NJ Common Core Technology Component: real-world data, tools, experts, and global outreach

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 27, 2014

by Arlen Kimmelman, President, NJ Association of School Librarians


Week 4: real-world data, tools, experts, and global outreach


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.”


How to read the jargon of the NJ Standards notation:

Sample: 8.2.12.E.1

  • the first two digits indicates the Standard number (8.1. or 8.2.)

  • the third digit(s) indicates the “by the end of grade” level; NJ uses preschool, 2, 4, 8, & 12

  • the letter indicates the strand within a Standard

  • the last digit indicates the CPI within a Strand (remember that CPI stands for Cumulative Progress Indicator)

Therefore, 8.2.12.E.1 indicates for Standard 8.2, by the end of twelfth grade in Strand e. (E. Communication and Collaboration), students will be able to, “Devise a technological product or system, addressing a global issue, using the design process and provide documentation through drawings, data and materials that reflect diverse cultural perspectives.”


This week I’m focusing on the real-world data, tools, experts, and global outreach portion of the Technology Standards.


Real World

The NJCCCS for Technology (http://www.state.nj.us/education/cccs/standards/8/8.pdf) want librarians and other educators to address real-world situations. Four of the CPIs refer directly to this and in surprisingly creative ways:

  1. Design and pilot a digital learning game to demonstrate knowledge and skills related to one or more content areas or a real world situation. (8.1.12.B.1)

  2. Gather and analyze findings to produce a possible solution for a content-related or real world problem using data collection technology [which they describe as probes, handheld devices, and geographic mapping systems, etc.] (8.1.8.E.1)

  3. Select and use specialized databases for advanced research to solve real world problems. (8.1.12.F.1)

  4. Design and create a product using the design process that addresses a real world problem with specific criteria and constraints. (8.2.8.B.1)



One of the examples of digital learning games provided by the NJDOE for 8.1.12.B.1 is Alice. Alice describes itself as, “... an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student's first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.”

It’s no secret that digital learning games like Alice receive praise throughout the learning community: See Duke University’s Alice Symposium paper How Alice Game Templates Support Student Learning or Digital Learning World’s Alice – Innovative 3D Animated Programming.


Another digital learning game getting megatons of positive educational press is Minecraft.

  • M.I.T.’s Scratch has a version of 3D Minecraft. “Scratch is a programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations -- and share your creations with others around the world.”

  • Community education classes often include Minecraft as an option. (See the Camas School District for example.)

Edutopia has a great article about Minecraft as well as other digital learning games such as Historia, Little Big Planet, Managhigh, and Portal 2. This Edutopia article covers Game-Like Learning Principles, Commercial Games in the Classroom, and Other Edutopia Resources on GBL (Game-based Learning).



Luckily, NJ’s description of data collection technology came from (is derivative of?) ISTE’s Profiles for Technology (ICT) Literate Students, “Employ data-collection technology such as probes, handheld devices, and geographic mapping systems to gather, view, analyze, and report results for content-related problems” (p. 4).  ISTE [International Society for Technology in Education] has a plethora of resources. ISTE’s Standards Implementation Wiki addresses data collection at Research and Information Fluency: process data and report results and at Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making: collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.

ISTE’s sponsoring vendors often have resources for the digital collection tools that they sell. For example, Vernier hosts a page of Experiments and Lab Ideas. Another ISTE supporter, PASCO, also hosts a site of “How Do I?” videos.



In NJ we are extremely fortunate to have the support of so many cooperative library resources in order to have access to specialized databases. NJSL offers JerseyClicks: New Jersey’s One Stop Library Gateway to Quality Information. Access to these 24/7/365 full-text databases is funded by the New Jersey State Library (NJSL), the New Jersey Library Network, and the Library Services & Technology ACT (LSTA). The New Jersey State Library is affiliated with Thomas Edison State College.



To show you what can be done with the design process, I refer you to the Florham Park School District in Florham Park, Morris County, NJ. In their Industrial Arts and Technology Curriculum, they suggest using

  • Students will learn the difference between 2-D and 3-D drawings and the importance of each. Students will then learn how to calculate how much of each supply item they will need to create a project from wood. Finally, students will plan out the procedure for creating a project.

