The ISTE Standards and the 4 Cs of Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Creativity

Developing a Future Ready Classroom With the 4 Cs Connected to Learning
"The time for major change in education is now. In a world where rapid advances in technology have a profound impact on the ways we work, communicate and live, education has struggled to keep pace. The ISTE Standards work together to support educators, students, and leaders with clear guidelines for the skills and knowledge necessary to move away from the factory model. These are not the typical boxes educators need to check. They provide a framework for rethinking education, adapting to a constantly changing technological landscape and preparing students to enter an increasingly global economy." International Society for Technology in Education

I know that for some educators the word standard has become a bit of a dirty word. I totally get it, too often we feel like we are teaching to a test connected to standards that we don't like or don't understand. If you feel this way, today I am going ask you to set aside any misgivings you have about standards and take a closer look at the ISTE Standards. I believe these technology standards can be a framework to help teachers and students build mindsets that can transform learning and teaching for the better.

One of my favorite things about the ISTE Standards is that they connect so well to skills that support collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. I have always believed that these skills are essential for all students and teachers. The best classroom activities provide students with opportunities to practice these skills in learner-centered environments. The links below connect to resources inspired by ISTE Standards for each of the 4 Cs. 

Collaboration - Students need the opportunity to work with their peers in both the physical and digital work-space. A classroom full of students with headphones in front of their screens is a dull place no matter how engaging the activity might be. Students also need to learn that collaboration is more than divide and conquer.

Communication - Personal and digital communication are essential skills that must be developed in a learner-centered classroom. It is also important for students to understand best practices as a "digital citizens" connected to their modes of communication.

Critical Thinking - If the students can "Google" the answer, did I really need to be asking it? Being connected is more than just access to answers. Students also need to develop the skills needed to evaluate and personalize information. Connected learners should be inspired to discover and explore new questions not just search for answers.

Creativity - Creativity in a 1 to 1 classroom is not just about creating artistic works. Creativity is using digital tools to find new ways of doing something. Students need to find and explore new ways of learning and creating connections to digital resources.

Additional Resources Connected to the 4 Cs and the ISTE Standards

Digital Resources to Support Social Studies Educators and Students

"We are not the makers of history. We are made of history."
Martin Luther King Jr

We are working on updating our web resources for different subject areas. This week the focus is on Social Studies Chrome and G Suite Resources for K-12 teachers and students. This is the working document:

If you have suggested resources or ideas can you share them with us?

Digital Shopping Guide for Educators

The Holiday Season is just about upon us. I have more than a bit of experience shopping online, so each year a share some Holiday shopping tips we’ve put together to help teachers, their families, and just about anyone save a little green this holiday season. We put this guide out once a year and we think there is something in this post that can help just about anyone regardless of your online shopping experience.

Online Cashback Websites

There are many sites that take advantage of online advertising to provide the consumer with coupons and cashback for major retailers when you shop online. They are free, secure, and incredibly easy to use. Combine these with rewards on a credit card and it the cashback can start to really add up. Mr. Rebates and Ebates are two great resources for online shopping.

Click here to explore Mr. Rebates - Cash Back Shopping

Click here to explore Ebates - Online Coupons and Cashback

Technology Purchases


iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, or Macbook? Apple typically runs their once a year sale on Black Friday online and in store. The MacRumors Site typically has the most updated details about Apple Store Sales
Android and Chromebooks
Most major online retailers will run a variety of sales throughout the year. I would recommend starting your Chromebook search on Amazon Online when looking for the best prices on a new Chromebook.
Most mobile service providers will include deals on phones when you sign up for a contract, but smart shoppers can often find great deals online.

Amazon and eBay

Great places to shop for literally anything, especially Tech. You will frequently find the best prices for stuff here.  Remember that you are not always buying directly Amazon. Like eBay, Amazon has items for sale from other companies and independent sellers.  Both eBay and Amazon have incredible customer support. Mr. Rebates and Ebates also support Cashback for both sites.

Click here to explore Amazon’s Black Friday Deals
Learn more about Amazon Prime Membership to save on shipping.

Click here to explore eBay Deals
Learn more about the eBay Bucks to earn cashback on all of your eBay purchases.

