Category: Course 4

Week 5: Putting Deep Learning into Practice

This week is all about ACTION!  We will be relating some of the frameworks, concepts and big ideas to what this actually looks like in practice. Some of you have already featured how you are putting deep learning into action by showcasing some amazing learning moments, lessons and units.

Cindy explained that in Studio 4 students have “C.A.R. Time.” (Choose, Act, Reflect)  and that as a result of listening to Brene Brown she wants her students to go deeper.

“My hope is that by learning about these concepts, they will become better humans moving forward into the future. More confident. More courageous. More vulnerable. Failing more. And learning to grow from all of these experiences.”

Simona reflected on giving students leadership roles, authentic learning and fostering creativity as students designed Winter Postcards.

” (Students) created Winter Themed postcards and we advertise per Seesaw to the parents creating online shopping opportunities for the parents before Christmas. The funds were donated to the Angel Tree.” 

Andrea found inspiration, from Cindy’s week 3 blog post and redesigned an upcoming Math unit. 

In an effort to work towards teaching with Deep Learning in mind, I created this Math Unit with lots of inspiration from Cindy’s week 3 blog post while keeping Michael Fullan’s description of Deep Learning Tasks in mind.”

This right here is the power of COETAIL!  Learning and growing from and with one another is what COETAIL’ers do.

Pedagogies in Action

This week we are delving into more acronyms in our bid to think about what deep learning really looks like, feels like and means for our students and ourselves.

Challenge Based Learning (CBL)

This multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning  encourages students to leverage the technology they use in their daily lives to solve real-world problems. The approach is collaborative and hands-on, asking students to work with other students, their teachers, and experts in their communities and around the world to develop deeper knowledge of the subjects students are studying, accept and solve challenges, take action, share their experience, and enter into a global discussion about important issues.

Project Based Learning (PBL)

Students work on a project over an extended period of time – from a week up to a semester – that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question. They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by creating a public product or presentation for a real audience. As a result, students develop deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills.

Augmented/Virtual Reality (AR/VR)

The terms “virtual reality” and “augmented reality” get thrown around a lot these days, thanks to the resurgence of VR headsets  the use of AR apps and games like Pokemon Go. They sound similar, and as the technologies develop, there is certainly some connections. However they are two very different concepts, though, with characteristics that readily distinguish them from one another.

Games Based Learning (GBL)

According to EdTechReviewGame-Based Learning is designed to balance subject matter with gameplay and the ability of the player to retain and apply said subject matter to the real world.

Design Thinking

This approach to learning leans heavily on collaboration, and problem solving. The design process is a structured framework for identifying challenges, gathering information, generating potential solutions, refining ideas, and testing solutions. It can be used a long term project/course/unit tool or for a single learning opportunity or activity.

Blended Learning

This is something that we are very familiar because of COVID-19.  School closures,  working remotely and in person with students has certainly been pretty real to all of us in 2019 and 2020. The Christensen Institute defines it as: 

“A formal education program in which a student learns:

II_disruption_figure_1_v4_matchpdf_newat least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace;

at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home;

and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience.”

Phew…that is a lot of different structures and frameworks that you might have heard during professional learning  or in your collaborative conversations with colleagues.  I am sure that you can see that there are some similarities and differences between these approaches, which are all based around the big idea of fostering deep learning.

Some questions that you may want to consider in your reflective blog post are: 

  • How might you assess & measure the impact of deep learning pedagogies?
  • Which effective new pedagogies might you implement in your practice?
  • What might that look like in your context?
  • How do you support students in becoming “independent, autonomous learners able to effectively design, pursue and achieve their own learning goals and personal aspirations as well as master curricular learning goals?”
  • What do learning frameworks and new pedagogies look like in your classroom/school?
  • Which methods have you implemented before?

By the end of this week you should:

  • Have 5 blog posts completed and linked in your gradesheet
  • Have 5 comments linked in your gradesheet
  • Continue working on your Course 4 final project
  • Be thinking about your Course 5 project and how you might get the process started now.


This is your last week of integrated Google for Education Training! What steps do you need to take in order to become a Google Education Trainer? How might we support you?

You should work through Units 6 & 7 of Google for Education’s Certified Trainer Training:  Integrate Google Tools in the Classroom & Deepen your Knowledge of Google for Education. How might you integrate Google tools in your practice to support student learning?


