NJ Common Core Technology Component: Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity

Resource Date
Resource Author
Arlen Kimmelman
Source Title
Resources Supporting the NJ Common Core Technology Component

Resources Supporting the NJ Common Core Technology Component

submitted September 21, 2014

by Arlen Kimmelman, President, NJ Association of School Librarians


Week 3: Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity

The NJCCCS in Technology are a part of the NJ Statutes and Regulations. Please refer to: N.J.A.C.6A:8 - Standards and Assessment for Student Achievement.

Keep in mind that there is also a proposed change in the NJ Technology Standards (draft dated 7/8/2014). The latest status update I could find appeared in a NJDOE press release dated July 9, 2014, “The two K-12 content areas not voted on today – Technology and 21st Century Life and Careers Standards – will be put through a review process later in the year.”

8.1 Educational Technology All students will use digital tools to access, manage, evaluate, and synthesize information in order to solve problems individually and collaboratively and to create and communicate knowledge.


B. Creativity and Innovation: The use of digital tools and media-rich

resources enhances creativity and the construction of knowledge.

C. Communication and Collaboration: Digital tools and environments

support the learning process and foster collaboration in solving local or global

issues and problems.

F. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision-Making: Information

accessed through the use of digital tools assists in generating solutions and

making decisions.


Within each strand are the cumulative progress indicators (definition on p. iii) that students are expected to achieve by the end of...:

Strand B. Creativity and Innovation

Preschool: Use a digital camera to take a picture.

2nd grade: Illustrate and communicate original ideas and stories using digital tools and media-rich resources.

4th grade: Produce a media-rich digital story about a significant local event or issue based on first-person interviews.

8th grade: Synthesize and publish information about a local or global issue or event on a collaborative, web-based service (also known as a shared hosted service).

12th grade: Design and pilot a digital learning game to demonstrate knowledge and skills related to one or more content areas or a real world situation.


Strand C. Communication and Collaboration


1.         Operate frequently used, high-quality, interactive games or activities in either screen or toy-based formats.

2.         Access materials on a disk, cassette tape, or DVD. Insert a disk, cassette tape, CD-Rom, DVD, or other storage device and press “play” and “stop.”

2nd grade: Engage in a variety of developmentally appropriate learning activities with students in other classes, schools, or countries using electronic tools.

4th grade: Engage in online discussions with learners in the United States or from other countries to understand their perspectives on a global problem or issue.

8th grade: Participate in an online learning community with learners from other countries to understand their perspectives on a global problem or issue, and propose possible solutions.

12th grade: Develop an innovative solution to a complex, local or global problem or issue in collaboration with peers and experts, and present ideas for feedback in an online community.


Strand F. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision-Making

Preschool: Navigate the basic functions of a browser, including how to open or close windows and use the “back” key.

2nd grade: Use mapping tools to plan and choose alternate routes to and from various locations.

4th grade: Select and apply digital tools to collect, organize, and analyze data that support a scientific finding.

8th grade: Use an electronic authoring tool in collaboration with learners from other countries to evaluate and summarize the perspectives of other cultures about a current event or contemporary figure.

12th grade:

1.       Select and use specialized databases for advanced research to solve real-world problems.

2.       Analyze the capabilities and limitations of current and emerging technology resources and assess their potential to address educational, career, personal, and social needs.


In N.J.A.C.6A:8 - Standards and Assessment for Student Achievement, it states,

3. District boards of education shall provide the time and resources to develop, review, and enhance interdisciplinary connections, supportive curricula, and instructional tools for helping students acquire required knowledge and skills. The tools include, but are not limited to: ...

ii. A list of core instructional materials, including various levels of texts at each grade level; ...

This means that each district can have its own resources tailored to its own community of learners. For example:


Some districts, like the Hopewell Valley Regional School District (serving Pennington, Titusville, and Hopewell in Mercer County, NJ) recognize both the NJ Technology Standards and the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). HVRSD also acknowledges the Partnership for 21st Century Skills in its discussion of NJ technology standards’ alignment.


The Haddon Heights School District (serving Haddon Heights, Barrington, and Lawnside in Camden County, NJ) posts the K-6 curriculum for technology for each grade including: Course Overview and Description; Text and/or other resources; Themes and Key Concepts; Course Outcomes; Methods of Evaluation; and Standards Addressed.


The following resources are some of the most comprehensive digital tool resource repositories I’ve recently found.


The first one, for example, lists “Digital Authentic Assessment” tools, a Livebinder by Kati Searcy, in alphabetical order from Animoto to Zondle. Ms. Searcy’s Livebinder then refers its users to another related Livebinder by Mike Fisher called “Digital Tools for Assigning and Assessing Digital Work”.


Another set of resources, also amassed into a Livebinder, is the EdCampNJ resources at Simple Tools for Complex Learning - Edcampnj authored by Sandra Wozniak.


Rutgers University recently held a New Media: Creativity & Innovation Mini-Conference on August 13, 2014. The Creativity and Innovation Strand provides quite a few resources for fostering, um, creativity and innovation in the classroom. One densely populated resource is the Resources for Teaching and Using Creativity in the Classroom list. Find resources from other strands at the conference’s Website.  


For those of you not in school libraries, the New Jersey State Library and LibraryLinkNJ have taken care of you, too. The NJ State Library and LibraryLinkNJ Partner[ed] to Launch Makerspace Projects Statewide. Their purpose is, “...about creating community spaces where people can learn by doing and engage in exploration and creativity using digital and analog technologies.” And that is just what the NJ Technology Standards Strands B, C, & F embody.


Contact Information

Arlen Kimmelman, Clearview Regional High School Library

pseudandry [at] gmail.com 

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