Putting UDL to Practice for Increased Engagement in a Standards-Based Learning Environment

With abundant access to data, schools can personalize learning to help each student demonstrate success in a standards-based learning environment. Educators who provide students with learning experiences based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning, UDL, can greatly boost the engagement of ALL learners, not just students with significant learning needs. 

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

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Digital Differentiation A Webinar Featuring Tools to Support Flexible Learning Paths for Personalized Learning

Technology is a tool that can be used to help teachers facilitate personalized learning experiences to address the diverse needs of all students. At the most basic level, digital tools can be used to help students find, understand, and use information. When combined with student-driven learning experiences that are fueled by essential questions and offer flexible learning paths, use of digital tools can break the learning barriers that exist in our classrooms.

Join me and Simple K12 on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, @ 5:00 PM EST as we provide an overview of digital tools and resources through the lens of Universal Design for Learning to design personalized learning experiences that effectively incorporate digital differentiation.



Learn more about putting UDL to practice for increased engagement in a standards-based learning environment. 

Teaching Above the Line: A Webinar on Using the SAMR Model for Tech Integration

Are you looking for ways how to leverage the power of technology to maximize student learning? Researchers have determined that technology integration typically moves through four specific levels: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition (SAMR). The higher the level of activity the greater the educational benefit.

Join Our Webinar: Teaching Above the Line – Using the SAMR Model for Tech Integration

This webinar will show how to use the SAMR model of technology integration as a guide for planning and implementing classroom learning experiences that take student learning to higher levels.

Join me and Simple K12 on Wednesday, April 17th @ 6 pm EST as we look at some traditional standards-aligned learning tasks and walk them up the line to show how to transform your teaching and “Teach Above the Line.”


Power Up the Collaborative Writing Process with a Writing Workshop

Educators who engage students in the collaborative writing process can help them acquire the 21st-Century Skills needed to be successful in school and beyond. A digital writing workshop can provide students with opportunities to become active participants in their own learning. All it takes is a well-executed plan powered by Google Docs.

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Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners has Moved!

Welcome to the Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners blog in its new location! Here you will find an ongoing collection of ideas for helping educators leverage the power of technology for transforming teaching and learning.


Cool Tools Blog has moved

Pardon the Dust

After 10 years, the old CoolTools blog has moved to WordPress. With a few clicks, years of content made its way to the new site. The words are in tact, the posts are in order, but much of the media has been replaced by messy links. All in all, the process has given me the freedom to revisit ideas and build on them to reflect progress and shifts in the Digital Classroom of today.

The Updated Digital Classroom

The new model has been created with some hover text to provide a preview of the topics that will be explored here. Stay tuned to watch the layers unfold!


The Digital Classroom 2019 — Watch it grow!


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How the LMS Market Can Transform Teaching and Learning to Benefit All Stakeholders

According to a report submitted to the 2025 Global Analysis and Forecasts at the start of this year, the Learning Management System (LMS) Market is expected to grow in the US from $5.05 billion in 2016 to $18.44 billion in 2025. As more K-12 and higher ed organizations transition to paid platforms, the LMS market has the potential to transform teaching and learning for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Continue reading “How the LMS Market Can Transform Teaching and Learning to Benefit All Stakeholders”

Explore Women’s Rights 360 Virtual Field Trip

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Women’s Rights 360 is an interactive virtual field trip created by the ThingLink Education team last year to help teachers and students discuss the complex topic of global gender equality and women’s rights in the classroom. We invite you to explore, modify and create a ThingLink 360 Virtual Field Trip.

Explore Women’s Rights 360 Virtual Field Trip

Travel across the world and learn about education, healthcare, and social justice, as well as women’s economic and political participation in each country. Look around and click on the icons to activate audio narration. Use the arrows to travel from one country to another to learn about women’s rights across the globe.


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Explore full-screen on ThingLink.com


ThingLink allows users to Clone a 360 image on our platform to make a copy of it for modification and reuse. This feature allows users to add a question, present new information, and require students to dig deeper into ideas. They can even remix the images to tell their own stories.

In this quick example, the original 360 image was Cloned and two tags were added. This quick modification allows educators to use the content to meet your own learning goals. Start by clicking on the Question icon, then click on the Form icon to see how input can be added directly to a 360.

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Explore this interactive image on ThingLink.com 


The highest learning gains are achieved when students are actively involved in content creation, and ThingLink was built for student creativity. Students can use ThingLink to construct knowledge as they build a 360 experience to communicate an idea and demonstrate learning

We’re creating a collection of professional, high-quality images for our users to tag, and we started with 360 photos of international capital cities, perfect for exploring global issues. Find many images for use in our Teleport Library, or search for images created by our community members for reuse on ThingLink.com.

Teleport Library

Share Your Stories

We love to share ThingLinks created by our community members and our goal is to inspire educators with examples and stories from the classroom. Please consider submitting your designs, lessons, and activities to be featured on this blog. We’re happy to award you the opportunity to select a 360 image for use on our platform in exchange for sharing..

3 Reasons ThingLink Virtual Reality is the Best Tool in Education

ThingLink Fish Bubble

 Are you ready to take a step towards bringing Virtual Reality to your school or classroom this year? We know your students are quite eager to become engaged in virtual learning spaces where they can explore, learn and create. As educators, we should foster and develop these desires and embrace this emerging medium.
Let’s explore the use of 360 images for Virtual Reality in Education and then learn 3 reasons why ThingLink Virtual Reality is the Best Tool in Education.
  1. ThingLink is aligned with SAMR and designed to grow with you from start to finish!
  2. ThingLink Virtual Reality Content Creation Promotes Highest Levels of Learning.
  3. ThingLink works with your existing equipment and is a sustainable resource.

Continue reading “3 Reasons ThingLink Virtual Reality is the Best Tool in Education”

Reserve Your Spot in the ThingLink Teacher Challenge in June!


We invite educators to take the 4th Annual ThingLink Summer Teacher Challenge in June. Learn to leverage the power of ThingLink Premium tools and explore the vast possibilities of teaching and learning with 360/VR.

This highly popular, self-paced professional development provides educators with the tools and support needed to create engaging, interactive 360/VR lessons and projects. To encourage educators to participate in this fantastic summer of learning, we have an incredible deal on ThingLink Premium Teacher for you!

Get ThingLink Premium Teacher for Only $25! 

For a limited time, we’re offering participants a chance to grab a 1-year Premium Teacher subscription for just $25.00. (normally $120) Our Premium Teacher account provides 1 teacher, plus all of their students with access to our Premium Tools, including:

 ThingLink Premium Teacher Features

  • Teleport Editor App with our preloaded library of stunning 360 images to create lessons and student projects on an iPad, Android tablet, and recent Chromebooks models.
  • ThingLink 360 image editor to create 360 learning experiences on any laptop or desktop computer
  • ThingLink regular image editor, with customization and presentation features, plus preloaded icons for education
  • ThingLink video editor to create interactive videos lessons and tutorials.

Share the news  with your colleagues and join hundreds of educators from locations across the globe in the ThingLink Teacher Summer Challenge starting in June!

Use code SUMMER17 to grab a ThingLink Teacher Premium account. Already have a Premium account? Simply sign up below to participate.