Partnerships to Incorporate 21st Century Learning Skills into the Classroom

I can’t remember a time in my life when school wasn’t something that I was involved in. I went from watching my older sister go to school when I was just a youngin’ and yearning to participate. Then the day came when I began preschool and eventually headed off to elementary school. I always loved going to school! I remember going into middle school and the excitement of having more responsibility and the opportunity to learn in multiple classes, and that only grew as I went into high school. Then came college and as a true education junky, I was called to be a teacher… bringing me right back to the beginning. While my love for continual learning was a constant in my life, so was my questioning. Throughout my educational career I always wondered the one question that most other students can resonate with… “how am I going to use this in the real world?”. Sometimes this question came a little snarkier than others, but often I genuinely was interested in how I would possibly use my experiences in The Oregon Trail simulation once I grew up. Fast forward a decade or two and I am finally finding out some significance to more than the question of how the content I was learning would help me in the future… but to why the methods of how I learned the content would help me in the future.   Nicole Krueger writes in her article, Preparing students for jobs that don’t exist yet, “The massive shifts technology and globalization that are expected to transform the workplace have already begun. In many industries and countries, some of the most in-demand jobs didn’t even exist five or 10 years ago – and the pace of change will only accelerate.” So why should we be teaching the exact same things now as we did years and years ago… if it isn’t getting our students ready for jobs that will be in high demand when they are older?   Krueger also references an incredibly insightful TedTalk by Aspen Meineke, on how it’s educators responsibility to spark the imagination of their students. You can watch it here.  Both Meineke and Krueger speak to the importance of HOW content is taught and not only WHAT content is taught. But how can we focus on the how instead of the what? Here is where collaboration and 21st century learning skills come into play.   21st Century Learning Skills:   The Ed Glossary defines 21st century skills as: “a broad set of knowledge, skills, work habits, and character traits that are believed—by educators, school reformers, college professors, employers, and others—to be critically important to success in today’s world, particularly in collegiate programs and contemporary careers and workplaces.” Instead of just teaching our students the “what” content such as mathematics, ELA, science, social studies and other tradition subjects, we need to start infusing our classrooms with these “hows” of learning.   First off, educators cannot remain in a bubble and hope to be launched into the future. Peer coaching and collaboration are key for teachers to get practice with these skills first hand, and to also share their knowledge with peers. This brings me to my research question for this module:   “How can coaches help their learning partners to understand and incorporate 21st century learning skills into their teaching?”  As a newbie to the term “21st century learning skills”, I started my research by searching for examples of what some of these special skills were. This led me to a wealth of knowledge from the group “Battelle for Kids”. They have created a fantastic model that represents 21st century skills.   Each of these overarching aspects to the overall 21st century skills came with a list of skills that fall below them:   Learning and Innovation Skills:  These skills help students to become more fluent at adapting to complex situations and environments. They include:  Creativity and Innovation  Critical Thinking and Problem Solving  Communication  Collaboration  Information, Media, and Technology Skills: These skills assist in the ability of citizens to adapt in a world of constant information, technological, and contribution changes. These “functional and critical thinking skills” include:  Information Literacy  Media Literacy  ICT (Information, Communications, and Technology) Literacy  Life and Career Skills: These skills will help students to work effectively in their future careers. They include social emotional skills along with contextual knowledge. They are:  Flexibility and Adaptability  Initiative and Self-Direction  Social and Cross-Cultural Skills  Productivity and Accountability  You can find more depth information regarding this model here.   While this list gives an incredible insight to some of the skills that can help students be more adaptable and future-ready, it does not all need to be done at once. As Foltos states in his book “Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration”, start small and start positive.   So how can coaches help their learning partners focus on the how of teaching instead of the what? Begin incorporating activities that encourage the acquisition of one of the 4 C’s. Encourage educators to become familiar with the ISTE student standards to help promote the “Information, Media, and Technology Skills”  branch. Become versed in the SEL teachings that encourage the skills that fall under “Life and Career Skills”.   What do you do in your coaching/classroom to promote 21st century skills? What do you do in your own practice to stay fresh with these skills? Comment below!  Resources  21st Century Skills Definition. (2016, August 25). The Glossary of Education Reform. https://www.edglossary.org/21st-century-skills/  Aspen Meineke. (2020, January 9). Help Students Find Their Spark [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCkfprNWV7M&feature=youtu.be  ISTE Standards for Coaches | ISTE. (n.d.). ISTE. Retrieved November 5, 2020, from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches  Krueger, N. (2019, November 22). Preparing students for jobs that don’t exist. ISTE. https://www.iste.org/explore/ISTE-blog/Preparing-students-for-jobs-that-don%27t-exist  Partnership for 21st Century Learning. (2019). Battelle for Kids. https://www.battelleforkids.org/networks/p21 

