A Technology Course for Thoughtful Educators (with Extra Support!)
All the learning of JumpStart plus the support of a community.
By guiding you through a series of hands-on projects, JumpStart Basic gives you the confidence and skills you need to make smart choices about the tech you use in your teaching.
JumpStart Plus is the exact same course, but it adds the support and accountability of a community: A cohort of other educators, a suggested schedule of deadlines to keep you on track, and a team of mentors to answer your questions along the way.
Let's start by looking at the course.
A Process-Based Approach
Tools come and go, and features constantly change. So instead of starting by looking for the right tool, it’s more effective to start with processes, specific ways of using technology that can be applied in a variety of classroom situations. Once you understand a process and how it can boost learning, you can explore the tools that put that process into action.
In this course, you will learn 10 key processes that can have an incredible impact on how you teach, how your students learn, how you collaborate and communicate with others, and the time it takes to do it all.
Module 1. Basic Blogging: A blog or website is one of the most flexible and essential tools for learning in the 21st century. First, we’ll look at all the ways you and your students can use a blogging tool to create spectacular websites. Then you’ll use Edublogs to create your own blog that will showcase all of your projects in the course.
Module 2. Online Collaboration: Student learning is turbo-charged when we add collaboration, and educators need regular opportunities to learn from one another, but time and space limit our ability to collaborate as often as we’d like. In this module, you have a choice between Slack and Padlet to create your own online space for powerful professional collaboration.
Module 3. Digital Mind Mapping: Research supports the use of visuals for making meaning, and mind mapping is one powerful way to do it. In this module, you will explore how digital mind maps can deepen student learning and be used for assignments, instruction, problem solving, even assessment. Then you’ll have a choice between Sketchboard or LucidChart to develop a mind mapping assignment and complete it as if you were the student.
Module 4. Curation: The ability to thoughtfully curate resources has become a crucial skill in the information age. In this module, you will explore how this process can really put students’ higher-order thinking to use. You'll choose from a variety of curation ideas to create a student task, then use Wakelet to complete it as if you were the student.
Module 5. Screencasting: Once you know how to record videos from your computer screen – also known as screencasting – you will find dozens of uses for it in your teaching. In this module, you will use Screencast-O-Matic or Screencastify to create your own screencast tutorial for your students.
Module 6. Slideshows: We use slideshows to teach all the time, but many slideshows could use a lot of improvement! In this module you'll learn some principles for clean, clear slideshow design, then you'll create your own Google Slides presentation following these principles.
Module 7. Digital Assessment: Assessing students before, during, and after instruction takes a heck of a lot of time if you’re doing it right. Digital tools can help teachers dramatically increase the amount and quality of their assessments without needing a lot of extra time. In this module, you will use the Quiz feature in Google Forms to create a simple diagnostic or formative multiple-choice assessment.
Module 8. Blended Learning: If students can get the same direct instruction digitally that they’d typically get in person, then we free up class time to do more hands-on, interactive, engaging things. In this module, you have a choice between using Google Slides to create a single flipped lesson by combining video with other types of resources, or a HyperDoc to create a stand-alone mini-unit.
Module 9. QR Codes: Once you’ve seen how powerful and flexible these little squares can be and how ridiculously easy they are to use, you’ll find all kinds of ways to put them to work in your own teaching. In this module, you’ll create two separate classroom resources that each contain a QR code to enhance their functionality.
Module 10. Basic Podcasting: Although producing a podcast series can be time-consuming, making a simple audio recording couldn’t be easier. In this module, you’ll explore how to take a simple audio recording and apply it in the classroom in 10 different ways. Then you’ll create your own recording to reflect on your work in the course.
How the Course Works
You’ll start each module with a short reading assignment. This is where we explore the process, consider its instructional value, and look at how it can enhance learning in multiple ways.
Next, you’ll review the project checklist to understand the requirements of your hands-on project. For most projects, an advanced option has been added to offer extra challenge to those who master the process easily.
Then you'll preview a sample blog and other sample projects to help you get a clear picture of what your project and final blog should look like in the end.
After that, it’s time to dig into your hands-on project. You’ll watch a series of step-by-step video tutorials to learn how to use a tech tool to put the process into action.
When your project is complete, you’ll share it in a blog post.
The JumpStart Community
With JumpStart Plus, you will work through the course alongside a cohort of other educators. This will take place in our JumpStart community.
The community forum is a private online forum where you can ask questions, find answers, exchange ideas, share the work you're doing, and quickly get the support you need.
A course calendar will set deadlines for each module, so you stay on track and are more likely to finish the course. As you complete the modules, you'll have the opportunity to share finished projects with other members of your cohort. Seeing what educators in other content areas and grade levels are doing with the tools really helps expand your expertise with each process you learn.
