Beyond the Technology Shine, Part 3: Content Standard Verbs and Blended Learning Possiblities

Beyond the Technology Shine, Part 3: Content Standard Verbs and Blended Learning Possiblities

Welcome to a series of posts that are dedicated to going beyond the shine of technology by examining ways to use digital tools to engage students in real learning. In this third post you will discover how careful examination of the verbs in a standard can help you find resources to assist in proper technology integration. You may want to click on the link below to the first and second posts of this series.

Part 3… Beyond the Technology Shine… Content Standard Verbs and Blended Learning Possibilities

In this post I would like to investigate how examining the verbs in curricular standards can help teachers investigate ways to integrate technology to promote curricular content understanding. It all begins with something that has been around for quite a while. In the last post I examined how finding the nouns in a standard will help identify important content that student must become familiar with. Technology allows the 21st century classroom to use this awareness of the nouns to connect with free resources on the internet known as OER (Open Education Resources). Feel free to read about 25 of these amazing resources from the last post. While the nouns point out the content, it is the verbs that bring meaning and deeper learning to the standards. Let’s talk a closer look at what new action these verbs bring to learning.

I provided five steps in the first post which you can read about in a little further depth here. The point of emphasis for this article is step number four below.

  1. Identify the standard
  2. Reflect on the standard
  3. Determine the content by reviewing the standard and circling the appropriate nouns.
  4. Investigate the skills by reviewing the standard and circling the appropriate verbs.
  5. Create Learning Targets demonstrating what students will be able to do.

In the first post of this series I provided the following standards and listed the verbs I thought might be important. I have provided those example standards and the relevant verbs below.

Example Standards

  • Students will be able to research and record key facts involving the planets of the solar system.
  • Students will explain orbit, gravity, and gravitational pull.
  • Students will be able to collaborate on a presentation that provides what they have learned in their own words

Relevant Verbs – Research, Record, Explain, Collaborate

By examining the appropriate verbs in the standard it is possible to identify important skills and processes that students should learn about and demonstrate competency of. This allows learning to go beyond Bloom’s basic level of remembering. The verbs found in the curriculum standards promote the 4 C’s (communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking) along with Bloom’s higher levels, (understanding, analyzing, evaluating, and creating). By identifying the verbs found in the standards it is possible for an educator to discover and implement free interactive resources that can be found on the web.

An examination of the verbs found in standards provides the following possibilities for the integration of technology in today’s technology rich classroom.

Finding the right tool to match the verb can take a bit of research. It is also important to gauge students’ age and ability while aligning it with the district AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) and the each tool’s Terms of Use. I have included some resources below that can be helpful in finding the right tool for processes. While the nouns can help locate the important content that can be supported with OER (Open Education Resources) , it is the verbs that will take your students into Bloom’s higher order while conquering the 4C’s. Take a moment to check out the wide assortment of possibilities found in the below links. You will discover a whole new world of technology ready to put those content standard verbs into some exciting and engaging action while going beyond the technology shine.

10 Sites To Explore Bloom and Related Verbs

An important side note – While integrating the web with today’s 21st century learning experience is essential, each child’s safety and security must be a number one priority. Any websites and tools used in the classroom should be thoroughly examined and vetted by educators. While many sites, along with COPA rules, designate the age of 13 as the end of necessitating parental permission, it is encouraged that districts go a step further and ask both parent awareness and permission for all of our students. Parents should be aware and have the opportunity to read a site’s Terms of Use, and to be a partner with their child(ren) in exploring the web and its many opportunities. Schools should promote proper digital citizenship and internet safety in classrooms and encourage this to be reinforced at home. Check out my five important points educators should consider when using interactive web tools.

The Big Five Before Using A Tool

  • Examine Your LMS (Learning Management System)
  • Read Terms and Privacy of interactive web tool being used
  • Check school district AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) and school administration
  • Involve Parents
  • Incorporate Digital Citizenship

As you can see, the standards are an important part of technology integration. As educators examine the many relevant nouns and verbs found in the standards they are able to focus on real learning. It is this focus that allows today’s 21st century classroom to go beyond the technology shine!

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Michael Gorman oversees one-to-one laptop programs and digital professional development for Southwest Allen County Schools near Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a consultant for Discovery Education, ISTE, My Big Campus, and November Learning and is on the National Faculty for The Buck Institute for Education. His awards include district Teacher of the Year, Indiana STEM Educator of the Year and Microsoft’s 365 Global Education Hero. Read more at