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Integrating Technology through the lens of a Learning Designer

In the last research module of this quarter, “Co-Planning 21st Century Learning Activities”, I decided to focus on the idea of integrating technology through a learning designer lens. As I read through my weekly reading of Les Foltos’ book “Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration”, I learned more about the Learning Design Matrix and how coaches had inadvertently achieved the fourth quadrant of integrating technology just by focusing on the other three quadrants. This prompted me to question how coaches can help their learning partners to work through other ways to integrate technology in their classes, purposefully.   What is technology integration?  As I began my research on technology integration, I came across an article “What is Successful Technology Integration” that cited a great definition written by the International Society for Technology in Education of what technology integration is: “Effective integration of technology is achieved when students are able to select technology tools to help them obtain information in a timely manner, analyze and synthesize the information, and present it professionally.”   But how can begin to integrate technology into our classrooms? And how will we reflect on our integration? Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura has created a reflection model intended exactly for this purpose.   This model, named “SAMR” (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) represents the different levels that technology can be integrated into a lesson. This model shows the lowest level of enhancement being substitution and reaches a level of transformation in which technology has breached redefinition of a learning activity.   Here is another model for how educators can begin to understand the necessary knowledge to begin integrating technology. This model known as the TPACK framework (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) shows the need to have technological knowledge, content knowledge, and pedagogical knowledge before you can reach a level of understanding needed for integration of the three.   Designing learning based on technology integration  Now that we have looked at technology integration and some frameworks that help us to reflect on the basic levels of integration, we can look at designing learning based with technology integration.   Throughout my current Graduate program, I have learned about the Six “A”s of Project Design. I believe that a great start to designing learning through a technology integration lens could be to take-a-peek at how technology can help to achieve Steinberg’s the Six “A”s.   Here is a printable version of the Six “A”s along with a Project Examination Tool: HERE.   Let’s go through the different key aspects of the Six “A”s to see how technology can be integrated to achieve the criteria. (Each figure is found from https://newtechnetwork.org/resources/six-pbl-project-design/ and gives prompting questions to guide in the reflection of that aspect of project design).   Thinking of a project you have used or are planning, how can technology help to increase the authenticity of the problem or question? How can students become in the know about the authenticity? Can students reach out to others to see if this is a topic that others in the world value? How can students use technology to create or produce something that is personally valuable or socially valuable?  How can technology substitute or augment the type of engagement or application that students are participating in with this project? Can technology assist in the activation of higher order thinking skills? Can students use technology to assist in relating the content to a separate discipline or subject?  How can technology bring learning outside of the general classroom atmosphere? How can students use technology to assist in their personal organization of information and resources? How can technology help students to develop social emotional skills such as collaboration, problem solving, communication, etc.?   What technology is available to push students into the real-world? How can students interact with technology to reach into the world and push their learning to what is happening around the community or the world? How can technology help students to demonstrate what they are learning?  How can technology help in the gathering of students with experts in the fields surrounding the project? What technology is available to help link students with adults to collaborate on design and assessment?   What technology allows students to self-assess? How can technology be used for students to access and understand clear project criteria? What technology is available for students to present and be assessed both inside and outside the classroom?  There is currently a world of opportunities for technology integration in the classroom… and with each day that passes the number of options grows and grows.   In “Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration”, Les Foltos states, “I remember listening to nationally recognized leaders in the early 1990s telling us that technology was like a steamroller headed down the street, aimed right at educators. Educators had two choices: jump on the steamroller or become part of the pavement. Apparently, they overlooked a third option; educators could step aside. And they did.” It is time for us to choose the option of jumping on the steamroller.   How do you integrate technology into your classroom? What learning design framework have you found useful in the journey of becoming a “techy” classroom?  Resources  ISTE Standards for Coaches | ISTE. (n.d.-b). ISTE. Retrieved November 5, 2020, from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches  Larson, A. (2016, August 31). The Six “A”s of PBL Project Design. New Tech Network. https://newtechnetwork.org/resources/six-pbl-project-design/  Miller, A. (2011, September 26). Game-Based Learning Units for the Everyday Teacher. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/video-game-model-unit-andrew-miller  Puentedura, R. R. (2014, December 11). SAMR and TPCK: A Hands-On Approach to Classroom Practice [Workshop]. 21C Learning Conference, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.  What Is Successful Technology Integration? (2007, November 6). Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description 

