JumpStart Plus

A Technology Course for Thoughtful Educators (with Extra Support!)

All the learning of JumpStart plus extra support.

By guiding you through a series of hands-on projects, JumpStart 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 extra support: A private online forum where you can share your work and get feedback on it, run by a team of mentors to answer your questions along the way.

Let's start by looking at the course.

A Learning-Driven 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 ScreenPal (formerly 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 to design a lesson 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. Completing these reading assignments is essential for understanding the pedagogy and successfully completing the projects.

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 use the pedagogy from the reading to design instructional materials and watch a series of video tutorials to learn the tech.

When your project is complete, you’ll share it in a blog post.

In order to receive a certificate of completion for the course, you'll need to submit the complete blog for approval. We have high standards for issuing these certificates and look for solid pedagogy just as much as — if not more than — skilled use of the technology.

The JumpStart Community

With JumpStart Plus, you will work through the course on your own, but you'll have the support of a team of mentors inside our JumpStart community.

The community forum is a private online forum where you can ask questions, exchange ideas, share the work you're doing, and quickly get the support you need to complete the course successfully.

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. The mentors will be available to give you feedback on each of your projects, so you'll know right away if you hit the mark or need to make adjustments.

There are no required meetings or additional tasks associated with JumpStart Plus: It simply adds a hands-on support to help you get the most out of the course.

2024 Enrollment Periods

JumpStart Plus is open for enrollment twice a year. Once enrolled, you'll have access to the community year-round.

December 17, 2023 - January 21, 2024

May 12 - June 2, 2024


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.

Jana Zajícová
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!

Kenneth Kozel
Media Specialist
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.

Nancy Dunlap
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!

Daniel Hoilett
4th Grade Teacher
Taylors, SC

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.

Emily Bourque
Business and Journalism Teacher
Lafayette, LA

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.

Weslica Johnson
ESOL Teacher
Greenville, SC

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.

Tiffany Trevenen
4th Grade Teacher
Craig, CO

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.

Colby Tharpe
High School Math Teacher
Greenville, SC

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.

Michelle King
Instructional Technology Facilitator
Greenville County Schools
Greenville, SC

See what more JumpStart graduates say here.

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What's Inside

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
JumpStart and JumpStart Plus are completely self-paced and all course materials will be available in your Teachable account as soon as you enroll. JumpStart Plus is only open for enrollment twice a year, but as soon as you're enrolled, you can get started, and you'll have access to the JumpStart Community for as long as it exists online!
What happens after I enroll?
You will get immediate access to all course materials as soon as you enroll, and your access has no expiration date. You can get started right away on those! Just log in to your personal Teachable account using the email address and password you used when you set up your account, then click "My Courses" in the top menu. In JumpStart Plus, you will receive an email within 24 hours after you enroll giving you instructions for joining the JumpStart Plus Community. If you don't receive the email in your inbox, check your spam folder.
Is this course run by an instructor?
Although JumpStart is a self-paced online course, which means you don't get grades, have scheduled class times, or meet directly with an instructor, JumpStart Plus offers the JumpStart Community, where you will have the support of a team of JumpStart mentors.
Can I get PD credit for this course?
Because every district has different criteria for awarding professional development credit, we are not able to issue any kind of universally recognized credit for this course. We issue a certificate of completion for those who can demonstrate that they have completed all required work for all 10 modules; we check your completed blog carefully before issuing this certificate and pay close attention to the pedagogy of your lesson design. The certificate indicates that 50 hours of work were completed--this refers to 50 regular hours of time, not credit hours. This certificate does NOT guarantee that you will be granted credit by your district; you will need to submit the certificate to your district for approval.
Do I need to purchase the Teacher's Guide to Tech with this course?
No. An earlier version of this course used the Teacher's Guide to Tech as its textbook, but that is no longer the case. All the information and reading materials you need to complete the course modules are already included in the course. If you want a copy of the Teacher's Guide to Tech, you will need to purchase it separately.
I am not currently teaching. Will I still get something out of this course?
Absolutely!! All of the projects are created for teachers to do with their students in mind, but anyone without an actual class can easily do the projects for a "theoretical" class. Teacher educators, administrators, retired teachers, pre-service teachers and those who are on a break from the classroom will get just as much from this course as a current classroom teacher.
I would like to take this course with a group. Do you offer multi-user discounts?
Yes! Course licenses can be purchased in batches of 5 or 10 at discounted rates. A single person would make the purchase for the group, then we will issue you a coupon code for the remaining licenses; your classmates can then use that code to enroll for free.
I am a teacher educator. Can I use this course to teach my students?
If you’d like to use this course as part of your curriculum, then the regular version of JumpStart would be a better option. See the FAQ section on that course page for detailed information.
Do you accept purchase orders?
Yes! Please scroll down a bit further on this page -- you'll see a link to a form you can fill out to request a purchase order.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We want you to feel good about making this investment in your professional growth. If the course does not meet your expectations, contact us at [email protected] within 14 days of your purchase and we will give you a full refund.
How is JumpStart Plus different from JumpStart?
The content of both courses is exactly the same. The only difference is that in JumpStart Plus, you'll have the support of our online community and our JumpStart mentors.
I think I can do this all on my own, but if I have trouble completing the work in JumpStart, can I join JumpStart Plus later?
Absolutely! Just contact us during one of the JumpStart Plus enrollment periods and we'll arrange for you to pay the difference, then you'll be added to the JumpStart Community.

Other Questions

If you have another question that hasn't been answered here, please get in touch with our contact form.

Your Instructor

Jennifer Gonzalez
Jennifer Gonzalez

Here are the official credentials: B.S. in Secondary Education from Penn State University, 1993. M.A. in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College, 2002. National Board Certification in Early Adolescence/English Language Arts, 2004. Seven years of teaching middle school language arts. Four years of teaching pre-service teachers at the college level.

At the end of that run, I thought I knew a lot about teaching. Then in 2013 I created my website, Cult of Pedagogy, to be a place where teachers could fully geek out on our craft. Since then, I've learned so much more about this profession than I ever did when I was doing it. For over a decade, I have 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. I learn new things every day from the teachers, researchers, and experts who share their knowledge with me on my site, and my goal is to shape that knowledge into digestible packages I can deliver to classroom teachers everywhere so you can get better every day.

Course Tuition




Additional packages are available for groups of different sizes; please contact us for a quote.

Is this course right for you?

Before you enroll, start by watching this video, then read the self-assessment below.

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 support from mentors. (If you prefer to work without extra support, JumpStart might be a better option.)

For Administrators

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

YES! We accept purchase orders. 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.

Other Questions

If you have another question that hasn't been answered here, please get in touch with our contact form.

This course is not currently open for enrollment.