into their classrooms and try it out, submitting evidence, receiving feedback from peers and refining their approach. They also have to reflect on what they learned through those experiences. Participating teachers then submit these artifacts, which are evaluated before the micro-credential is awarded. If the reviewers feel the educator did not submit strong enough evidence of learning, they can provide feedback and ask the educators to try again.” — Katrina Schwartz, Mind/Shift

Continue reading this article.

Image Source: CollectEdNY

Tech-Based Formative Assessment


“When we use formative assessment strategies, we’re on a fact-finding mission. As educators, we work to figure out who understands the teaching point of a lesson, who has mastered a new concept, who needs extra help. Formative assessment happens naturally as we walk around the room and listen in on student conversations or examine their classwork after the bell rings. But how can you use technological tools to check for understanding in meaningful, sustainable, and scalable ways?” — Monica Burns, Edutopia

Continue reading the full post

Image Source: globaldigitalcitizen.org

10 Examples of Innovative Formative Assessment


“Innovative formative assessment strategies are part of the heart of any modern classroom. They provide crucial information about what students understand and what they don’t. These ungraded assessments are also valuable guides for students. It can help them enhance their performance. Teachers can use them to determine if further instruction is necessary.

“Using innovative formative assessment consistently and effectively removes the surprises from getting final grades. When integrated into teaching and learning on an ongoing basis, students can constantly improve and excel. Formative assessment is “assessment as learning”. In other words, the feedback is used to improve the learning.” — Lee Watanabe Crockett 

Click here to view the ten examples.

Image Source: sparkaction.org

Watching the International Space Station Pass Over Us


Our oldest and I enjoyed an early breakfast and watching the International Space Station pass right over our home. It’s amazing to see how fast it’s traveling (about 5 miles per second) as it orbits the Earth about 15 times per day.

I’m really enjoying the apps that make it fun and easy to track and learn about the Space Station. I strongly recommend you give one or more of these a try.

Apps I Use

Google’s New Sun Map Indicates Whether Your Rooftop Needs a Solar Panel

“The initiative, which the Mountain View giant initially launched almost two years ago, essentially leverages visual data from Maps and Earth to generate 3D models of the total amount of sunlight that reaches your roof.” – The Next Web

Check out Google’s blog post for full details.

Flipped Learning: Preparing for the New School Year

Guest Blogger
Kaylah Holland

Flipped LearningImage Source

Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter” (Source).

Why Flip?

Flipped learning allows for a more student centered approach to teaching within the classroom because the majority of the lecture style learning is completed at home; thus, allowing class time to utilize more engaging techniques such as project-based learning, game-based learning, student presentations, discussion, and collaboration. Flipped Learning can also be completed solely within the classroom without requiring students to complete work at home. The main idea with Flipped Learning is simply to allow the teacher to become more of a facilitator of learning rather than the dictator of knowledge.

How to Flip?

The following video from Edutopia will help you understand how to get started.

Examples of Flipped Learning

There are numerous ways to incorporate Flipped Learning within your classroom. The following seven concepts are a good place to start.

  1. The Standard Inverted Classroom: students are assigned any lecture style teaching for homework the night before class so that class time might used for practicing what they learned with the teacher able to give instant feedback.
  2. The Discussion-Oriented Flipped Classroom: lecture style videos, such as TED Talks, are assigned as homework and class time is spent discussing the subject at length.
  3. The Demonstration-Focused Flipped Classroom: teacher records a screencast explaining an activity, math problem, etc so that they students may watch as many times as possible for mastery.  
  4. The Faux-Flipped Classroom: students watch lecture videos or complete assignments via technology at their own pace within the classroom and the teacher acts as a facilitator and supporter.
  5. The Group-Based Flipped Classroom: students learn material for homework and use class time to work together in groups so that they learn from each other through collaboration.
  6. The Virtual Flipped Classroom: classes are offered entirely online and actual class time is not needed.
  7. Flipped the Teacher: students record video tutorials as projects to teach a skill to the teacher thus showing mastery of the skill (Source).

EducationDive showcases the Faux-Flipped Classroom in the article 16 Flipped Learning Uses in K-12 and College Classrooms. A teacher in Florida allows students to complete classwork, take quizzes, and watch instructional videos at their own pace on computers throughout the classroom while she answers questions and provides support to students (Source).

Resources for Flipping

Interested in trying Flipped Learning in your classroom? Checkout the websites below for great information.


About the AuthorKaylah Holland

Kaylah Holland is currently a Middle School Instructional Technology Facilitator at Charlotte Christian School in Charlotte, NC. In addition to teaching coding, app development, and robotics; she has a vital role of assisting teachers with the integration of technology into the classroom through ample research, lesson planning, and training. She is currently completing her doctoral degree in the field of Instructional Design and Technology and is in the process of becoming a Google Certified Trainer. She is passionate about building an innovative culture for learning.