Toolkit Glossary

The following words or phrases are used in the toolkit as defined below. In other contexts some of the words or phrases below may mean something different.

 

WORD/PHRASE

 

DEFINITION

 

SEE ALSO

21st Century SKILLS

 

As part of our involvement with The Partnership for 21st Century Skills we have gathered together these new skills under the following headings:
• Core subjects and 21st Century themes
• Learning and innovation skills
• Information, media and technology skills
• Life and career skills See http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/ for more information

 
  • - Competencies

24/7 ACCESS

 

Making learning available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

 
  • - Borderless Classroom
    - VLE
    - Extended Learning

ACTION RESEARCH

 

The reflective process of problem solving by individuals working as part of a team. It can also be conducted by organizations working alongside professional researchers to reform strategies and practice.

 
  • - Communities of Practice

AD HOC

 

Impromptu, disconnected, often one-off events.

 
  • - Disconnected
    - Sporadic

ADMINISTRATIVE

 

Activities related to planning, organizing and managing.

 

ALUMNI

 

Former students of a particular school or college.

 

APPS

 

Shortened version of web application. A piece of software that is accessed through the internet via a web browser. Usually specific in aim and limited in scope.

 

ASSESSMENT

 

The process of measuring and documenting knowledge and skills.

 

AUTONOMY

 

Being able to work independently and manage your own learning.

 
  • - Competencies

AWARE

 

To have some understanding of but not necessarily implementing (as part of the scale of understanding in the toolkit self reflection section).

 
  • - Implementation

BASELINE DATA

 

The information gathered prior to the implementation of a new way of doing things.

 

BEST PRACTICE

 

A superior method or innovative practice that contributes to the improved performance of an organization, usually recognized as “best” by other peer organizations.

 
  • - Good Practice
    - Case Study

BLOG SITE

 

Shortened version of weblog. A type of website usually maintained by an individual (although could be a group) that has regular entries and invites comments from readers or followers.

 

BLUEPRINT

 

A detailed plan of action.

 

BORDERLESS CLASSROOM

 

Using technology to enable learning to take place outside of the classroom in a structured and guided manner.

 
  • - 24/7 Access
    - VLE
    - Extended Learning

BUILDING CAPACITY

 

Part of the Innovation Wheel framework that relates to how teachers learn and teach.

 
  • - Continous Professional Development
    - Innovation Wheel

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

 

The practices undertaken by businesses to better understand their context/ customers.

 

CASE STUDY

 

The collection and presentation of information regarding a particular school or organizations innovative practice.

 
  • - Best Practice
    - Good Practice

CLASS MANAGEMENT

 

The processes used to keep a classroom, lessons and students organized and productive.

 

CO-DESIGN

 

A collaborative approach to developing innovations.

 
  • - Collaboration
    - Innovation
    - Project

COHESION

 

Working together as a group or community.

 
  • - Community

COLLABORATION TOOLS

 

Software and hardware designed to enable people to better work together as a group. Such as MSN Messenger, Sky Drive and Office Live Workspace.

 

COLLABORATION/ COLLABORATIVE

 

The process of working together as a group or community with shared goals.

 
  • - Co-Design
    - Co-operation
    - Project

COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE

 

Informal or formal networks that allow groups of similar professionals to work and learn together through sharing. See Microsoft's Partners in Learning Network at http://www.microsoft.com/education/pil/

 
  • - Partners in Learning Network

COMMUNITY

 

A group of people living or working in the same area or building.

 

COMMUNITY LEADER

 

A person perceived or formally designated to represent a community.

 

COMPETENCIES

 

A set of defined skills required by students to succeed in the 21st Century workplace. Increasingly delivered explicitly in schools. They include:
• problem solving
• reflective learning
• socialization
• teamwork
• cooperation
• critical thinking
• autonomy

 
  • - 21st Century Skills

COMPUTER LITERACY

 

The ability to operate a computer and its applications but not necessarily in a specific context.

 

CONDUCIVE

 

To bring about a certain result (e.g. conditions are conducive to effective learning).

