Part Two: Ten Steps… Transforming Past Lessons For the 21st Century Digital Classroom

Welcome to Part Two of  this four part series devoted to bringing curriculum to the digital era. In this series of posts I want to walk you through ten practical steps I have found helpful in transforming yesterday’s lessons into 21st century digital treasures! I even include some awesome links that you will find useful in the process!  Before introducing this goldmine of resources… I want to  thank you for continuing to return and for continuing to share this blog with others. If you haven’t subscribed, please take a moment to do so. You will be guaranteed future posts by subscribing by either RSS or email. I also invite you to follow me on Twitter at mjgormans. I really do enjoy  networking with all of you! Now… on to Part Two of  that goldmine I promised you. Have a great week! – Mike Gorman (

Quick Note – I have been getting a lot of request asking if I will make a visit to your school, organization, or conference. Please be aware that I am available to assist you in providing professional development and presentations. I have had the opportunity to network in person across the country and invite your inquiry at


In the last article I introduced the first three steps in this Ten Steps… Transforming Past Lessons for the 21st Century Classroom Series. If you missed it then make sure you check out this link for practical information and great resources. Read on and discover steps four and five and then sign up for future post that will include the remaining steps.  I have even included in the last  post of this four part  series, a powerful downloadable document that will be helpful in planning for a lesson’s transformation.

Part Two: Steps Four and Five …. Title… Question … Action

Step Four – Develop an Engaging Title… and Pose a Question with out the Content

Title – The title of your lesson  should provide a hook for students bringing out items of interest. It should provide relevance while being molded to appeal to the 21st century learner. Have fun, and include it on worksheets, wikis, parent newsletters, class web site, and everyday references to the lesson.

The Question – Every lesson should pose a question that will eventually uncover the content standards. For this reason try not to pose the content in the question. Instead make the question kid friendly and understandable. Instead of saying, “How can we improve the whale’s habitat to make certain that it does not become extinct?”… we say, “How can we save the whale?”.  Allowing students to inquire will bring about the content standards of habitat and extinction. Question for lessons should provide engagement, invoke interest and inquiry, and address the standards in a simplistic, kid oriented manner. Many times these are referred to as Driving Questions and can help drive an entire project or lesson. Check the links below to help you better understand.

Links to Help with Step Three…. Driving Question Articles  …  (Some of the link  descriptions provided by host site)

Articles From Edutopia

Step Five – Outline the Technology to Incorporate

Make sure you keep it simple at first!  You do not want the technology to steal the importance of the content standards and 21st century skills being emphasized. Technology can include Web 2.0 applicationsMega WebsitesSoftware, various devices… phones…cameras…GPS…. Flip Video (remember… not all technology is a computer).  Remember that any technology used may require some instruction. This instruction can be lecture, on-line tutorials, peer assistance, and/or handouts. Wow, an opportunity for more 21st century skills! Try to incorporate more than one technology and remember that the technology could be used for differentiation. Last, remember that technology should not just be consumed, but should allow students to produce and recreate their learning. It is only when educators allow for student production using technology, that those highest levels of Bloom’s can be reached.

Moving from Web 1.0  to  Web 2.0
The original  Web 1.0 was one way. Basically the user was a consumer of information. Think of it as the analog world of television and radio. The consumer would sit and get… and possibly be entertained. Enter Web 2.0. It is multi-directional! It is a more then two way superhighway! Everyone is a consumer and everyone is a producer. The analog days of the one way street are over. The Web 2.0 allows us all to be producers. In some educational settings students are still only being allowed to treat the Web in the Web 1.0 fashion. As educators we must move our students to the amazing opportunities the Web 2.0 offer. We must allow our students to become producers in the classroom… after all they are already producing with technology on the web outside of school. Equally important, educators must become familiar with the wide collection of Web 2.0 tools that allow students to travel the arena of higher level thinking as the travel up Bloom’s Taxonomy. Remember that Blooms has been changed into an action based machine:

  • Level 1 (old) knowledge   transformed to  (new) remember
  • Level 2 (old) comprehension   transformed to  (new) understand
  • Level 3 (old) analysis   transformed to  (new) analyze
  • Level 4 (old) synthesis   transformed to  (new) evaluate
  • Level 5 (old) evaluation   transformed to  (new) create

Also be aware that Blooms is now multi-directional. You can start anywhere  and travel anywhere! Kind of like the Web 2.0!

