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This video was created to inspire teachers to use technology in engaging ways to help students develop higher level thinking skills. Equally important, it serves to motivate school districts to provide teachers with the tools and training to do so.
It is an undeniable fact that the world our childern live in is dominated by technology... It is their preferred method of entertainment, the way they communicate, and most importantly, how they choose to learn. With that said, we, as teachers, must make an effort to routinely integrate a variety of technology into our classrooms in order to engage all students in meaningful, relevant learning.

Here are some suggestions to assist you as you plan lessons and activities that "move beyond the cool in the tool":

Consider the Rigor/Relevance Framwork when developing digital/21st Century projects and activities:



The Revised Bloom's Taxonomy should also be considered when developing digital/21st Century projects and activities:


Additional resources and information related to Bloom's Revised Taxonomy:

This interactive document provides users with digital tools that can be used to address each level of the revised taxonomy. (Co-designed by Joanne Romano, Ed.D & Jim Gates, PDE, CFF/21st Century Teaching and Learning Mentors)

This document provides digital approaches to meet each element of the revised taxonomy.

This chart allows user to analyzedigital activities and break them down into various elements which can them be matched against the taxonomic levels and learning actions. Source:

A great classroom visual that can be displayed to help educators think about how higher order thinking skills can be applied in the classroom! Source:

Additional posters and classroom materials can be found at


Web 2.0 Tools are more rigorous and relevant when used to:
  • Transform content to create something new
  • Apply content to show relevant connections
  • Create innovative ways to showcase deep understanding

Convey important information to students with Voki:

Check out the link for the Voki shown above here.

Digital storytelling tools are more rigorous and relevant when used to:

  • Create book/movie trailers that utilize music, images and text to highlight themes and other literary elements
  • Create documentary type programs that educated peers
  • Create mock broadcasts that present information in a news format
  • Create commercials that promote or advertise content
  • Create instructional and "how to" videos aimed at a specific audience
  • Collect interviews that give various perspectives - fictional or real
  • llustrate relevance and real-world connection of curricular concepts

Convey important information to students with Animoto:

Check out the link for the Animoto shown above here.

Additional digitial storytelling resources are located here.

"Moving Beyond the Cool in the Tool" session tools/activities:

Paper Slide Videos
Big Huge Labs:

Some information and resources obtained from colleague Andrew Halter, Hampton High School Instructional Coach and creator of