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Creating Positive Coaching Relationships Based on Collaborating and Communicating

Have you ever heard of the book, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten”? It is a book full of essays on life written by Robert Fulghum. It mentions a few short statements of things you learn in kindergarten that…

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Encouraging Risk-Taking Through Trusting Relationships

This fall kicked off with a new course in my grad program that is focused on the ISTE coaching standards along with a project that is centered on utilizing some of the coaching standards we have been learning about in a practical way in my school building. Moving into the role of a coach has had me thinking about how a coach starts off the process of mentoring and what strategies can help start a peer mentoring relationship be successful.   The 1st ISTE coaching standard is titled “Change Agent”. You can read it below:  I started off by reading a book in coursework titled “Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration” written by Les Foltos. Foltos speaks to the lack of collaboration in the modern-day educational system due to an outdated model that relates schools to a production-line in which students are the products. However, we know that this thinking needs to change. For this to happen, we need to emphasize students working to possess the “Four Cs”: critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. We must first start to change the process of planning with educators at the forefront.  Foltos also talks about the power of peer coaching and how through a mentorship, educators can start to reflect on their practices and can move together towards increasing students’ ability to poses the Four Cs. But how do we do this? How can we ask other educators to be raw in their self-reflections and then require them to take the uncomfortable step to make a change? This led me to my research question for this module:   How can a coach create a relationship that encourages risk-taking with their learning partners?  When I began researching this topic, I thought to myself how would I feel if someone came into my classroom and wanted me to change the way that I did something… especially if I didn’t know them very well. And I immediately was irritated at the idea. I would feel that they were criticizing me and would not appreciate it. However, if this was a trusted person, with whom I have a relationship with, I wouldn’t mind at all! This helped me to realize that if I am going to be in a position that is asking educators to make a change in their teaching, that I need to first have a relationship with them.   I found a great article titled Peer Coaching Drives Change, you can read it here. In it, Sterman speaks to the importance of peer coaching to help influence change in a school. She mentions that peer coaching is one of the greatest ways to improve climate and culture in a school, while also giving educators the opportunity to reflect on their teaching and improve student learning. The part that resonated with me the most in this article was how Sterman acknowledges that change is challenging. She writes “change is incredibly difficult, no matter how necessary the transformation or how noble the aspiration”. I could not agree with this more! Sterman then goes on to speak to the idea that “change moves at the speed of trust”. If an educator does not trust the peer coach they are working with, they are not going to be as likely to go through the trouble to make a change in their teaching strategies.   Below you will see “The Building Blocks of Trust”  This image helps to illustrate the ways in which a coach can create a trusting relationship with their mentee. Without having compassion, communication and commitment… you will not be able to build a relationship in which you can focus on collaboration or ability. To me, the most important aspect of a trusting relationship is for your peer to feel cared about, that they can speak honestly, and that you are making a commitment to continue working with them.   Compassion:  In “How Great Coaches Ask, Listen, and Empathize” (read it here) author Ed Batista focuses on how a relationship can begin to form the compassion piece of the puzzle by the coach asking questions that help them to understand the entire story, actively listening to their mentee, and then empathizing and relating to their mentee. These three steps help a coach to show their peer that they are fully engaged and care.   Communication:  Foltos speaks about the importance of norms and creating a space at the beginning of the peer coaching relationship that allows both members to discuss how they will communicate. Norms help both sides to vocalize the expectations that they have for the relationship. Setting communication norms (how you will communicate, how often, about what, etc) establishes a purpose for conversations and ensures that both members are respecting one another’s understanding of the relationship.  Commitment:  Committing to the peer coaching model is also incredibly vital for success. It is quite challenging to achieve a trusting relationship if both members are not committed to the process and the purpose behind the coaching.   A little goes a long way:  Here are a few ways that you can start the process off strong with a new mentee in a peer coaching relationship  Setting up reoccurring meetings (2 times a month, 2 times a week, etc.)  Creating norms for communication (how frequent is appropriate to send messages, will you answer your emails only between a certain set of hours, etc.)  Following through with previously agreed upon items (creating next steps for both members to have ready for the next meeting)  Being present during meetings (no phones, no distractions, active listening)  What ways do you focus on building trusting relationships?  References:  Batista, E. (2015, February 18). How Great Coaches, Ask, Listen, and Empathize. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2015/02/how-great-coaches-ask-listen-and-empathize   Les Foltos. (2013). Peer Coaching : Unlocking the Power of Collaboration. Corwin.  Sterman, C. (2018). Peer Coaching Drives Change. NAESP. https://www.naesp.org/principal-supplement-septemberoctober-2018-champion-creatively-alive-children/peer-coaching-drives-c 

