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

First… thanks for the great feedback on my Flip Classroom Post that happen to be in the middle of this 10 Step Series to Digital Transformation. It is great to see that it got thousands and thousands of reads. I welcome to Part Three 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 am certain you will enjoy the includes resource filled links.  Before bringing you another 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 Three 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 two articles  before the Flipped Class PostI introduced the first five steps in this Ten Steps… Transforming Past Lessons for the 21st Century Classroom Series. If you missed it then make sure you check out Article One Steps 1-3  and Article Two Steps 4-5  for practical information and great resources. Read on and discover steps six and seven 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. You will want to return and be sure to download a copy!

Part Three: Steps Six and Seven …. Title… Question … Action

Step Six – Include and Advance Organizer allowing kids to Connect

An advance organizer can be anything that assists students in applying their past knowledge and connecting it to the new knowledge that you are trying to teach. It may be a step by step instruction sheet, a graphic display to understand, a picture, a short filmstrip, a tutorial, or a simple discussion.  An advance organizer provides structure and meaning to students. In fact, you may have the lesson be a advance organizer for an entire unit. A short video clip allowing for collaboration and meta-cognition can even serve as an advance organizer. Remember that an advance organizer allows students to connect their past knowledge and experiences with new knowledge. It allows the student to make their own unique knowledge (understanding). It supports inquiry and the need to know,

Links to Help with Step Six…. Advance Organizers  …  (Some of the link  descriptions provided by host site)

Research based links to better understand

Video tools that can help in using short videos in the classroom

  • YouTube – Find a great video for an entry event that really puts the focus on that driving question. You  might want to check out You Tube Edu.
  • Keepvid  – Is that perfect video to help create inquiry or engagement with the diving question blocked? Check out this great video conversion tool.
Step Seven – Incorporate Formative Learning and Assessment
I have been deliberate in stating that formative learning is related to formative assessment. A true formative assessment lesson is based on the idea of formative learning. It is the formative assessment in a video game that is powerful in engaging students. In a game, players understand where they stand and where they need to improve. It really is a formative learning process. What is even more amazing about a video game is that it also relies on self and peer motivation along with assessment. That is another blog post! In the classroom, formative assessment/learning can be regarded as learning opportunities with check points before the final lesson is completed. Formative assessments/learning can be check off sheets, a conference, teacher observation, and/or discussion. Don’t forget that formative assessment/learning can also include peers as students collaborate and critique each other through formal or informal methods. Last, formative assessment/learning should include self-evaluation that can be one of a number of methods including self -checks, reflections, and journals. Most of all, remember that the role of formative assessment/learning is to give quality to the final outcome, support the standards, and support real learning.Remember that formative is more then assessment… it is learning. It can come in many ways!

  • Activities
  • Simulations
  • Games
  • Meta-cognition
  • Journals and self reflection
  • Peer review
  • Videos
  • Peer and teacher interaction
  • Readings
  • Critical and creative brain storming and thinking
Links to Help with Step Seven… Incorporate Formative Assessment/Learning . . (Some of the link  descriptions provided by host site)

  • Thinkfinity –  Verizon Thinkfinity offers comprehensive teaching and learning resources created by  content partners – the most respected organizations in each academic subject and literacy. The easy-to-navigate K-12 resources are grade-specific and are aligned with state standards.
  • 30 Online Multimedia Resources for PBL and Flipped Classrooms –  The power of formative learning activities with online technology allows teachers to provide multimedia that can be used individually, in groups, or even at home. The multimedia may be a movie, sound clip, picture, simulation, reading, or game. In PBL, the multimedia may be an entry event, a tutorial, a basis for further discussion and inquiry, or a tool that measures student understanding. It could possibly even be an assignment or activity for students to investigate at home. Best of all, students can even be in control of the speed of delivery and even control their own remediation by repeating sessions. Multimedia can be used to flip the classroom, allowing students to participate and formulate their own inquiry through teacher facilitated posts in content delivery systems such as Edmodo or My Big Campus. Let’s take a look at some of these large mega resource sites.
  • PBS Teachers –  PBS Teachers is PBS’ national web destination for high-quality preK-12 educational resources. Here you’ll find classroom materials suitable for a wide range of subjects and grade levels. We provide thousands of lesson plans, teaching activities, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations. These resources are correlated to state and national educational standards and are tied to PBS’ award-winning on-air and online programming like NOVA, Nature, Cyberchase, Between the Lions and more.
  • NeoK12 –    Kids learn best when they ‘see’ how things work, when, where and why they happen. Watching educational videos is a great way to learn because it allows kids to build a visual picture or model in their mind. The visual dimension not only helps them understand concepts better, but also stimulates curiosity and encourages self-learning. Educational videos are possibly one of the most effective learning tools, and honestly, even most grown-ups will find them enriching and entertaining as well. NeoK12 ™ also features Web2.0 tools for learning and teaching. Our School Presentation tool, a mashup of Flickr and Wikipedia, allows users to create and share interesting school presentations online. Our Quizzes, Interactive Diagrams and other Educational Games & Puzzles are a fun, interactive way to improve learning. These are also excellent interactive whiteboard resources for the classroom. Other tools allow teachers to create and share video playlists with notes and instructions for their students; find and recommend new videos for NeoK12.
  • – This is a site that you are bound to find useful in your classroom. The tools are incredible and may even include items you have used on paper in the past… but can now bring digitally into the 21st century!
  • Intel Thinking Tools –  Welcome to a series of articles based on Intel Thinking Tools, an amazing set of free tools from Intel. The three tools I will be  highlighting in this and future posts are are just a small set of what Intel offers for free: Free: Visual Ranking Thinking Tool… Powerful Student Collaboration! …. Free: Seeing Reason Tool…High Order Thinking, Mapping, And Collaboration! … Free: Showing Evidence Tool… Collaboratively Construct, Evaluate, And Defend!

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 three 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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4 responses to “Part Three: Ten Steps… Transforming Past Lessons For the 21st Century Digital Classroom

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  2. DeLoise

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