A team of JumpStart mentors will have an active presence in the community to make sure your questions get answered and help you keep your projects on track. These are fellow educators who have already completed the course and are excited to help you succeed.
There are no required meetings or additional tasks associated with JumpStart Plus: It simply adds a level of accountability and support to help you get the most out of the course.
JumpStart and Distance Learning
Although this course was not designed with distance learning at the forefront, it will absolutely help with many aspects of teaching online. All of the projects and tools in this course can be used in distance learning environments, and teachers who have taken the course have said that when they suddenly found themselves teaching remotely, their work in JumpStart made them feel much more confident and prepared to give high-quality lessons.
How Cohorts Work
When you enroll in this course, you will join other course participants in a cohort. During your cohort's 10-week session, you will work through the modules on a schedule and will share your own discussion group within the JumpStart community.
The course will only be open during the enrollment periods listed below. Between the enrollment periods, the course will be closed to new students. In past years, we have had five cohorts per year, but because we've extended each course session from eight to ten weeks, we will only be running three cohorts in 2022: January, June, and July.
January 3 - March 14
Enrollment: December 15-30
June 6 - August 15
Enrollment: May 22 - June 3
July 5 - September 13
Enrollment: June 19 - July 1
I would like to express my appreciation to you and that you made up such great course. I like how well structured and organized it is and how clear instructions you provide us with. There was no one place where I got lost or didn't know what I am supposed to do. I like the format of pdf document reading first with all the options how this particular mean of technology can be used in the classroom. The format of short videos following one another keeps my attention and motivates me to continue. Everything is clearly said and showed on the screen. It is also encouraging to see you talking at the very beginning of every new lesson.
So far, I have learned how to start a blog, use Padlet platform, make a hyperdoc document and do screencasting. I have been using all of these with my students since I mastered them. Yesterday I made my very first hyperdoc and I am very excited about it.
The course has definitely upgraded my teaching skills and my students and I benefit from its advantage. The best thing, in my opinion, is that not only now when practising distance learning, but also when we are back in the classroom I will have more ways to individualize and deliver the content to my kiddos. Finally, I found an option of classroom instruction that may untie my hands for students who need one-on-one help.
6th Grade English, Czech, History and Geography Teacher
Prague, Czech Republic
Really mind blowing! Jenn is expert at calmly and professionally sharing knowledge but in a fun and friendly, approachable way. The lessons are well planned and thought out. We are given feedback, but nothing is made easy. I learned so much from having to redo courses and resubmit. The mentors really keep us on our toes and guide us into finding our own mistakes.
It is somewhat surreal that one course could have such a mind blowing effect on me, but you gave me my confidence back. I had been a caregiver for two years (my dad has Alzheimer's). I was still using PPT and Prezi. Which at the time were IT. Now I feel like I am ready to take on the world! You are really making magic here!
North Augusta, SC
I haven't stopped talking about this course since I began! I'm so proud of my new website and so pleased with what I have accomplished that my family keeps teasing me for bragging about all the new skills I have learned.
High School English Teacher
Lake Elsinore, CA
I just wanted to say THANK YOU so much again for letting me take this course! I have learned a ton of new information from you all and can't wait to continue to use it in my classroom. I've developed more patience with working with technology before implementing it for sure. I really enjoyed this process!
4th Grade Teacher
I feel more confident implementing technology after taking this course. I was pretty savvy in some apps and programs, but this course gave me different skills that I wanted to obtain but never sought out on my own.
Business and Journalism Teacher
The first thing that I took away from this course is that I’m capable. I was able to do this. The door to tech capability is not closed to me. I can now work effectively with 6 tabs open without a mental breakdown! There’s much that I’m capable of doing with my students because of this course. I can do these things in a competent, timely and thoughtful manner. I am truly grateful.
I have always been intrigued by the novelty for students; however, I didn't want them lost in the tools disregarding the content or intent. This course keeps the perspective that we first focus on what we want students to do and then think about the most effective engaging way to do that without losing sight of original intent.
4th Grade Teacher
One of my key takeaways from this course is how much we can involve technology in the classroom and how little of it we're actually doing now. The ten modules from this class helped me venture many different technology resources that bust my preconceived notion about the difficulty of involving technology in the math classroom.