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Evaluating Efficacy of Remote Learning Content and Tools

This past spring our lives as we knew them were turned upside down. The greatest things that came out of this scary and life altering pandemic, were the innovations and truly caring hearts that came to the forefront of our communities. As an educator, I was so incredibly thankful to still have the ability to collect a paycheck and have that stressor relieved – however, my job still changed quite a bit. And while it was not all negative, it was still an incredible change to push a 100% in-person model online. Education leaders and educational tech companies and organizations got to work immediately, creating resources and support for teachers who were switching to a remote model at the drop of the hat. It warmed my heart to see all the love and collaboration that was flowing through the education communities to help one another get through this quick change!  With all of these quickly produced and released resources flooding into teachers’ emails, the question was brought up in my teams collaborative planning meetings of which resources were best and which we should be focusing our time on. What a great question! I was reminded of this conversation recently when I am once again planning for going back to school in a fully remote model. How do we test the efficacy and effectiveness of not only resources, but also digital tools?  How can coaches partner with educators to reflect on digital learning content and tools to enhance remote learning? ISTE Coaching Standard 3 Collaborator While searching for ways that educators have been able to reflect and analyze on digital learning content and tools, I came across an article “6 Ways Administrators Can Prove the Efficacy of Digital Tools”  written by Eric Sheninger, a digital leadership expert at the International Center for Leadership in Education.  Sheninger goes through a list of 6 ways to prove digital tool efficacy. He states that the way to start off is to take a look at pedagogy and then move onto the research behind tools and content. You can then look at the reason why you are choosing to use those resources and finish with a reflection. My favorite pieces of this post are the reflection that can be posed to educators to help them think through the effectiveness of the tools/content that they are using: Did my students learn? How do I know if my students learned? How do others know if my students learned? What can be done to improve? What point of view have I not considered? With the wonderful insight from some of my Digital Education Leadership cohort members, we were able to extend these questions to help give educators more information on continuing with digital learning content or tools Did my students learn? Which students learned? Are there a certain grouping of students that were able to access this content or tool with more success than a separate grouping of students? How can you differentiate this so that all students have the same access to the content or tool? How do I know if my students learned? What formative assessment strategies will be used in order for you, as the educator, to determine if students have learned? What success criteria will be in place? How do others know if my students learned? How will a student know they were successful? How will this learning be easily communicated with parents? How will administration see that students are aware of their learning with this digital content or tool? What can be done to improve? Is more scaffolding necessary? Is this content within my students zone of proximal understanding? If not, how can I ensure students will be able to stretch to understand this content?  What point of view have I not considered?  Is this digital content or tool culturally responsive? What trauma informed practices are available to be integrated with this content or tool to ensure students who have higher ACES (adverse childhood experiences) will have similar learning to students who have less ACES? How will our ELL (English Language Learners) students access this content or tool? How will a student with a 504 plan or receiving specially designed instruction access this content or tool?  All of these questions will help a coach work through the process of evaluating digital content or tools to ensure that they are effective. Through a different approach, educators could rate their digital content or tool by using a rubric. Here is one example provided by ISTE: No matter what method you choose to reflect upon digital content or tools, the most important piece is that you are taking the time to actually reflect.  How do you reflect on digital learning content or tools? What are some other pieces of teaching that you feel coaches can help educators reflect on? Comment below! References ISTE Standards for Coaches | ISTE. (n.d.). ISTE. Retrieved August 1, 2020, from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches Klein, A. (2019, November 18). Digital Learning Tools Are Everywhere, But Gauging Effectiveness Remains Elusive, Survey Shows. Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2019/09/18/digital-learning-tools-are-everywhere-but-gauging.htmlSheninger, E. (2020, May 6). 6 Ways Administrators Can Prove the Efficacy of Digital Tools. Technology Solutions That Drive Education. https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2017/11/6-ways-administrators-can-prove-efficacy-digital-tools

