Professional Learning | Empower Teachers
Professional Learning


The 21things4students is composed of technology-integrated learning activities organized around 21 'big ideas' such as Digital Footprint, Cyber Safety, Collaboration, Digital Storytelling, etc. Each of the 21 Things is broken down into smaller chunks called Quests that provide students with learning activities covering one or more of the Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies (MITECS). 

In 2018 Michigan adopted the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE-S) "Standards for Students". Michigan named these MITECS, or the Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students. The decision to identify them as competencies is to delineate a difference between standards that outline learning expectations meant to guide local curriculum development, and competencies, (M. Ribant and Ann-Marie Mapes, Oct 2018 presentation for the Michigan Department of Education at MAME)

Technology Standards and Skill Expectations


1. Read this brief history in the About This 21t4s Project.

2. View this short introduction to 21t4s.

Direct Link to the Video

3. Browse to and review the following document (PDF or Google slides) about MITECS competencies and how they are differentiated from standards.

4. Now that you have an overview of the MITECS, look at the age band articulation document and sample scenarios for students in the age-group you work with.

Source: These materials are from the Michigan resources, (1/9/2019)

5. Download or copy and save this PLGRD (Personal Learning goals and reflection Document) provided, to use throughout this course.

                PLGRD Document (gdoc)

6. As you think about the competency expectations for students you work with use your Personal Learning Goals and Reflection Document (PLGRD) to:

  • describe at least three competency areas (MITECS) you could (or already do) integrate into your own educational setting with students.
  • describe a specific classroom activity or lesson you have done where students demonstrated some of the competencies.

7. Next, select one of the competency areas (e.g. empowered learner, digital citizen...) that you feel is important to add to, or improve on, in your curriculum and setting.

In your PLGRD Reflections section

  • describe why you selected the area 
  • some initial ideas you have to integrate it into a lesson or unit you teach.

Move on to Personal Learning Goals


Addressing the ISTE Standards For Educators

1a. Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
1c. Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.

2b. Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
2c. Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, 
evaluation, curation and adoption of
new digital resources and tools for learning.

4b. Collaborate and co-learn with students to discover and use new digital resources and diagnose and troubleshoot technology issues.

5a. Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
5b. Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
5c. Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.

6a. Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
6b. Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.
6c. Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
6d. Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.