How to Teach the 9 Themes of Digital Citizenship


What is digital citizenship?

Digital citizenship refers to how we conduct ourselves on the web. Teachers, parents, and leaders in technology help students to understand what it means to use technology in an appropriate and responsible way. With the advent of social media, this issue is becoming increasingly important, especially for today’s youth.

The Rise of Social Media

Growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, digital citizenship wasn’t something that I, my parents, or my teachers really thought about. It was hardly an issue during a time where most of our research papers were written from library books. In fact, instant messaging with AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) didn’t break onto the scene until the late 90s.

But with the creation of Facebook and Myspace in the early 2000s, we began to consider the issue more seriously. Now, people and businesses all over the world have Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.

Read More

Top New Books for Educators – See What’s Coming Out in May!


New Books for Educators - May 2016 - The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age

The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age
Sonia Livingstone, Julian Sefton-Green

Do today’s youth have more opportunities than their parents? As they build their own social and digital networks, does that offer new routes to learning and friendship? How do they navigate the meaning of education in a digitally connected but fiercely competitive, highly individualized world?

Based upon fieldwork at an ordinary London school, The Class examines young people’s experiences of growing up and learning in a digital world. In this original and engaging study, Livingstone and Sefton-Green explore youth values, teenagers’ perspectives on their futures, and their tactics for facing the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

New Books for Educators - May 2016 - Grit

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Angela Duckworth

In this must-read book for anyone striving to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, students, educators, athletes, and business people—both seasoned and new—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”

Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Duckworth, now a celebrated researcher and professor, describes her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not “genius” but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.

New Books for Educators - May 2016 - Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why

Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why
Paul Tough

In How Children Succeed, Paul Tough introduced us to research showing that personal qualities like perseverance, self-control, and conscientiousness play a critical role in children’s success.

Now, in Helping Children Succeed, Tough takes on a new set of pressing questions: What does growing up in poverty do to children’s mental and physical development? How does adversity at home affect their success in the classroom, from preschool to high school? And what practical steps can the adults who are responsible for them—from parents and teachers to policy makers and philanthropists—take to improve their chances for a positive future?

Tough once again encourages us to think in a brand new way about the challenges of childhood. Rather than trying to “teach” skills like grit and self-control, he argues, we should focus instead on creating the kinds of environments, both at home and at school, in which those qualities are most likely to flourish. Mining the latest research in psychology and neuroscience, Tough provides us with insights and strategies for a new approach to childhood adversity, one designed to help many more children succeed.

New Books for Educators - May 2016 - Teaching and Learning for the Twenty-First Century

Teaching and Learning for the Twenty-First Century: Educational Goals, Policies, and Curricula from Six Nations
Fernando M. Reimers, Connie K. Chung

This book describes how different nations have defined the core competencies and skills that young people will need in order to thrive in the twenty-first-century, and how those nations have fashioned educational policies and curricula meant to promote those skills. The book examines six countries—Chile, China, India, Mexico, Singapore, and the United States—exploring how each one defines, supports, and cultivates those competencies that students will need in order to succeed in the current century.

Teaching and Learning for the Twenty-First Century appears at a time of heightened attention to comparative studies of national education systems, and to international student assessments such as those that have come out of PISA (the Program for International Student Assessment), led by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. This book’s crucial contribution to the burgeoning field of international education arises out of its special attention to first principles—and thus to first questions: As Reimers and Chung explain, “much can be gained by an explicit investigation of the intended purposes of education, in what they attempt to teach students

New Books for Educators - May 2016 - The Transformative Power of Collaborative Inquiry

The Transformative Power of Collaborative Inquiry: Realizing Change in Schools and Classrooms
Jenni Donohoo, Moses Velasco

Teachers are powerful change agents in the on-going process of school improvement. This insightful, must-read guide helps school leaders shape the development of a sustainable professional learning culture. Practical suggestions and in-depth research shed light on your path as you explore the benefits and challenges of adopting authentic teacher collaboration across schools and districts. A follow-up to Jenni Donohoo’s best-selling Collaborative Inquiry for Educators: A Facilitator’s Guide to School Improvement, this book will quickly move you from theory to practice. Learn valuable lessons from leaders’ experiences in the field and discover:

  • A rationale and framework for engaging in inquiry
  • The vital conditions needed to ensure system wide collaboration
  • Common pitfalls and the four stages of school improvement

Why Strong Teacher Leaders Make Successful Schools

Why Strong Teacher Leaders Make Successful Schools

The federal government recently passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to replace the No Child Left Behind Act. Both of these acts were passed by the US Congress and signed into law by the President of the United States. And whether you agree or disagree with your elected officials, I have to believe that they truly want our schools and students to succeed.