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Personalized Support Through Professional Growth Plans

Goal setting is an incredibly important strategy that we teach our students throughout their educational careers. We start small and create scaffolds to help our students learn how to work through a goal while demonstrating reflective thinking pra…

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Culturally Responsive Teaching With Social Emotional Learning

This summer I will be focusing on the 3rd Standard of the ISTE Coaching standard sets. This standard is a large one! Coaching relationships, partnering with educators in digital learning content and evaluating, and also personalizing and modeling coaching is all part of this standard focused on collaboration. Here is the full standard: ISTE Coaching Standard 3 Collaborator I chose to start off by researching more about cultural relevance. My school has been completing targeted professional development to help work on the climate and culture of our district. Much of this training is surrounding social emotional learning (SEL). I have greatly enjoyed learning more about the neuroscience behind why SEL is important, along with learning more strategies that I am eager to try out this upcoming year. One piece that I would love to prioritize with my SEL teaching is the huge amount of overlap between social emotional learning and culturally responsive teaching and learning. Due to this, I chose to focus my research and learning on this guiding question:  How is culturally responsive teaching and learning linked with social emotional learning, and what can educators do to focus on this connection to begin the school year? I chose this question because with the school closures at the end of the year, educators worldwide have become more and more aware of all of the potential traumas that students will be coming back to school having experienced. Whether it be civil rights related, health related, or food-insecurity related, our students will be in need of focused SEL instruction. However, the more research I did on this topic, the more I came to understand that we cannot be fully engaging our students in that instruction if we are not also paying attention to culturally responsive teaching.  The first article that I spent time delving into was titled “Making SEL Culturally Competent”. Authors Seider and Graves speak to the importance of students not only learning about strategies such as growth mindset to help increase resilience, but also to gain critical consciousness as a way to demonstrate higher levels of resiliency in historically marginalized youth. They go on to offer a framework focused on “the Three I’s”; interpersonal, institutional, and internalized in nature. The last two aspects of culturally responsive teaching highlighted in this article are to “Look for real-world change” and “challenge injustices”.  The Three I’s: In a 9th grade classroom, students learn about the differences between interpersonal, institutional, and internalized “isms” (for example, teaching about microaggressions) and then they collaborate to identify forms of potential oppression in their schools/neighborhoods/communities. Look For Real World Change: By having students connect their learning to actual injustices that are being faced, they can have a sense of social justice and come to learn that they have the power to make real change. For example, a class learning about colonization in the Americas extended their learning to current day by writing letters about their thoughts on Puerto Rico and their relationship with the US.  Challenge Injustice: Students learn about injustices and the power that they have to be able to address and fix injustices. A class of high schoolers worked together to challenge outdated policies in their student handbook that they felt were not fair. They brainstormed, they put together new proposals, and they worked through potential implementation issues.  While having students understand the great potential for resiliency and determination when shifting your mindset to one focused on growth, it is still vital for students to also understand critical consciousness.   So what should we do now? Early Childhood:  Increase the diversity of books that you have in your classroom. We Need Diverse Books is a fantastic resource for educators (and parents) to learn more about adding diverse books into schools. You can find some great articles from them here. Also, here is an amazing instagram account @diversereads created by a teacher who posts some amazing book ideas for all ages Increase the amount of opportunities students can “see themselves” in your classroom. Whether this is by increasing the diversity of music you play, the languages in which you welcome the class, or the types of designs or posters you have in your room. The key is to have student be able to relate to your class There is a great article from edutopia titled “Culturally Responsive Teaching in Early Childhood Education” that has some awesome ideas! K-12: Become aware of cultural differences in greeting and interaction, teach these differences along with acknowledging the merit and correctness of them, along with ones that are are considered appropriate in your classroom Survey students/families on their traditions and educate yourself about those traditions Dr. Anne Snyder and Claire Cook speak to the importance of not only teaching one social skill or strategy as the only “correct” method while working through SEL instruction. They bring up the idea that educators often model a strong handshake and eye contact as the correct way to say hello or greet someone. While this is a great way to greet some students, other students may have cultural differences that this method contradicts. Read more about their thinking in their article, “Culturally Responsive Social and Emotional Learning”. Intermediate:  Teach students that questioning policies that seem to not include, or put-down, certain groups of students is alright. Make sure to create a safe place for students to do this Encourage students to search for things to empower them and demonstrate their power to create positive change Allow for time and space for students to share about themselves in class (culture projects, family presentations, etc.) What do you do in your classrooms to encourage students to gain critical consciousness? What culturally responsive teaching and learning have you witnessed or tried? I would love to hear in the comments! References Armstrong, A. (2020, June 25). Culturally Responsive Teaching in Early Childhood Education. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/article/culturally-responsive-teaching-early-childhood-education B, C. (2019, November 16). The 2020 Ultimate List of Diverse Children’s Books. Here Wee Read. http://hereweeread.com/2019/11/the-2020-ultimate-list-of-diverse-childrens-books.html ISTE Standards for Coaches | ISTE. (2020). ISTE. https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches Seider, S. (2020, January 9). Making SEL Culturally Competent. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/article/making-sel-culturally-competent Snyder, A., & Cook, C. (2018, November 9). Culturally Responsive Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Medium. https://medium.com/inspired-ideas-prek-12/culturally-responsive-social-and-emotional-learning-be7fb6e3d58d