 

CONSTRUCTIVISM/ CONSTRUCTIVIST

 

Constructivism is a theory of learning based on the idea that knowledge is constructed by the learner based on mental activity. Learners are considered to be active in seeking meaning. Constructions of meaning may initially bear little relationship to reality (as in the naive theories of children), but will become increasingly complex as time goes on.

 

CONSULTATION

 

The act of seeking ideas and feedback from others.

 

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

 

The process of constantly measuring and evaluating the success of innovations, understanding that transformation is never finite.

 
  • - Transformation

CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD)

 

CPD can be defined as the conscious updating of professional knowledge and the improvement of professional competence throughout a person’s working life. It is a commitment to being professional, keeping up to date and continuously seeking to improve. It is the key to optimizing a person’s career opportunities, both today and for the future (Chartered Institute of Professional Development, 2000).

 
  • - Building Capacity

COOPERATION

 

Working together, collaborating.

 
  • - Competencies
    - Collaboration

CRITICAL EVALUATION

 

Closely looking at information and data to find successes and shortcomings.

 
  • - Hot Seating

CRITICAL THINKING

 

The careful, deliberate determination of whether one should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a statement and the degree of confidence with which one accepts or rejects it (Parker & Moore, Critical Thinking).

 
  • - Competencies

CURRICULUM DESIGN

 

The building of activities and topics that work towards a clear set of learning objectives.

 

CUTTING EDGE

 

The leading position in any movement or field (e.g. cutting edge technology).

 

DECENTRALIZED

 

Moving power and function away from central government to regions, areas or individual schools.

 

DEFINED

 

To have understood, recorded in policy and shared key ideas but not necessarily be using them throughout the school (as part of the scale of understanding in the toolkit self reflection section).

 

DELIVERABLE

 

A specified outcome or output of a project or learning process.

 

DESSIMINATED

 

To share widely.

 

DESTINATION SCHOOL

 

The school that a student  moves to after the end of a school phase (e.g. from primary to secondary).

 
  • - Feeder School

DEVELOPING

 

To have identified new concepts and ideas but not be at the stage where they have been formalized into policy or shared widely (as part of the scale of understanding in the toolkit self reflection section).

 

DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

 

The formal process and subsequent documents that a school produces outlining their plans for future development. Ideally this should be a jointly created and widely shared document that is often reviewed against progress and re-written every year.

 
  • - Envisioning
    - Scenario

DIDACTIC APPROACH

 

The most common form of teaching - lecture and text book based with little or no opportunity for practical activities and group work. Teacher-centered approach.

 

DIGITAL LITERACY CURRICULUM

 

Microsoft’s free digital literacy course to assess basic computer concepts and skills.

 
  • - Computer Literacy

DISCONNECTED

 

A lack of shared understanding or collaboration in approach. Often causes wasted effort and lessened outcomes.

 
  • - Collaboration

DIVERSITY

 

Difference or variety (e.g. diverse learning styles).

 
  • - Learning Styles
    - Multiple Pathway

DONORS

 

A person or organization that makes a gift (financial or expertise) to help improve a school’s processes, resources or opportunities.

 

DRIVER

 

Something that motivates, encourages or causes change in thinking or process (e.g. the need for an appropriately skilled workforce for the 21st Century is a driver for educational change).

 
  • - Enabler

DYNAMIC WEB PRESENCE

 

An interactive, regularly updated website, not just one with static information and news.

 

EMBEDDED

 

To have understood, recorded in policy and shared key ideas and begun to adopt them as agreed practice throughout the school organization (as part of the scale of understanding in the toolkit self reflection section).

 

ENABLER

 

Something that helps bring your vision or thinking to reality without being the motivating factor for such change (e.g. technology is an enabler for collaborative learning opportunities.

 
  • - Driver

ENVISIONING

 

The process of picturing or imagining a possible future situation and designing processes to achieve such a vision.

 
  • - Scenario
    - Development Planning

EQUITY

 

A situation of fairness and impartiality (e.g. equity of access to learning for all students in a country/ district).

 

EVALUATION

 

The act of fixing a value or worth of something (e.g. the success of an innovative project).

 
  • - Metrics

EXTENDED LEARNING

 

Learning and teaching activities that occur beyond the scheduled schooling hours or buildings.