Union Membership

Did you know that both the NEA and AFT posts some excellent deals for teachers? These deals include: merchandise, restaurants, and travel.

Click here to explore the NEA Member Benefits Site.

Click here to explore the AFT Member Benefits Site.

Daily Deal Websites – Online and in Store

There are a variety of websites that compile information about sales and deals year round. My favorite is  the Wise Bread site. I also love the deals on

Click here to explore the Wisebread Site - Living Large on a Small Budget.

Click here to explore - Your Place to Save Every Day.

Online Coupon Sites

There are several online sites that collect and share retailer coupons and deals. These coupons are often both digital or printable. RetailMeNot is a current favorite.

Click here to explore RetailMeNot - Coupons and Promo Codes

Click here to explore the Honey Chrome Extension

Protecting Your Credit Card Online

Most online stores / credit card companies do a great job taking care of credit card purchases, but a great way to pay from a lot of online purchases is to use PayPal. It’s free and provides an extra layer of security between your credit card and online shopping. Paypal also supports free returns for many purchases.

The Rest of the Story - Additional Online Shopping Resources
Have something to share connected to online shopping? Please add it to the comments below. We are always looking to improve and update these resources. 

Brain Breaks - Critical Thinking with Google's New Mystery Animal

At some point in our lives we've all played some version of the Game 20 Questions, right?

Recently Google released their own 20 Question Game Called Mystery Animal for Google Home. It also works in Chrome.
"Mystery Animal is a new spin on the classic 20-questions game. The computer pretends to be an animal, and you have to guess what it is using your voice. Ask any yes-or-no question you want, like "Do you have feathers?" or "Do you sleep at night?" Play it on a Google Home by saying "Hey Google, talk to Mystery Animal," or try it on the site."
I am a big fan of Brain Breaks for students. The best brain breaks are collaborative and get students thinking. This new resource could be used by small groups of students or as a whole class activity.  Get them thinking critically about the best questions to ask! Get them collaborating. 

We've added this resource to our Google Secrets Document. What other Google Tools do you use in unique ways with your students?

Chrome Browser Tab Shortcuts to Enhance Productive Workflow

Enhance your browsing experience by know some of the essential shortcuts connected to Chrome Tabs. For example, if you right-click on a tab in Chrome, you open a tab menu that allows you to manage and recover tabs. You can also pin tabs you use frequently, recover closed tabs, and rearrange the order of tabs. Here are a few more top tips.

Chrome OS Tabs & Windows Essentials

New tab
ctrl + t
ctrl + r
Right-click on tab
Pin Tab
Right-click on tab
Mute tab
Right-click on tab
Close Tab
Click on the x or ctrl + w
Close other tabs
Right-click on tab
Reopen closed tabs
ctrl + shift + t
Bookmark all tabs
ctrl + shift + d
Open previous page
alt + left arrow
Open next page
Alt + right arrow
Switch windows
alt + tab
See two windows at the same time
  1. On one of the windows you want to see, click and hold Maximize.Maximize window
  2. Drag to the left or right arrow.Window - dock leftWindow - dock right
  3. Repeat for a second window.
Tip: You can also use the shortcut Alt + [ to move left, or Alt + ] to move right.
Reorder, move, or pin tabs
You can put related tabs together, or move a tab into or out of a window. Also, if there’s a webpage you always want open, like your email, you can make that tab easy to find by pinning it.
  • Reorder tabs within the same window: Drag the tab to a different position along the top of the browser window.
  • Move a tab into a new window: Click and drag the tab away from the window. You can make the tab into its own window, or drag it into another window.

Change window size

  • View full screen: At the top of your keyboard, press Fullscreen Full screen (or F4).
  • Maximize window: At the top right, click Maximize.Maximize window
  • Minimize window: At the top right, click Minimize.Minimize window

Formative Assessment and the Growth Mindset

"There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know." Donald Rumsfeld

We don't know what we won't know and if we don't know how do we grow as a learner?

Formative assessments are essential tools for teachers and students to engage in knowing and not knowing? I was inspired by this article from Edutopia to update our Favorite Formative Assessment Document.