Week 4: Unleashing Deep Learning

Welcome to Week 4! This course is flying by isn’t it?!? I have been so impressed with the depth in your reflections. You are being thoughtful about considering educational technology frameworks and new pedagogies, and how they can and do translate practically to your classrooms. Here are a few examples of how you have fostered deeper learning.

Julija explained the importance of “Being an expert in both – teaching subject and technology is great, but collaboration can be even more effective…(for example) designing 3D prototype of race car, printing it out using 3D printer, assembling it and testing its speed to analyze and understand physics laws, and most probably.. comparing your model’s performance with one of you classmate’s – all of this raises students’ motivation really high. This is a time- and effort-consuming process but it gives a lot of benefits.”

Erika reflected upon technology has supported deep learning with her students. “Thanks to technology, students can take more ownership of their learning by finding the resources online on the topic or curricular content they are learning.”

Luiz created a hilarious post littered with Portuguese idiomatic expressions, which has you thinking and laughing together. He certainly has the “the cheese and the knife in his hands.” Check out his awesome Educational Philosophy too that relates to a lot of what Michael Fullan is explaining in “New Pedagogies for Deep Learning.”

Unleashing Deep Learning

This week you will be exploring the idea that technology alone does not promote learning. You’ll reflect on the ways in which type of technology supports deeper learning and how you might personalize learning experiences to accommodate learner differences. A helpful starting point might be to take a moment to reflect upon the ISTE standards for Educators. 

  • 5.a. Educators use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • 5.b. Educators design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.

“For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

As I think about these standards I am able to make connections to the ideas that Paulo Freire introduced to us in his seminal book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed.”  Freire describes five ideas that he believes are important for dialogue.

  • Humility
  • Hope
  • Faith
  • Love
  • Critical thinking

I believe that these ideas are not only fundamental for dialogue between teacher and student, but for learning in its broadest sense. Brene Brown talks in her SXSW video, about The Four Pillars of Courage and how “a daring classroom is a place where both teachers and students commit to choosing courage over comfort.” According to Brown, courage can be developed if these four pillars are present:

  1. Vulnerability
  2. Clarity of Values
  3. Trust
  4. Rising Skills (The ability to get back up when we fall)

When we welcome failure and find the value in discomfort we will be willing to try new things. By modelling this as teachers, and being partners in learning something new, we are showing students we have courage. I am curious to see your thoughts on some of the ways we might foster deeper learning through the modelling of courage in our classrooms, and how technology might play a role.

How might technology support this mindset? How does/might your practice, and the tools you use, promote the choice of courage over comfort?

This week you will be writing a reflective blog post about content and concepts from the week. Check out the My Courses assignment tab for guidance on some of the themes and questions you might want to consider.

By the end of this week you should:

  • Have 4 blog posts completed and linked in your gradesheet
  • Have 4 comments linked in your gradesheet
  • Continue working on your Course 4 final project
  • Be thinking about your Course 5 project and how you might get the process started now.

GET Participants

You’ve almost finished the integrated Google for Education Training! What steps do you need to take in order to become a Google Education Trainer? How might we support you?

You should work through Unit 2 of Google for Education’s Advanced Training: Leverage Learning Models to Personalize Learning. How might the concepts from your COETAIL courses support you in personalizing learning for your students and colleagues? How might you use SAMR to guide professional development that you design?


Week 3: Learning Deeply, Digitally

We are at the halfway point of Course 4. So far, you have been exploring different frameworks for technology integration, as well as ways in which human connections make deep learning possible. I have enjoyed reading your blog posts, seeing your digital creations and getting an insight into what teaching and learning looks like in your unique settings.

Holly Mashburn CC 2020

Holly created a variety of  great  visuals in her Week 1 blog post, including this one that has tech at the bottom of it because “it shouldn’t be the first we think about.”

Katya reflected upon her technology use not only with SAMR and TPACK but also with her overall confidence in using technology. I wonder where are you using this scale?

Simon shared that he is pushing for ways to use technology is above substitution and augmentation. He mentioned that he is “starting to see more opportunities for going (at least) one step beyond substitution with tech integration that will support my students’ progress.”

Deep, equitable learning is our responsibility

This week we are thinking about the importance of providing deep learning tasks. I value the way in which Daniel Pink explains about deep learning. He says that we what we are really doing is providing “purpose” for our students. And that is something that we all are striving for in our schools and classrooms.

Michael Fullan goes even further in “Rich Seam” and shares the importance to think about how we can get students to:

  • Practice the learning process
  • Create new knowledge
  • Use new knowledge
  • Apply future skills
  • Display proactive dispositions

As we plan for rich learning opportunities these are great reminders to keep in our minds. Perhaps you have them on your unit plans. I wonder how do you keep these ideas alive when planning for deep learning?