 
  • - Borderless Classroom
    - 24/7 Access
    - VLE

FACE TO FACE

 

The process of training or teaching that happens in the same time at the same place led by an expert to many.

 

FEEDER SCHOOL

 

The school that a student  moves from after the end of a school phase (e.g. primary to secondary)

 
  • - Destination School

FLEXIBLE LEARNING SPACES

 

Spaces both physical and virtual in which learning and teaching can take place that aren't traditional classroom set ups (e.g. auditoriums or VLEs).

 
  • - VLE
    - Virtual Spaces
    - Physical Spaces

FLIP CHART

 

A pad of large paper sheets on a stand for presenting information

 
  • - Post-It

FORMAL LEARNING

 

Learning that occurs and is conducted by an approved organization and leads to recognized certification.

 
  • - Informal Learning

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT

 

Assessment that takes place during the process of teaching and learning and helps to inform next steps and changes of direction if required.

 
  • - Summative Assessment

FOSTERING

 

To encourage or aide the development of a new idea or concept.

 

FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS

 

The technology and other physical resources required by a school to help achieve its goals.

 

GOOD PRACTICE

 

An alternate phrase for best practice but one that doesn’t suggest there is an ultimate way of doing things, only a set of example successes that are rooted in particular contexts.

 
  • - Best Practice
    - Case Study

HIERACHY / HIERARCHICAL

 

The organization of people or things at different ranks in an organizational body.

 

HOT SEATING

 

An engaging activity where an individual is seated before a larger group and subject to specific and rigorous questioning about a particular topic. A good activity for encouraging critical evaluation.

 
  • - Critical Evaluation

ICT

 

Information Communication Technology. A term to describe all computing and telecommunications equipment in a school. Often also used to describe the subject of computing.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

 

The process of moving from concept to reality. The execution of a plan or idea.

 

INCLUSION

 

The act of educating students with special needs or disabilities in the regular classroom rather than in separate areas or institutions for all or part of their school day.

 

INFORMAL LEARNING

 

The act of learning when not in a formal school setting – for example at home, in peer groups or through ICT outside of the classroom.

 
  • - Formal Learning

INNOVATION

 

A new way of doing something. The successful implementation of new ideas in an organization.

 

INNOVATION WHEEL

 

The categorisation framework used for this toolkit to explore the key areas of schools that can benefit from innovation. The model was developed by Microsoft in conjunction with the University of Washington and theories based on Knapp, Copeland and Talbert in 2003.

 

INNOVATIVE SCHOOLS PROGRAM

 

The Microsoft program developed that supports schools through the innovation process that the toolkit is developed from. See http://www.microsoft.com/education/pil/ISc_home.aspx

 

INTEGRATED

 

The process of making whole or entire. In reference to integrating technology in teaching and learning this would mean to ensure that all teachers, students and academic programs have some relevant application of technology use.

 

INTERMITTENT

 

Not continuous, alternately stopping and starting.

 

ITERATIVE PROCESS

 

The process of repetition and the refining of ideas based on trial and evaluation.

 

KNOWLEDGE LIBRARY

 

The section of the toolkit that contains a wealth of research papers, ideas and expert thinking to support and inspire the innovation in your school.

 

LAN

 

Local Area Network – a group of computers and associated devices that share a common communication link and server.

 

LEADERSHIP & CULTURE OF INNOVATION

 

Part of the Innovation Wheel framework that relates to developing, sustaining and scaling school improvements.

 
  • - Innovation Wheel

LEARNING COMMUNITIES

 

A group of people who share a common set of values and aims and actively engage in learning with and from each other. Not always related to age.

 

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

 

Part of the Innovation Wheel framework that relates to where and when students learn.

 
  • - Innovation Wheel

LEARNING GATEWAY

 

Microsoft solutions frameworks that can help you integrate many of the tools you already use (Microsoft and non-Microsoft) to better connect people, information and processes.

 

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

 

Programs, resources and events that enable learning to take place formally or informally.

 
  • - Formal Learning
    - Informal Learning

LEARNING STYLE

 

Various approaches or ways to learn. Increasingly schools are understanding that students learn in different ways and that all styles should be catered for rather than just one approach to fit all. See the work of Howard Gardner and VAK methodologies (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic).

