K-12 Teaching in the 21st Century

Dr. Rick Ferdig and Dr. Kristy Pytash

This free course, created by Kent State University in partnership with Michigan Virtual University partnership, ran from October 7 to November 8, 2013. It was aimed at high school students, pre-service teachers and in-service teachers who were interested in a conversation about using 21st century tools for teaching.

About the Course
What does it mean to be a K-12 teacher in the 21st century? Within this simple question is a deeper study of the pedagogical strategies, contexts (online, face-to-face, and blended), and the technologies involved in reform oriented K-12 instruction. This experience provided participants with a deeper understanding of MOOCs, along with an introduction to emerging and free technologies such as presentation media (e.g., Flickr), online artifact creation (e.g., Vialogues) and collaboration innovations (e.g., ThingLink).

Intended Audience
A unique feature of this course was the intended audience. It was directed at three audiences: Grade 9-12 students who are interested in becoming teachers, preservice teachers and inservice teachers in the K-12 system. With this conversation, we provided a place for those passionate about teaching to receive feedback, explore new strategies and tools, investigate the transition from theory to practice, and discover the complexities and rewards of teaching.

Course Requirements
Participants were expected to complete assignments across four weeks of content, including participation in online discussions and peer evaluations. In the last week of the course, a final project was submitted. Finally, participants completed a pre- and post-survey of their learning.

Participants who successfully completed the five modules and the pre- and post-survey received a certificate of completion from Michigan Virtual University. Michigan teachers who completed all five modules and the two surveys free 25 SCECH hours. Out-of-state teachers can use their certificates with documented hours for CEU application. We are also working with state partners to offer CEU opportunities within those states.

Our Partners







About the Facilitators

Dr. Rick Ferdig
Summit Professor of Educational Technologies
Research Center for Educational Technology
Kent State University


Dr. Kristy Pytash
Assistant Professor, Literacy Education
Teaching, Learning and Curricular Studies
Kent State University


About the Co-facilitators

Dr. Wendy Drexler
Director of Online Development
Brown University


Dr. Troy Hicks
Associate Professor of English
Director, Chippewa River Writing Project
Central Michigan University


Dr. Kedmon Hungwe
Associate Professor, Teacher Education
Michigan Technological University


Dr. Leonard R. Johnson
Professor of Education & Chair, Strategic Planning & Resource Council
Ferris State University


Greg Marten
Director of REMC 19W
Educational Technology & Distance Learning Consultant
Lenawee Intermediate School District


Dr. Regena Fails Nelson
Professor & Chair
Department of Teaching, Learning & Educational Studies
Western Michigan University


Dr. Kara Sevensma
Assistant Professor, Teacher Education
Education Department
Calvin College


Dr. Geralyn E. Stephens
Associate Professor
Clinical Teacher Education/College of Education
Wayne State University


Laurie Switzer
PreK-16 Outreach & Special Projects Coordinator
WVIZ/PBS Ideastream Education


Dr. Andrew Topper
Associate Professor, Educational Technology
Special Education, Foundations & Technology
College of Education
Grand Valley State University