  • Students will create a 3-D model and illustration of a redecorated living space. The model must include furniture in scaled size, doors and windows (with indicated swing) to accurately portray range of motion, and screen shots of décor showing lighting and decorative touches. Also required is a spreadsheet outlining cost of the entire project.

  • Students will create two animated videos of 5 or more seconds each, using a combination of stock and original graphics.

  • Students will maneuver their robotic vehicle through the obstacle course. The goal is to get the vehicle successfully to the ramp and then knock the bubbles/balloons off of the ramp at the end of the course.




On page 2, digital tools are described as:

Digital tools for grade 2: e.g., computers, digital cameras, software.

Digital tools for grades 4, 8, 12: e.g., computers, digital cameras, probing devices, software, cell phones, GPS, online communities, VOIP and, virtual conferences.

The CPIs require that students know how to do the following with regard to these tools…

operate them

use them to illustrate

use them to communicate

use them to make decisions

gather information with them

manage information with them

use them to generate solutions

consider how to use them safely

consider how to repair them/troubleshoot them

use them to collect, organize, and analyze data

predict the impact on society of unethical use of them

choose which one to apply/select the appropriate one

determine the benefits of or possible problems with using them



These standards encourage student interaction with experts:

  1. Develop an innovative solution to a complex local or global problem / issue in collaboration with peers and experts and present ideas for feedback in an online community. (8.1.12.C.1)

  2. Develop a systematic plan of investigation with peers and experts from other countries to produce an innovative solution to a state, national or worldwide issue. (8.1.12.E.1)

  3. Predict the impact on society of unethical use of digital tools based on research with peers and experts in the field. (8.1.12.E.2)

  4. Develop a product using the design process, data analysis and trends and maintain a digital log with annotated sketches to record the development cycle in collaboration with peers and experts in the field. (8.2.8.E.1)

ok…i’ve started this sentence, like, 12 gazillion times, and i still don’t know where to go with this. defining an expert, choosing an expert, assessing an expert… that’s, like actually, whole dissertation stuff. i’m gonna let each of you tackle this on yer own. IOH (i’m outta here)


Global Outreach

Standard 8.1 includes the following CPIs that pertain directly to global outreach:

  1. Synthesize and publish information about a local or global issue or event on a web-based shared hosted service [such as podcasts, videos or vlogs]. (8.1.8.B.1)

  2. Engage in online discussions with learners in the United States or from other countries to understand their perspectives on a global problem / issue. (8.1.4.C.1)

  3. Participate in an online learning community with learners from other countries to understand their perspectives on a global problem / issue and propose possible solutions. (8.1.8.C.1)

  4. Develop an innovative solution to a complex local or global problem / issue in collaboration with peers and experts and present ideas for feedback in an online community. (8.1.12.C.1)

  5. Explain the need for individuals and members of the global community to practice cyber safety, cyber security, and cyber ethics when using existing and emerging technologies. (8.1.4.D.1)


Additionally, all of Standard 8.2 Technology Education, Engineering and Design is based on global outreach:


This Standard includes the following specific CPIs:

  1. Explain the impact of globalization on the development of a technological system over time. (8.2.8.A.1)

  2. Design and create a prototype for solving a global problem, documenting how the proposed design features affect the feasibility of the prototype through the use of engineering, drawing and other technical methods of illustration. (8.2.12.B.2)

  3. Demonstrate how reusing a product affects the local and global environment. (8.2.2.C.1)

  4. Explain how technology is / was successfully or unsuccessfully used to address a local / global problem by producing and publishing a report in collaboration with peers. (8.2.4.E.1)

  5. Devise a technological product or system, addressing a global issue, using the design process and provide documentation through drawings, data and materials that reflect diverse cultural perspectives. (8.2.12.E.1)


It would be naïve of me to think that the persons reading this can’t find a global outreach platform on the World Wide Web. What I’d like to bring to the table, though, is the fact that we’ve come full circle to my second post about digital citizenship. It’s not that our students and patrons don’t know how to access a global community; it’s that we often need to help them access it in a way that  recognizes safety, morality, and sensitivity to others’ mores and cultures. Librarians of all ilks are important because we can lead a user to the Internet, but we can’t make them think. But we can try…!



Contact Information

Arlen Kimmelman, Clearview Regional HS Library

pseudandry [at] gmail.com

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