Let’s face it, no legislator really wakes up and thinks “I’m going to pass laws that make life tough for teachers and students.” Legislators who mean well passed both of these acts, but only time will tell if the implementation of the law actually leads to the intended results.


One of the things that has me a little excited about ESSA is that, for the first time, a US education law recognizes the important role that teacher leaders play in schools. ESSA supports teacher leaders in four places (p. 319, 333, 350, and 356-357) and supports the use of education funds to provide training and support for teachers on instructional leadership teams (p. 319).

At the ISTE conference in 2014, I led a session for administrators called “Building Teacher Leaders.” The premise of the session was that successful schools have strong teacher leaders and great administrators who help to foster leadership in their teachers. I was fortunate to have some administrators across the US who agreed with me on the importance of teacher leadership share their perspectives as well.

“…teacher leaders are at the heart of every successful blended and online learning program that I have observed or with which I have worked.”

This was one of my favorite sessions because teacher leaders are at the heart of every successful blended and online learning program that I have observed or with which I have worked. Schools that want to build capacity in their blended programs will support the development of teacher leaders.

If you’re a building administrator, it’s time to ask yourself how you can leverage the power of teacher leaders to improve the culture and outcomes at your school. If you’re a teacher, now is a great time to step up and take on a new leadership role. Research shows that teachers adopt new educational technology initiatives in less time and with more success when they are learning from a trusted colleague.

Now it’s your turn to share your expertise with a fellow teacher or to reach out to another teacher and ask for support you as you integrate technology with your classroom practices. Let’s seize the opportunity to show that teacher leaders are a huge part of successful schools.


NWEA Tool Enables Students to Explore Potential Colleges


Are you looking for a way to start a conversation about college with your students? If your school uses the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment, you might be in luck.

The NWEA recently launched their College Explorer Tool, which uses MAP scores to provide educators, students, and parents with insights into what college opportunities may be available based on a student’s academic performance. The tool can be used by fifth- to ninth-grade students to see which colleges and universities they’re already on track to enter. It can also be used to set academic goals to help students get into the school of their choice.

The College Explorer Tool works by correlating MAP scores to ACT scores. It then pinpoints colleges and universities for which a student’s scores would likely be near the median admission score. The tool also provides a profile for each institution using data from the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard, which includes information on cost of attendance and the average annual cost to families at varying income levels.


To use the tool, you first select the grade and term for which the student last took the MAP test. Then, using the math and reading sliders, you select ranges that include the student’s most recent scores. The tool includes filters so that you can limit your search to a specific state or even a city. However, if a college doesn’t use the ACT test for admissions, or if the median ACT score of admitted students isn’t published in the College Scorecard database, that institution won’t appear in the results.

One thing to keep in mind is that the upper and lower ranges of the score sliders are based on the lowest and highest MAP scores associated with hitting the median ACT score of admitted students in the institutions included within the tool. But if a student’s score is lower than the range on the slider, that doesn’t necessarily mean the student isn’t on track for college. It just means that the median ACT score of admitted students is higher. Remember that colleges and universities accept students within a range of ACT scores and also take a variety of other factors into consideration during the admissions process.


College readiness can’t be defined by a test score alone, so it’s important for students using the tool to understand that it’s not meant to limit their options. The purpose of the tool is to give them a data-based review of which institutions they’re currently a good fit for and some idea of what academic goals they may need to set in order to get into their school of choice. It also provides students with important financial and completion rate data associated with potential schools.

Educators, students, and parents can find the NWEA College Explorer Tool on Edgenuity’s website. Check it out today and start discussing academic goals for college with your students!

What’s up with…the Flipped Classroom?

Where Learning Clicks presents the next installment in our video series exploring the myriad terms, phrases, concepts and jargon of the edtech landscape. Watch our latest video to find out what’s up with the flipped classroom.

Animation and voice by Sean Haas.

The flipped classroom is actually just one of a number of different blended learning models. Blended learning programs generally fall under one of four models: the rotation model, the flex model, the a la carte model, or the enriched virtual model.

The flipped classroom is actually a type of rotation model. The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation defines the rotation model as “a course or subject in which students rotate on a fixed schedule or at the teacher’s discretion between learning modalities, at least one of which is online learning.”

The Clayton Christensen Institute further delineates the flipped classroom as “a course or subject in which students participate in online learning off-site in place of traditional homework and then attend the brick the brick-and-mortar school for face-to-face, teacher-guided practice or projects.” In the flipped classroom, course content and instruction are primarily delivered online, and that’s what sets this model apart from students just doing homework online after school.

Source: “Blended Learning Definitions.” Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation. Accessed June 18, 2015.