Web 2.0 + Blooms = educational experiences that are:

  1. action based
  2. authentic
  3. connected and collaborative
  4. innovative
  5. high level
  6. engaging
  7. experience based
  8. project based
  9. inquiry based
  10.  self actualizing

– Links to Help with Step Five  (Some of the descriptions provided by host site)

Some Research 

  • Learning with Media – Research article that contrasts the idea of students learning from technology to learning with technology.
  • A Model of Learning Objectives  –  Among other modifications, Anderson and Krathwohl’s (2001) revision of the original Bloom’s taxonomy (Bloom & Krathwohl, 1956) redefines the cognitive domain as the intersection of the Cognitive Process Dimension and the Knowledge Dimension. This document offers a three-dimensional representation of the revised taxonomy of the cognitive domain. You may find this document useful as you explore.

Bloomin with the  Web 2.0

  • Web 2.0 Pyramid – Bloom revised in an awesome clickable pyramid. Click on a tool and you will be brought to the website where the resources is housed. 
  • Andrew Churches Digital Blooms –  This publication accounts for the use of social media and a variety of digital tools that can be used in educational contexts. Not limited to a discussion of the cognitive domain, the text includes discussions and suggestions for methods and tooling. Along with this amazing document be sure to check out this amazing Educational Origami Blog created by Andrew.
  • Blooms Activity Graphic – This graphic by Valerie Burton helps  teachers choose questions and create activities that reflect the levels of higher-order thinking.  It’s not interactive, but  it’s a good graphic representation of Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • Blooms Taxonomy: Bloomin Peacock –  Kelly Tenkely created this Bloomin’ Peacock to show teachers the Blooms Taxonomy break down and the Bloomin’ digital Peacock that shows how the digital tools in the supplement break down
  • Kathy Schrock’s Web 2.0 Guide – This page gathers all of the Bloomin’ Apps projects in one place! Each of the images has clickable hotspots and includes suggestions for  iPad, Google, Android, and Web 2.0 applications  to support each of the levels of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy.

Other Web 2.0 Applications Databases

  • TeachFirst – Find Web 2.0 links and  countless activities. Searchable by content and tool.
  • GotoWeb2.0 – Hundreds of Web 2.0 tools arranged by category. It can be fun just to see how they might apply to PBL
  • The Super Book of Web Tools for Teachers – A digital book with Web 2.0 tools and descriptions for any educational reason

Other Ideas

Thank you for joining me in this series on Ten Step Lesson Transformation. I hope you have found new information for use in your school and to share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   Watch for other posts in this series including:

  1. The remaining five steps with some incredible links!
  2. A Document that will allow educators to use this series as they plan their lesson! 

To ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or any other resources covering PBL, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the exciting process of transforming a valuable lesson! – Mike (


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6 responses to “Part Two: Ten Steps… Transforming Past Lessons For the 21st Century Digital Classroom

  1. Thank you for clearly explaining the difference between Web 1.0 & 2.0 ~ seems like a simple concept but I think many people (including myself) often wonder what the heck these things are!

  2. Pingback: Asking a better question? Online Resources to Support Higher Order Questions for Higher Order Learning – Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy « ICT for Teaching & Learning in Falkirk Primary Schools

  3. Really appreciate the effort put into your work and your sharing.
    What a fantastic resource for teachers, schools and sectors.

    I’m hanging out for the next instalment with bated breath 😉


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