 
  • - Diversity
    - Multiple Pathway

LIFELONG LEARNING

 

The concept that education that is flexible, diverse and available at different times and places is pursued throughout life.

 

MENTOR

 

To serve as a teacher or trusted advisor/ counselor.

 
  • - Peer Coaching

METRICS

 

A designated system of measuring / evaluating success.

 
  • - Evaluation

MORAL PURPOSE

 

Constantly improving student achievement and ensuring that achievement gaps, wherever they exist, are narrowed (Barber and Fullan 2005).

 

MULTIPLE PATHWAY

 

Different routes to learning based on diversity and learning styles.

 
  • - Diversity
    - Learning Styles

ONE NOTE

 

A Microsoft software package for free-form information gathering, and multi-user collaboration. Download the toolkit One Note guide form the toolkit home page to help you gather, share and develop your thoughts throughout the innovation process.

 

ONLINE LEARNING

 

The provision of structured learning activities via the internet.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL PROCESSES

 

The day to day requirements that enable a school to function effectively for all its community.

 

OUTCOMES

 

Results or consequences.

 

OWNERSHIP OF LEARNING

 

The situation where learning is understood in terms of its relevance and purpose by the students involved. Where learning is no longer seen just as a functional requirement for passing exams but actually a meaningful and engaging process.

 

PARADIGM

 

A set of assumptions and concepts that work together to form a clear picture.

 

PARTNERS IN LEARNING (PIL)

 

Microsoft’s global initiative that works with governments and education leaders around the world at the national, state and local levels to deliver a portfolio of professional development, curricula, tools and resources designed to advance 21st Century teaching, learning and digital inclusion that improve learning outcomes for every student. For more information - http://www.microsoft.com/education/pil/

 
  • - Innovative Schools Program
    - Partners in Learning Network

PEDAGOGUE

 

An educator of young people.

 
  • - Pedagogy

PEDAGOGY

 

The principles and methods of teaching young people.

 
  • - Pedagogue

PEER COACHING

 

The process of receiving support, feedback and assistance from fellow teachers to improve professional practice. See Microsoft’s Peer Coaching program for ideas.

 

PERSONALIZED

 

Made or adjusted for the needs of a particular individual.

 
  • - Student Directed Learning

PHYSICAL SPACES

 

Actual spaces and buildings in a school where teaching and learning takes place.

 

PILOT

 

An activity planned as a test to extract outcomes to move forwards. As in a pilot project.

 

PITFALL

 

A potential or unforeseen problem or setback.

 

POST -IT NOTE

 

A small piece of paper with an adhesive side that can be used to attach notes to bigger documents.

 

PROBLEM SOLVING

 

The learning of the skills and methods required to help solve problems or dilemmas.

 
  • - Competencies

PROCUREMENT

 

The action of acquiring or obtaining resources or skills.

 

PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS

 

The software that helps teachers, students and the school as a whole increase their productivity: examples might be using Microsoft project to build a school development plan or using Excel to record and analyze student data.

 

PROJECT

 

A collaborative enterprise, frequently involving research or design that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim or set of aims.

 
  • - Collaboration
    - Co-Design

PROJECT BASED LEARNING (PBL)

 

A curriculum model that relates questions and technology relative to the students’ everyday lives to classroom projects. Students form their own investigation groups which allow them to develop valuable research skills. Students engage in design, problem solving, decision making, and investigative activities. It allows students to work in groups or by themselves and allows them to come up with ideas and realistic solutions or presentations.

 

PROJECT LIFECYCLE

 

The planned length of time that a project will run for before it is discarded or adapted and used more widely.

 

PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP (PPP)

 

A government service or private business venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies. See an example of a PPP - Jordan.

 

PUBLIC PROFILE / SCHOOL PROFILE PAGE/

 

In this toolkit, public profile is your school space on the Partners in Learning Network where a school can share details and development ideas regarding their school transformation process to other schools around the world.

 
  • - Innovation Schools Program

PUPILS

 

The learners.

 
  • - Students

REFLECTIVE LEARNING

 

A learning process that goes beyond simple recall and the taking in of information and encourages deeper understanding by asking learners to think and respond to information on a deeper level.