High School Math Teacher
When we found JumpStart, we were looking for a way for teachers to earn their technology proficiency requirement not simply by completing a checklist or listening to a one-size-fits-all lecture on technology integration but for an opportunity that teachers would find engaging and relevant in every content area at every grade level. In short, we wanted something that really had the potential to change classrooms and equip teachers to use technology and to use it well. We began our first JumpStart pilot with 40 teachers, administrators, and specialists who volunteered to join us in the fall of 2017 and their feedback was tremendous. Our volunteers found the online, self-paced format perfect for their busy lifestyles because they could learn while in their pajamas, after school, or early in the mornings before kids arrived at the classroom door – whenever they felt most prepared and able to commit to the weekly activities. More than just convenience though, we’ve also seen our teachers embrace the tools and the pedagogy behind the tools in daily classroom instruction in ways that we did not imagine. Jump Start is not a technology course – it is a course in solid, effective teaching practices that also happens to incorporate technology. For us, that is the distinction that makes us most grateful for our participation in this project. Six months later, we have now opened the course up for an additional 80 educators to participate and we couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities this course has given to impact 120 classrooms and thousands of students.
Instructional Technology Facilitator
Greenville County Schools
StartWelcome Video: How the Course Works (3:45)
Start6 Important Things to Do Before You Start (Course Manual is Here) (1:23)
StartJoining the JumpStart Community
StartOverview of Student Safety and Privacy Laws: CIPA, COPPA, FERPA, PPRA
StartBefore You Begin: How We Review Submissions for the Certificate of Completion (4:30)
StartLesson 1: Create an Edublogs Account (2:40)
StartLesson 2: Get to Know the Admin Area (5:56)
StartLesson 3: Set up Your Theme (7:30)
StartLesson 4: Create Your About Page (7:13)
StartLesson 5: Create Categories & Menus (3:46)
StartLesson 6: Write Your First Post (9:19)
StartLesson 7: Clean Up the Sidebar and Widgets (2:19)
StartBONUS: Advanced Options: Plugins, Tags, Changing Your Theme (8:00)
StartBONUS: Approve Comments & Pingbacks (3:20)
StartBONUS: Two Alternate Themes (3:36)
StartNEW IN SEPTEMBER 2018: ALTERNATIVE ASSIGNMENT (2:18)
StartLesson 1 (Option A): Create a Slack Account (3:12)
StartLesson 2 (Option A): Set Notifications (0:57)
StartLesson 3 (Option A): Invite Teammates (1:47)
PreviewLesson 4 (Option A): Create Channels (6:45)
StartLesson 5 (Option A): Communicate in Your Channels (5:13)
StartLesson 6 (Option A): Share a File (2:25)
StartLesson 7 (Option A): Create a Post (2:50)
StartLesson 8 (Option A): Send a Direct Message (0:55)
StartLesson 9 (Option B): Create a Padlet (4:08)
StartLesson 10 (Option B): Add Posts to a Padlet (9:13)
StartLesson 11 (Option B): Share and Collaborate on a Padlet (4:01)
StartLesson 12: Hyperlink a URL in a Blog Post (1:48)
StartBONUS: Hyperlink Text in a Blog Post (Advanced) (1:46)
Frequently Asked Questions
After spending over 11 years in the classroom, both at the K-12 level and the college level, I created my website, Cult of Pedagogy, to be a place where teachers could fully geek out on teaching. Since 2013, I've been researching and sharing effective teaching practices, exploring the social and emotional stuff that impacts our work, sampling the tech tools that help us along the way, and looking inside real classrooms to learn from teachers who are thinking outside the box.
Now I've created the Cult of Pedagogy Classroom as a place where teachers can focus on improving specific skills in a self-paced environment.
Self-Assessment: Before You Enroll
The following statements describe someone who is well-suited to JumpStart. The more “true” answers you have, the more likely JumpStart is a great PD option for you!
1. I enjoy reading about pedagogy and strategies that can deepen student learning.
2. I want to integrate technology in purposeful ways, not just learn how to use a new tool.
3. I'm currently a classroom teacher OR I’m not currently in the classroom, but I can create lessons based on my own teaching experience or by thinking of the teachers I support.
4. I am able to put in an average of 4 to 6 hours of work per module; this includes the required reading.
5. I am detail oriented and I read instructions carefully.
6. I understand that in order to receive a certificate of completion, I need to submit a final portfolio. If my final portfolio doesn’t qualify for a certificate of completion, I can go back to fix it, and then resubmit.
7. I work best when I have deadlines and support from mentors. (If you prefer to work at your own pace, without extra support, JumpStart Basic might be a better option.)
If you are an administrator interested in learning more about this course, or you are a teacher who would like to have your administrator consider purchasing this course for staff members, download our course overview.
Purchase orders are accepted for JumpStart Plus, but they must be received AT LEAST 5 DAYS BEFORE THE COHORT START DATE in order to give us time to process the request and enroll all participants in the course. If a purchase order is received after that time, we may not be able to enroll your group in its desired cohort.
To generate a quote for a purchase order when the course opens for enrollment, please fill out this form and someone from our team will contact you with an invoice.
If you have another question that hasn't been answered here, please get in touch with our contact form.