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Designing Learning Experiences Through Surveys

As a teacher in a district that is working diligently on improving student achievement, I attend A LOT of professional developments. Some are absolutely fantastic; engaging, helpful, and I actually can see myself practicing… but more times than no…

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Reimagining A “Classroom” – A Global Collaborative Project

What is a Global Collaborative Project?

A global collaborative project is a project that students work together on, either during the process, or share between different communities to come up with a final product. 

In “5 Ways to Inspire St…

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Student Ownership With Rubrics

My most recent area of focus has been on learning about ISTE Educator Standard 6 – Facilitator. I have always been eager to find ways to encourage students to take ownership of their learning. It is so important for students to understand that their education, quite honestly, is in their hands. And while educators are there to help support, and guide, students self-motivation and determination can help boost them to an entirely new level of success. So when I was reading through “Facilitator” I was excited to see the focus on not only that concept, but also about challenging students to use creativity and innovation to solve problems and communicate knowledge.  Thinking of this standard, I was hoping to find a way for students to incorporate all of these things into one routine or process. This led me to my guiding question.  What digital tools can allow students to self-assess and track mastery of the ISTE Student Standards? In previous inquiries, I have looked into students having the ability to use their own creative process to demonstrate their understanding of concepts. My original goal was to try and find a platform that would enable students to have a visual checklist of sorts that showed the ISTE Student Standards with criteria to represent mastery. I then would utilize it for students to self-assess their skill level for each standard and have the opportunity to “check off” the standards that they have met, while being self-aware of the standards that they still needed to focus on.  After searching for a while, I didn’t find a specific platform that would allow for this process. However, it wasn’t necessarily the platform that I was after, but the process of self-assessing and coming up with a unique experience for students to demonstrate their competencies. I figured that the best way for students to do this, was to use rubrics.  “How Do Rubrics Help?“ “Rubrics are great for students: they let students know what is expected of them, and demystify grades by clearly stating, in age-appropriate vocabulary, the expectations for a project. They also help students see that learning is about gaining specific skills (both in academic subjects and in problem-solving and life skills), and they give students the opportunity to do self-assessment to reflect on the learning process.” Edutopia defines a rubric as “multidimensional sets of scoring guidelines that can be used to provide consistency in evaluating student work”. A rubric gives a set of criteria to match a skill set to a level of understanding. Rubrics can be not only used for teachers to grade students, but for students to better understand success criteria.  In today’s education world, students have more and more opportunity to demonstrate their understanding through endless mediums. While rubrics have been around for a long time as a way for teachers to grade students’ understanding or demonstration of skills, they don’t have to stay in the hands of the teachers. Using rubrics for students to self-assess, or allowing students to create a rubric for themselves can be an empowering way for students to not only take ownership of their learning, but also for them to deepen their conceptual understanding of topics.  #1: iRubric Student login Pros: Students have 3 options for rubrics… to build a new rubric from an idea, to edit an existing rubric, or to make a copy of an existing rubric and repurpose. Cons: The process to create an account has a lot of information to enter including first and last name, their state and zip code, and two challenge questions that you have to enter personal information for. I was able to create a generic account using “Studentonetwo” and other random information, however I would be uncomfortable having my students use this site and enter all that information in.  Teacher login Pros: You are able to search pre-existing rubrics made from other educators. For example, I found many ISTE standard rubrics that have already been created for immediate use!  I could see myself using iRubric to create a rubric for students and have them self assess on paper. However, I am looking for something that would enable students to display their “toolbox of skills” in an easy layout to immediately identify ones they have mastered versus ones to work on. iRubric is slightly challenging to navigate and I would be uncomfortable having my students create their own rubrics using it.  #2: Rubistar Without logging in, you can search for pre-made rubrics. However, I didn’t find rubrics specifically for ISTE standards when I was searching. The feature for creating a new rubric also continued to have an error code pop-up. While you may have luck searching the database, it might not be worth it due to the exorbitant amount of ads.  #3: Teach-nology Of the first three rubric creators I found, teach-nology allowed for me to create a rubric without having to create an account. While it was fairly basic and not entirely editable, it was easy to entire criteria in, and quite fast! A drawback for student usage would be the amount of ads. There are MANY ads. But for a teacher to create a rubric for students to use, this is a great place to start.  #4: Google Classroom Rubric Creator If you implement a Google Classroom, their rubric creator is an easy way to create a new rubric, reuse a previously created rubric, or import a template from Google Sheets, for a posted assignment. While this is extremely convenient and works effortlessly within the Google platform, it does not allow for students to work through the process of creating a rubric for their assignment, which was my main intention.  Mindset Shift As I researched ways for my students to display their mastered skills, I didn’t necessarily find an exact solution. I did find some great rubric resources for my students to be able to use to create rubrics and work through the process of thinking about their learning. But looking back to the original standard, 6c states “Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.” So while I have found some great rubric creators, and I plan to use them at the beginning of the process to help demonstrate and scaffold, I am comfortable with students choosing the method in which they want to create their rubrics.  How do you help promote student ownership in your classrooms? I’d love to hear from you! References Create or reuse a rubric for an assignment – Computer – Classroom Help. (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 2020, from https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/answer/9335069 Lane, M. (2018, May 14). 10 Data Tracking Apps You Can Use In Your Class Tomorrow. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.gpb.org/blogs/education-matters/2016/12/13/10-data-tracking-apps-you-can-use-your-class-tomorrow Murray, J. (n.d.). Technology in the Classroom Tools to Create Rubrics. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.teachhub.com/technology-classroom-tools-create-rubrics Person. (2008, July 15). How Do Rubrics Help? Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.edutopia.org/assessment-guide-rubrics Rubric Maker – Where to Create Free Rubrics Online. (2018, April 30). Retrieved from https://www.pbisrewards.com/blog/free-online-rubric-maker/ Schrock, K. (n.d.). Assessment and Rubrics. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.schrockguide.net/assessment-and-rubrics.html

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