 
  • - Competencies

RETURN ON INVESTMENT

 

A performance measurement used to evaluate a response to investment of time, money or resources.

 

RISC

 

The Re-inventing Schools Coalition based in Alaska who work extensively with schools across the USA and whose thinking has helped contribute to the design of this toolkit. See http://www.reinventingschools.org/learning/

 

RUDIMENTARY

 

Basic facts or principles.

 

SCENARIO

 

An imagined sequence or set of possible events described in a story like manner.

 

SELF ASSESSMENT

 

The process of gathering information about yourself or your organization in order to make informed decisions for progress.

 

SELF REFELCTION

 

Critical analysis of your personal thoughts, decisions and skills enabling you to make informed decisions about your professional progress.

 

SOCIALIZATION

 

The process by which the individual acquires the knowledge and dispositions that enable then to participate as an effective member of a social group.

 
  • - Competencies

SPECTRUM OF TOOLS

 

The range of related objects or values or qualities or ideas or activities available to a person in order to make learning or teaching more effective. These will include but not be limited to technology.

 

SPONSOR

 

The person or group that oversees and manages the progress of a project.

 

SPORADIC

 

Scattered and irregular.

 
  • - Ad Hoc

STAKEHOLDER

 

Specific people or groups who have a stake in the outcome of a project. Normally stakeholders in an education setting are from within the school and could include students, parents, teachers, managers and the local community.

 

STIC

 

A School Technology Innovation Center. Run by Microsoft STICs are designed to show how technology can create richer, more inspiring and more effective learning environments. Each one serves as a demonstration and learning laboratory for educators and is a place to share innovative teaching practices and provide information, training and equipment to enhance the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in classrooms and curricula.

 
  • - Partners in Learning

STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

 

A system where an organization intentionally develops sustainable leadership skills throughout its personnel.

 

STRUCTURED GUIDANCE

 

Information and support that is ordered in a certain way to help guide learning.

 
  • - Stakeholder
    - Personalized
    - Pupils
    - Formative Assessment
    - Innovation Wheel
    - Competencies
    - Hierachy

STUDENT COUNCIL

 

A democratic forum where students can address school-related topics. This is an important stakeholder element in a 21st Century school.

 

STUDENT DIRECTED LEARNING

 

A teaching and learning model that is student focused and allows the opportunity for them to develop their own learning approaches. Managed and guided by the teacher.

 

STUDENTS

 

The learners.

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT

 

Common assessment programs that happen at the end of a topic or term and summarize what learning has taken place. Often used for data collection and comparisons of achievement.

 

SUPPORT MECHANISMS

 

A set of people or resources that can help, guide and evaluate progress.

 

SYSTEMATIC

 

In an organized manner.

 

SYSTEMIC

 

Affecting an entire system or organization.

 

TEACHER RESEARCHER

 

A teacher that moves beyond purely teaching students and begins to reflect, learn and develop their own practice and shares it with others.

 

TEACHING, LEARNING & ASSESSMENT

 

Part of the Innovation Wheel framework that relates to what and how students learn.

 

TEAMWORK

 

Cooperating and working together as a group for an agreed set of aims.

 

TOP DOWN

 

Traditional management structure that decides what results are to be achieved and how, and passes the plan down the hierachy or management levels

 

MANAGEMENT TRANSFORMATION

 

A marked and substantial change in approach.

 

UBIQUITOUS

 

Present everywhere (as part of the scale of understanding in the toolkit self reflection section).

 

USER PROFILING

 

The mechanism used to assign several descriptive features to an individual. For example when using a website such as Innovative Teachers.

 

VIRTUAL SPACES

 

An area online where learning can be accessed or takes place (e.g. a VLE).

 
  • - VLE

VISION STATEMENT

 

A form of mission statement, issued by a school, in which its intentions for the future are stated and shared with all stakeholders.

 

VLE

 

A Virtual Learning Environment - a package to help teachers create a course website with a minimum of technical skill, including tools for discussion and document sharing that is available to all students at all times.

 
  • - 24/ 7 Access
    - Virtual Spaces
    - Borderless Classroom

WORKSHOP

 

A brief intensive course for a small group; emphasizes problem solving and action planning.