However we also want to make sure that the learning is equitable for all of our learners. When thinking about the word equality…. What word comes to mind? According to Oxford Languages it defines it as: 

  1. the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities.
    “an organization aiming to promote racial equality”

Sometimes our (invisible) biases and the language we use in our classrooms/schools have an impact on student learning. So being aware of what biases we may have is an important step. An area about this that I find extremely interesting is the types of language that we use with our students. I often refer back to his chapter on “language” from his book in Creating a Culture of Thinking. If you are not aware of it or have not read it before this is a great poster that explains it, briefly.

This image below is a great reminder about the importance of equality in our classrooms, schools and society. It is my belief that educators do have a moral imperative to make the world a better place. What does equality look like in your classroom or school?

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

This week…

Our learning so far means that we understand that the use of technology can actually enhance these factors. As you are unpacking this weeks readings try and keep these questions in mind. How might technology facilitate deep learning experiences? & How might deep learning create a more equitable learning environment?

Please visit the My Courses page for some of the resources, big understandings and essential questions you might consider for your post. Some of the most reflective posts are those where the writer asks themselves these. When you are commenting also consider asking them of your peers. This will go a long way in developing meaningful connections to our understandings.

By the end of this week you should have completed:

  • 3 blog posts with links submitted on the gradesheet
  • 3 comments with links submitted on the gradesheet
  • Continue thinking about how you might plan for the Course 5 project
  • Begin thinking about the Course 4 project
  • For those in G.E.T. please see the My Courses page for what you should be working o

Week 2: Partners in Learning

The world is changing and the requirements for people entering into this world are different than they have been in the past.

Photo by Greg Bakker on Unsplash

This quote by Shannon Doak from Emerging Theories of Learning and the Role of Technology is a fitting way to begin this week big understandings and our personal reflections.

So far, throughout all of our COETAIL courses, we’ve been writing and researching about different aspects of technology integration and the hope is that you are starting to solidify a personal definition or perhaps even philosophy around this idea. What is good technology integration? What isn’t it? Why do you believe that it’s important to integrate technology  authentically and how do you measure or assess the integration in your classroom and throughout your school?

How might human connections make deep learning possible?

This week our aligned  ISTE Standard for Educators is 5.c. Educators explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning. You’ll be considering the role of learning partnerships and how human connections can help enhance learning and enable us to develop deeper understandings.

Fullan and Langworthy describe effective partnering as something that is built on “principles of equity, transparency, reciprocal accountability and mutual benefit.” Teachers and students no longer have a transactional relationship where the teacher gives knowledge and the student receives, but rather a proactive co-learning relationship.

This feeds into the idea of how important relationships are in schools. Jennifer Gonzalez (aka Cult of Pedagogy) explains about the Marigold Effect. Whereby “Many experienced gardeners follow a concept called companion planting: placing certain vegetables and plants near each other to improve growth for one or both plants.” This transforms into the idea of learning from and with each other as we both individually but collectively.

When we take time to put relationships first in education this gives is a strong foundation in which we can build from. Which in turn supports our ability to ; create and develop innovative learning environments; make deep learning possible, use technology to redefine and transform learning.

It makes me wonder…

  • How might human connections make deep learning possible?
  • How might the classroom/school environment impact learning partnerships?

I would love to know your thinking around our essential questions for the week. Take a look at some of the great resources that will get you excited about just what is possible when we find the sweet spot of technology, deep learning and knowing our students.

Week Two To Do List:

I know what it is like at schools as we hit the November period! There is a lot that is happening and will be happening in the coming six weeks before our next vacation. My advice is to try and stay on top of COETAIL posts and comments as before we know it, it will be December…and that gets even crazier!

By the end of this week try and have written two blog posts and two comments on members of our cohort.

Talking of commenting I want to share how impressed and rich the comments are becoming. I have seen a big shift in the comments being richer in community spirit and understanding. Many have links, questions and new discoveries to deepen our collective understanding. Thank you for that! Remember, if someone comments then please try to approve it and reply back. Commenting on blogs should be like a conversation.

GET (Tab)

You should work through Unit 3 of Google for Education’s Certified Trainer Training: Implement Best Coaching Practices. How might you coach your colleagues in any of the concepts you’ve learned during your COETAIL journey?

