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Assessment - 21st Century

Authentic 21st century assessments are the essential foundation of a 21st century education. Assessments must measure all five results that matter — core subjects, 21st century content, learning and thinking skills, ICT literacy, and life skills.

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Basic Skills

The skills of reading, writing and numeracy; the traditional goal of education.


Predetermined points during the instructional term when student mastery of specific instructional objectives is assessed.


The term blog is a blend of the terms web and log, leading to web log, weblog, and finally blog. Authoring a blog, maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing blog is called blogging. Individual articles on a blog are called "blog posts," "posts" or "entries". A person who posts these entries is called a blogger.

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Classroom Walkthrough

A non-evaluative but focused classroom observation made for a brief period of time (3-5 minutes) to observe specific classroom practices; the walkthrough observation is used to enhance reflective practice and to gather school-wide information regarding professional development and school improvement.

Content - 21st Century

Additional subject matter knowledge required to function effectively in the personal, community and workplace environments of the 21st century.

Context - 21st Century

Teaching through the use of relevant real-world examples, applications and settings to frame academic content for students, enabling them to see the connection between their studies and the world in which they live.

Continuous Improvement

A set of activities designed to bring gradual, but continual, improvement to a process through constant review and refinement.

Core Subjects

Core academic subject matter. Which subjects are viewed as core is generally left to the determination of states or local districts No Child Left behind identifies these as English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics, government, economics, arts, history, and geography.

Correlates of Effective Schools

The seven characteristics identified from research that enables schools to bring all students to mastery regardless of background factors like poverty, race, gender or ethnicity: Clear and Focused Mission, Safe Orderly Environment, High Expectations for All, Time On Task/Opportunity to Learn, Strong Instructional Leadership, Frequent Monitoring of Student Progress and Positive Home/School Partnerships.

Curriculum Alignment

The ongoing process of bringing congruence to the written curriculum, taught curriculum and assessed curriculum so (1) all that is assessed has been taught and (2) what is taught encompasses the written curriculum.

Curriculum Management System

A series of ongoing interrelated activities designed to implement, support, monitor and evaluate the system curriculum to assure that all students have access to and benefit from an aligned, high quality prioritized and sequenced curriculum.

Curriculum Map

A graphic representation of the recommended instructional sequence for curriculum objectives during the instructional year and across the grades Pre K-12 which is used as a management tool for enhancing curriculum continuity, communication and coordination.

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Differentiated Instruction

A systematic approach to planning curriculum and instruction for academically diverse learners; a blend of whole class, group and individual instruction, guided by the three principles of differentiation: respectful tasks, flexible grouping and continual assessment.

Digital Immigrant

A technology user, usually over the age of thirty, who was not born into the digital world. The digital immigrant uses technology, but often attempts to bring this use into a framework s/he finds comfort in, such as printing material accessed on the Internet before reading it.

Digital Native

A technology user under the age of 30, who was born into the digital world and is accustomed to receiving information very quickly. The digital native is able to parallel-process and multi-task, and usually prefers to see graphics before text. S/he tends to be more comfortable working in a hyperlinked environment, and when s/he receives frequent rewards or feedback.

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Effective Schools Research

The body of research conducted in the early 70s and 80s as a response to the Coleman Report, which concluded that schools with certain characteristics or correlates of achievement. can bring all students to mastery levels regardless of student background characteristics.

Essential Questions

An expression of inquiry that motivates students to seek broader understanding and deeper meaning of the content objectives.

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Formative Assessment

Periodic evaluation of the students achievement level of the West Virginia content standards and objectives used to adjust instructional time and strategies so all students will achieve proficiency and beyond.  This is assessment for learning.

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Operating around the world. Although many large companies have globalized for decades, the Web, more than any other phenomenon, has enabled the smallest company to have a global presence.

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High Yield Instructional Strategies

Categories of instructional activities that have been verified through research to correlate with high student achievement.

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Individualized Education Plan.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Literacy

Competency in enacting learning skills via the application of 21st century learning tools. Students must be able to use
technology to learn content and skills — so that they know how to learn, think critically, solve problems, use information, communicate, innovate
and collaborate.


The ability to build and deploy your own personal supply chain - a supply chain of information, knowledge and entertainment. In-forming is searching for knowledge. It is about seeking like-minded people and communities. Google, Yahoo, MSN Web Search are examples.

Instant Messaging

The transmission of an electronic message over a computer network using software that immediately displays the message in a window on the screen of the recipient. Exchanging messages in real time between two or more people. Unlike a dial-up system such as the telephone, instant messaging (IM) requires that both parties be logged onto their IM service at the same time. Also known as a "chatting," IM has become very popular for both business and personal use.

Instructional Management Practices

Commonly agreed upon practices within a school for conducting routine tasks in the classroom and organizing the instructional process.

Instructional Management System

A series of ongoing interrelated activities designed to implement, support, monitor and evaluate the system.s instructional process to assure that all are engaged in and benefiting from the instructional program.

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Learning Community

A group of educators within a school or school system which works to create a climate that focuses on reflective practice, collegiality and ongoing professional development targeted toward improvement of student learning.

Learning Skills - 21st Century

Process-oriented cognitive skills, here defined as the combination of Communication Skills - Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills - Personal and Workplace Productivity Skills.

Learning Tools - 21st Century

Information and communications technologies, such as computers, networking and other digital and non digital computing technologies, as well as audio, video and other media tools.


The integration of a knowledge base (e.g. a core subject) and the appropriate cognitive and technical skills, that, when acquired, enable an individual to function effectively in a specific context.