There are many digital assessment tools that can help both teachers and students know what they know and learn from what they don't know.

  • Formative assessments should be part of the learning experience in all classrooms, but they are particularly important in 1 to 1 classrooms.
  • Variety is the spice of life and the same could be said for formative tools. Using 1 tool all the time can become a drag for both students and teachers.
  • Formative assessments should not be limited to assessment apps or sites. Formative assessment can be incorporated into any activity, digital or not.
  • Good formative assessments help both the students and teachers gauge understanding and adjust teaching and learning.
  • The nine featured recommendations below are by no means a represent a complete list. We have added additional assessment resources that we love to this document.
  • If you have something you are already using that has worked well for your students, please share in our Formative Assessment Padlet.
  • Before creating your own activities using any of these resources, we recommend exploring the tutorials embed in most of the resources. If you do want to jump right in, get started by searching for assessments that have already been created. (Most of these resources have a library of shared public assessments that you can copy and modify.)

Featured Formative Assessment Web Resources




Drawing & Diagrams
Interactive Presentations

Exit Slips & Quizzes

Audio & Video Responses

Interactive Questions

Video Formatives

Need something more? We have additional recommended Digital Assessment Resources in the full Document embedded on our Assessment Resource Page on the Wicked EdTech Site.

The Power of Teacher Collaboration - Google + HyperDoc Community

Last week I shared some of the incredible resources connected to HyperDocs by incredible educators who love to share and collaborate. Teachers are sharing some awesome HyperDocs on the Teachers Give Teachers Site, Facebook, Padlet, Google +, and Google Drive. 

Exploring Additional Resources Connected to HyperDocs

Today I want to focus on the power of Google + Communities. Google + has become one of my favorite places to collaborate with educators around the world. With the blessing of the HyperDoc Girls, 6 months ago we created a community to support HyperDocs on Google +. 

Here are some reasons why I believe our HyperDoc Google + Community is a great place to explore and collaborate.
  • HyperDocs can be categorized by content area.
  • A public view link can be shared. This means that you are not just looking at a copy that could quickly become outdated. (If you want to learn more about link sharing, please visit this post.) 
  • The shared HyperDocs are secure and can only be removed by the owner of the post or the moderators of the community. 
  • Google + Communities are searchable. I think I heard something about Google knowing search?
  • Each link to a HyperDoc will include a nice visual preview of the HyperDoc. 
  • The posts can include a description or a question. This is a great way to provide the viewer with a quick snapshot of the HyperDoc. 
  • Viewers can comment on the posts or respond to questions. (This is my favorite feature! - Collaboration is awesome!)
  • Members of the community can receive notifications when a new post or response is added.
We did not create this community to compete with or replace any of the other great ways educators are sharing HyperDocs. We just wanted one more resource for educators to share and collaborate. The bottom line is that if you have something to share connected to HyperDoc find the place that works best for you, but please find that place to share!

Study Smarter! Not Harder! - Tips for Teachers to Help Students

The mind is just like a muscle - the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.” ― Idowu Koyenikan

Exams may be just around the corner, so here are a few resources to help students organize, prioritize, and prepare for just about any assessment at any time throughout the year. 

Essential Tips for Studying Smarter, Not Harder
Digital Tools to Support Individual & Collaborative Review
  • Concept and Vocabulary Review - Quizlet
    Start with flashcards, add diagrams, and engage in the learning. Students can create their study sets, or choose from millions of flashcards sets created by others. Students can use several study modes including multiple choice tests, flashcards, diagrams Quizlet learn, and more study games. Visit the Quizlet Blog, for more student study tips.
  • Collaboration - Google+ Communities and Padlet
    Students create online study groups in Google+ Communities or by creating a Padlet.
  • Organization - Google Keep Google Keep can be a powerful tool for organization and workflow. Create and share notes. Create checklists and reminders. Students can organize study resources and create their own paths for learning. 
  • Video Concepts - Khan Academy and YouTube Video lessons to support math, art, computer programming, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, finance, history, and almost any topic you are interested in.
Exam Tips and Tricks - Video Resources

Hacks and Habits to Become an Exam Superstar

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