New Tech Network Glossary of Terms

6 A's Rubric: This is a network-created tool to assess the quality of a project idea. Find it in the NTN Resource Library.

Agency: An attribute for self-improvement including the development of a growth mindset and taking ownership for one’s own learning.

Authentic: Has value beyond school. Typically, authenticity requires students to take on a role beyond that of ‘student’ or ‘learner,’ either by placing students in a scenario where they simulate tasks performed by adults or by requiring learners to address a challenge or problem facing a particular community group.

Authentic Product: A product that has value beyond school and preferably an audience outside the school or classroom.

Backwards Mapping: A process for planning in which the planner begins by creating the finished product or end, and maps their planning process backward from that point.

Benchmark: Steps on the way toward completing products. They are substantial tasks that every group/individual completes in order to mark progress toward finishing products. Benchmarks are used to provide formative feedback.

Breadcrumbs: Clues, hints, or direct instructions for completing a project. Typically found in an entry event, but part of project extensions and twists as well. Designed to elicit learners’ need-to-knows.

College and Career Readiness: Knowledge, skills, and attributes students need in order to thrive in post-secondary education or training in pursuit of a career.

College Ready Assessment(CRA): An individually completed written task that is authentically embedded within a PBL Unit. The task informs the final product of the project or serves as one of the benchmarks along the way. The CRA task elicits all of the indicators in the appropriate Knowledge and Thinking and Written Communication rubrics.

Conditions for Success: A set of criteria and standards that set up the context for a school’s optimal success in the New Tech Network system.

Critical Friends: A tuning protocol that provides a safe way for peers to share their work and get constructive feedback for improvement.

Culminating Event: This is the student-generated product made in response to the project's entry event. If the entry event is how the project begins, the culminating event is how it ends.

Curriculum Map: This is a course's long-term plan that incorporates standards-based content, course enduring understandings, and school-wide learning outcomes.

Design Elements: These are core elements that every network project or problem unit should include. Some commonly accepted design elements are entry events, need-to-know lists, and benchmarks.

Disciplinary Literacy: More broadly, the skills (particular to a specific discipline) required to both process information and create comprehensible output of information. Often used to refer just to the reading and writing skills required for a particular discipline. Examples include the proper organization and tone required for writing a lab report in science or the extremely precise and accurate understanding of mathematical terms required for reading a proof.

Driving Question: The core question students are answering during the project. Well-crafted driving questions are open ended and allow for a variety of answers.

Echo: The Learning Management System used by New Tech Network schools.

Enduring Understanding: Concepts, ideas, experiences, or skills students should remember for years after exposure to them. It is broader and more applicable than the driving question, which is project specific. Enduring understandings address essential ideas and central processes that matter outside the classroom/subject area.

Entry Event: How projects are launched in the New Tech Network model of PBL. The event should pique students’ interests and lay the breadcrumbs for need-to-knows.

Group Contract: A document, created and mutually agreed upon by a group, which outlines group norms and responsibilities, as well as consequences for failing to hold to agreements.

Hierarchy of School Success: A pyramid outlining the key components of school success, with the most essential components being school culture, purpose, and structure (the bottom three tiers of the pyramid). Instruction (the top of the pyramid), is supported and affected by the bottom of the pyramid. Sometimes called Hierarchy of Needs or Hierarchy of Change.

Ideation: The act of forming concepts or ideas. This term is used synonymously with "brainstorming."

Information Sources: See “Primary and Secondary Sources.”

Learning Activity: A scaffold or task designed to address a particular need-to-know. See also "Workshop” and “Scaffolding.”

Learning Outcomes: See School-Wide Learning Outcomes.

Literacy Task: A form of an Individual Assessment of Knowledge and Thinking (IAKT) that is evaluated on selected discipline-specific Knowledge & Thinking rubric domains and selected Written Communication rubric domains. Each project or problem unit should include a literacy task.

IAKT: See "Individual Assessment of Knowledge and Thinking."

Individual Assessment of Knowledge and Thinking(IAKT): A robust reading/ researching/ viewing and writing product that addresses core content, helps students develop disciplinary literacy skills, and addresses Common Core Standards (as appropriate).

Need-to-Knows (NTKs): Skills, content, and logistical information required to complete a project. These are identified by learners as unknown, or requiring facilitator support in acquiring and mastering.

Next Steps: Concrete, prioritized, action items identified by learners as ways to address need-to-knows.

NTKs: See Need-to-Knows.

Norms: Mutually agreed upon standards for interaction, outlining how group members should treat each other. Sometimes called agreements.

NTN: Acronym for New Tech Network

PBL: Abbreviation commonly used for project-based learning.

PD Module: A network-created, self-directed learning experience intended to expand a participant's understanding about an expressed skill or topic.

Performance Product: Authentic product that allows learners to show applied understanding of knowledge and skills.

PrBL: Abbreviation commonly used for problem-based learning.

Primary and Secondary Sources: Information sources used by learners.Primary sources are documents, data, etc. created or written in a particular time period, or documents, data, etc. recorded by scientists, professionals, etc. responding to or studying a particular event. Secondary sources are sources that synthesize, interpret, analyze, describe, etc. primary sources.

Problem Statement: Statement learners complete that expresses the students’ role in the project, the task they will complete, and the reason why the project matters. Usually written as, “How can we as... (who) do... (what) so that... (why).

Project Briefcase: Virtual space in Echo that contains project resources, guidelines, workshops, activities, and places to submit work.

Project Calendar: See "Project Map."

Project Launch: Event that initiates a project. Sometimes called Project Rollout. See also “Entry Event.”

Project Map: A document used to plan sequential events within the scope of a project. Potential events to include may be project rollout, benchmarks, assessments, remediation, and opportunities for reflection.

Project Quality Checklist: A network tool used to evaluate a project plan. Find it in the NTN Resource Library.

Rigor: The depth or complexity of a task as measured by Bloom’s taxonomy. Rigor is not identified by the quantity of the work, but the quality.

Rubric: A set of leveled criteria for assessing learners' products or performance.

Scaffolding: The structures, activities, and processes that assist students in doing something they’re not able to do on their own- yet. Scaffolding is temporary and is removed as students develop independence with knowledge and skills. Quality scaffolding is purposeful, interactive, collaborative, supports academic discourse, and is either differentiated or has access points for students at a variety of levels.

School Success Rubric (SSR): The NTN School Success Rubric defines success through the lens of student outcomes. It encompasses cultural outcomes, learning outcomes, and college readiness outcomes. It reflects both our organization's values and research supported educational priorities to ensure that all students graduate prepared for college, careers, and civic life. This rubric is used a both a coaching / reflecting tool and in the Demonstration Site evaluation process. (2013 version)

School Wide Learning Outcomes (SWLOs): College, career, and life readiness skills that go beyond so-called traditional content standards. Mutually agreed upon by school staff and taught and assessed in an NTN school.

Student Work: A sample of a student generated evidenced to be used as an artifact for reflection, development, or mastery.

Product: Something a student will accomplish, typically in student-facing language. Substantive academic activities which drive projects and, when completed, are the culminating tasks for a particular project.

Targeted Skills and/or Content: These are the prioritized skills and knowledge students will focus their work on during the expressed time period.

Task List/Sheet: A student-completed document following a project's rollout which serves to direct efforts and maintain accountability of group members.

TRR: Abbreviation commonly used for Trust, Respect, and Responsibility.

Workshop: An activity or presentation designed to address a particular need-to-know which often occurs in small groups.

Written Product: See “Literacy Task.”

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