In this unit, you’ll learn:

  • How to build relationships through peer coaching 
  • How to effectively model for teachers 
  • How to perform a demonstration lesson 
  • How to model real-time flexibility and responsiveness 
  • How to use non-evaluative coaching 
  • How to adhere to proven principles/frameworks for feedback

As you progress, connect with your cohort peers to support each other!


Week 1: Frameworks for Learning

Course 4 begins to pull all of our thinking and understanding together from our previous 3 courses. It joins up the dots around technology’s use in fostering deep learning and connects our ideas to frameworks and innovation. Put it this way it is a real mixing pot of awesomeness!

This week we are considering the importance of frameworks and how they help with technology integration. Not only can they be used to evaluate where we are but also set goals around where want to be.

Before we start with Course 4 I want to take a moment to recognize and congratulate you all on finishing Course 3. The way in which you  and collaborated with colleagues from around the world to create your final projects was fantastic. There were many amazing ideas and ways in which you embedded the big ideas from the course into what you created. Thank you!

I also want to recognize that there is so much happening for all of us right now, because of COVID-19 and school closures. Some of us are back in school, others working within a hybrid model, some have not gone back into school yet and some may started school and then go back to distance learning. What every your scenario stick with it, apply what you are learning in COETAIL with what you are doing. Finally, I want to tell you that you are all doing an amazing job! 

What is technology integration?

According to Wikipedia it is  “Technology integration is the use of technology tools in  areas in education in order to allow students to apply computer and technology skills to learning and problem-solving. Generally speaking, the curriculum drives the use of technology and not vice versa.”

Classcraft explain that it is “Technology integration is the well-coordinated use of digital devices and cloud computing as tools for problem-solving, deeper learning, and understanding.”

IGI Global share that it is “The use of technology to enhance and support the educational environment, teacher instruction, and student learning.”

After those different definitions all I can say is thank goodness to ISTE! No organization has done more to describe the role of technology in education than The International Society for Technology in Education. As you are aware it has different sets of standards for many different stakeholder groups, including students, educators, administrators, and coaches. The ISTE standards are extensive and they provide a host of resources to support effective technology integration.


There are two frameworks that we can use to help guide us as we integrate technology into our learning environment.  Thy are not rules or steps that we must follow, but are concepts and ideas that can help us make meaningful decisions when using technology to enhance learning.

As we start integrating technology into the learning that is being planned for and taught, we need to be aware of the impact on student learning.  One way of evaluating how we are integrating technology  is using the SAMR model.  The model looks at 4 steps of technology integration and how this can impact learning.  It was created by Ruben R. Puentedura, Ph.D. as he looked for ways to think about “Transformation, Technology, and Education.”

Image by Jonathan Brubaker
his blog post here.


The first stage is Substitution, which is the easiest stage for any educator who is using technology. Think of this stage like “digitizing worksheets.” Augmentation comes after Substitution. In the Augmentation stage the way technology has been integrated adds slight improvements.  There is not a lot of change in how things are done but there is some functional change.


Modification happens when there is significant task redesigns to the learning. Here, we are giving students new options in their learning and they are able to do things more effectively because of technology use. There is HUGE difference between this stage and Substitution, which should show in the thinking and learning. Redefinition occurs when the technology has created possibilities in teaching and learning that were not previously possible before.


TPACK is based around the idea of effective teachers being knowledgeable in technological, content and pedagogical knowledge in order to have a 21st Century learning taking place with their students. It is the overlap of these three main knowledge area Technological Knowledge (TK), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) and Content Knowledge (CK)

The result of TPACK will be different from teacher to teacher and classroom to classroom. There is no one way to view TPACK integration, it is however a framework to help guide to a more engaged and effective learning environment.
Both these frameworks offer us guidance and support about how we can can enhance teaching and learning, with the help of technology integration. Each model has its own way of doing things and gets you reflecting and planning in a new light. If you are wondering about how the TPACK and SMAR  models intertwine then check out this video which does a great job of explaining this, in way more detail.
These frameworks are especially important for us to consider within our context, class and schools. After all as Kim Cofino explains:

We are all technology teachers.

Over to you…

This week in your blog post take some time to reflect on:
  • What does technology integration mean to you?
  • How are the different frameworks for technology integration similar to and different from each other?
  • Are there other frameworks that you have used in your school?
  • Do you prefer one of the frameworks over the others? Why?
  • What does technology integration look like in your classroom/school?
  • Using one (or multiple) of the frameworks, how would you evaluate your own practice of technology integration?
  • How has your practice changed over time?
  • How do your beliefs and practices fit into your school’s vision for learning?