Local School Improvement Committee.

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Grade and subject specific descriptions of the knowledge and skills needed to achieve


Open-source is software under an open/free software license.

Organizational Culture

The overall pattern of beliefs and values of an organization that (a) manifests itself in policies, procedures and organizational structures and (b) ultimately shapes the behavior of personnel.

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Pacing Guide

A graphic representation or timeline illustrating the sequence and amount of time allocated to instructional objectives during the school term.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

The leading advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st century skills into education. The organization brings together the business community, education leaders, and policymakers to define a powerful vision for 21st century education to ensure every child's success as citizens and workers in the 21st century. http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/


"Podcasting" is a compound word coined in 2004 (see "History" below), that combined two words: "iPod" and "broadcasting." A podcast is distinguished by its ability to be downloaded automatically using software capable of reading RSS or Atom feeds. One can listen to a podcast either on a computer or on a mobile audio device (such as an iPod).

Performance Assessment

An evaluative method usually judged with a predetermined rubric that requires students to demonstrate a level of proficiency of the West Virginia content standards and objectives by applying knowledge to authentic tasks such as projects, presentations, activities, exercises or problemsolving.

Performance Descriptors

Narrative explanations of five levels of student achievement (distinguished, above mastery, mastery, partial mastery and novice) used by the teacher to assess student attainment of the West Virginia content standards and objectives.


The level of student achievement for students who achieve at the mastery, above mastery, or distinguished levels.

Programmatic Level

The organization of educational programs and services for delivery to students according to the students. common developmental characteristics: early childhood (Pre-K to grade 4), middle childhood (grade 5 to grade 8) and adolescent education (grade 9 to grade 12).

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Reflective Practice

An improvement practice designed to promote the teachers. self analysis of instructional practice by thoughtfully considering their own classroom practices and comparing the results to those of successful practitioners; reflective practice is often accompanied by coaching from skilled practitioners who guide the reflective process.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication)

A syndication format that was developed by Netscape in 1999 and became very popular for aggregating updates to blogs and the latest news from Web sites. RSS has also stood for "Rich Site Summary" and "RDF Site Summary.


A predetermined detailed scoring guide used by teachers to communicate and evaluate levels of student performance of a complex task.

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School System Transformation

The rethinking, reorganization and refocusing of school system organizational structures and expectations to achieve the new mission of .Learning for All..

Skills - 21st Century

The full integration of core subjects with learning skills, learning tools and 21st century content as taught in 21st century contexts.

Social Bookmarking

Web based service, where shared lists of user-created Internet bookmarks are displayed.

Social Network Site

A Web site that provides a virtual community for people interested in a subject. It provides a way for members to communicate by voice, chat, instant message, video conference and blogs. It may also serve as a vehicle for meeting in person. Either by invitation only or open to the general public, the term "social networking site" is the 21st century term for "virtual community," a group of people who use the Internet to communicate with each other about anything and everything.

Social Networking

The interrelationships of people in some manner, whether by family, work or interests.

Social Software

Social software enables people to connect or collaborate through computer-mediated communication and to form online communities.

Standards-Based Curriculum

A curriculum framework that establishes clear comprehensive exit learning expectations for all students, further defines the expectations through specific grade level and subject objectives and provides performance descriptors for evaluating student level of achievement relative to the West Virginia content standards and objectives.

Standards-Based Unit

Extended instructional sequence involving several lessons of related objectives organized around a broad theme, enduring understanding or essential question that often culminates in a performance assessment.

Strategic Plan

A document used by an entity to align its overall organization and budget with its priorities, missions and objectives; a strategic plan should include core beliefs, a mission statement, a description of the agency.s long-term goals and the evidence it will accept as having achieved those goals, objectives, strategies or means the organization plans to use to achieve these goals and objectives, and a description of the specific actions that will be taken; the strategic plan also may identify external factors that could affect achievement of long-term goals.

Student Achievement Variables

The major variables controlled and/or influenced by the school system that impact student achievement; these variables are quality of curriculum, quality of instruction, quality of school organization and environment, and the family background and characteristics of the student.

Summative Assessment

Assessment of learning.

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Commonly used in blogs, site authors attach keyword descriptions (called tags) to identify images or text within their site as a categories or topic. Web pages and blogs with identical tags can then be linked together allowing users to search for similar or related content. If the tags are made public, online pages that act as a Web-based bookmark service are able to index them.

Text Messaging

Sending short messages to a smartphone, pager, PDA or other handheld device. Text messaging implies sending short messages generally no more than a couple of hundred characters in length. In Europe, text messaging was popularized by the GSM cellphone system's Short Messaging Service (SMS), which supports messages of up to 160 characters.

Tools - 21st Century

In a digital world, students need to learn to use the tools to master the learning skills that are essential to everyday life and workplace productivity. This proficiency is known as ICT Literacy.

Traditional Learning Tools

The tools traditionally employed in the teaching of basic skills and core subjects (e.g., chalkboards, pencils, typewriters, books, xerographic machines.).

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Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is a watchword for the new definition of the Web and the Internet. The idea is that Web 1.0 was a creation of Web pages that provided information to readers. Web 2.0 takes that information and interacts with the reader to allow the reader to find the information he or she wants in the format that is most useful to them.


West Virginia Education Information System.


A wiki is a Web site that is managed by its readers. Readers are invited to login and edit any page of a wiki to make the whole more inclusive and correct. Wikis are a way to take the anarchy that defines the Internet and give it form and substance. Hawaiian word for "quick".

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