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7 Strategies for Engaging Your Students Using Digital Tools and Sound Pedagogy

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Terrace Ballroom I

Recorded Session
Participate and share : Interactive session


Metiri Group
Cheryl Lemke leads the Metiri Group, a consulting firm that specializes in research, program evaluation, professional development, and systems thinking in digital learning and 21st Century skills. Lemke is considered a thought leader in the U.S. and internationally. Her firm partners with ISTE to offer virtual PD to introduce teachers to 3 ISTE student standards and currently works with and evaluates large digital learning projects in New Jersey, Utah, and CA. She brings over 25 years of experience in the public sector—as a teacher, state technology director, policy expert, director at a foundation, and associate superintendent for Illinois SBE.

Session description

Close your eyes and imagine your ideal student. Someone who's curious, open to challenges, asks insightful questions, collaborative, excited about learning! That's an engaged student! Join this session to learn how to use digital tools combined with the right pedagogy to turn up the volume on engagement in your classroom!
Grade level: 6-12
Skill level: Beginner

Purpose & objective

Purpose: To provide participants with a framework for understanding the engagement of their students, and a set of 7 strategies for increasing that engagement.

Objective: Participants will gain insights into the 3 types of engagement (cognitive, social-emotional, and behavioral). they will leave with definitions and rubrics for the five levels of student engagement.

Model: Student engagement: cognitive, social-emotional, and behavioral
levels of engagement: intrinsic, tactical, compliant, withdrawn, defiant.

Technology Interventions: Participants will increase their knowledge and understanding of 7 instructional strategies that research says increase student engagement. They will leave with citations of that literature and practical examples of each of the 7, including Padlets where their fellow participants shared their experiences and ideas. instructional strategies include: a) Collaboration/affiliation; b) evidence-based reasoning; c) student agency, d) knowledge construction, e) goals and data-informed learning, f) visualization and multimodal learning, g) Intellectual safety. Digital tools used in examples include: Zoom, Padlet, Data Studio, Google Docs, Mentimeter, Pear Deck, Excel, etc.

Evidence of Success: Participants will actively engage in mentimeter surveys on attributes of engaged students, share examples of the 7 instructional strategies they already use in their classrooms, and actively participate in chat room as presenter intentionally elicits their input.

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7 minutes: Introduction
The presenters' model of engagement will be introduced and participants will answer 3 questions in an online survey that exemplifies how they might gauge their students cognitive, social-emotional, and behavioral engagement levels.Definitions and rubrics will be made available as a resource.

4 minutes for each of 7 instructional Strategies that engage students.
Each segment will include: What the strategy is, why it is important, 2 examples of the strategy in practice.

5 minutes: Participants will join a padlet with the 7 strategies as heading. they will share an example of how they already use one of the strategies to engage students.

5 minutes: Q&A--- with questions submitted in a back channel

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Supporting research

- Bangert-Drowns, R.L. & Pyke, C. (2002). “Teacher ratings of student engagement with educational software: an exploratory study.” Educational Technology Research and Development, 50: 23-38.
- Csikszentmihaly, M. (1996). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.
- Darling-Hammond, L. & Bransford, J. (2005). Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teacher Should Learn and Be Able To Do.
- De Corte, E., Verschaffel, L., Entwistel, N., & van Merrienboer, J. (2003) Powerful Learning Environments: Unravelling Basic Components and Dimensions. Advances in Learning and Instruction Series. Pergamon.
- Fredericks, J., Blumenfeld, P., Friedel, J. and Paris, A. (2003) School Engagement, Indicators of Positive Development Conference, Washington DC.
- Fredricks, J., Blumenfeld, P., and Paris, A. (2004). School Engagement: Potential of the Concept, State of the Evidence. Review of Educational Research. Vol. 74, No. 1, pp. 59–109.
- Hanushek, Eric, Jamison, Dean T., Jamison, Eliot A., & Woessmann, Ludger. (Spring 2008). “Education and Economic Growth.” Education Next.
- Hoek, D., Terwel, J., & van den Eeden, P. (1997). Effects of Training in the Use of Social and Cognitive Strategies: An Intervention Study in Secondary Mathematics in Co-Operative Groups. Educational Research and Evaluation. Vol. 3, No. 4, pp 364-389.
- Johnson, D. & Johnson, R. (2004). The Three Cs of Promoting Social and Emotional Learning. Chapter 3 from the book by Zins, et. al. (2004). Building Academic Success on Social and Emotional Learning.
- Marzano, R. (2007). The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction. ASCD.
- National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine. (2004). Engaging Schools: Fostering High School Students’ Motivation to Learn. The National Academies Press.
- Newmann, F. M. (1992) Student engagement and achievement in American secondary schools, Teachers College Press, New York.
Partnership for 21st Century Learning. (2008). 21st Century Skills, Education, and Competitiveness: A Resource and Policy Guide.
- Rosen, Y. & Salomon, G. (2007). The differential learning achievements of constructivist technology-intensive learning environments as compared with traditional ones: a meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Computing Research. Vol. 36(1) 1-14.
- Schlechty, P. C. (2002) Working on the work: An action plan for teachers, principals, and superintendents. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
- United Kingdom Higher Education Academy. Deep and Surface Approaches to Learning. [Definitions compiled from Biggs,1999; Entwistle, 1988; & Ramsden, 1992.] Accessed on October 1, 2008 from
- U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). (2008). The Condition of Education 2008 (NCES 2008-031), Indicator 23.
- Zins, J.E., Weissberg, R., Wang, M, & Walberg, H. (2004). Building Academic Success on Social and Emotional Learning.

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Session specifications

Personalized learning
Coaches, Professional developers, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Subject area:
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.

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