Teacher Start Page

Important Information

Welcome to this "21things4students" project-based site, supported by through funding from the Michigan REMC association and partnership from Intermediate School Districts in Michigan (Clare-Gladwin RESD, Ingham, Kalamazoo RESD, Macomb ISD and Shiawassee RESD).  We are very excited about the annual revisions which are based on student and teacher feedback. We work hard to add what we hope are fun and interactive features, as well as address mobile devices (Android, Chromebook , and Apple iOS).


Teachers: Click the + to expand the content in the shaded boxes on this page.

This is organized into non-sequential "Things" which are made up of Quests, with resources provided for students to earn badges and awards. We strongly recommend you start with the Basics.
When you sign up through Teacher Registration, a link to the Moodle site along with a password is provided. If you have forgotten or missed this, please contact us at 21things4students@remc.org with the subject: "Moodle access." 

Content delivery and flexibility:

We encourage you to download and use the Teacher Handbook, and to start all students on the "Basic Orientation" that will help orient them to these project resources, the terminology use, and build some browser and online skills. They will learn how to take a screenshot (Mac, Windows, iPad and Chromebook specific directions are provided) to document their progress, Quiz scores, and complete activities.

This project has been designed to meet the request by teachers for flexible delivery. Therefore the Things do not 'build' on each other and can be used in any order, although we have suggested an order by the numbering sequence. 

• Teachers can use the entire set of "21 things"
• Teachers can select individual "things" and individual Quests in a Mission
• Teachers are free to use and customize a Moodle/Blackboard version of the 21things in full or part as long as credit is given and there is no commercial use (payment) received.

A Google Apps for Education (GAFE) Example has been added to the Teacher Resources site as well.

Bad Links Out-of-Date or inappropriate content:

Please notify us an any bad links, out-of-date content or inappropriate content and we will work to replace it as quickly as possible. Please use the "Report Bad Link"menu on the main menu at the top.  and include the link to the page it is located on, and where on the page (screenshot or such) to help us. We have provided a "Bad Link" button on the About page or use our email address provided.

 Click the + to expand the content in the shaded boxes below.

Goals of 21things4students

Goals: The goals of this project (2010-17) are to:

Improve technology proficiency for Michigan students in grades 5-9, by addressing the ISTE technology Standards for Students as well as some of the State Curriculum Standards

Help students build information literacy and digital citizenship skills, and be knowledgeable about being Safe Online and Cyberbullying.

Provide 21st century resources which are engaging and fun for teaching and learning with educational technology for teachers and their students using performance-based activities based on 21st century educational technology tools such as: Google Docs, spreadsheets and graphing, digital citizenship, copyright, presentation tools, etc. 

Provide just-in-time and project-based resources online which increase opportunities for authentic portfolio-based assessment of educational technology literacy skills of students.

Help teachers by providing a classroom resource and technology curriculum that is free. This project is aligned with the 21things4teachers.net  PD resources. This is a cross-walk document  showing how the two projects are related and support each other.

About "Things", "Quests", and Roadmap


We selected 21 big ideas in technology literacy for students that are called Things.  Each thing introduces a variety of FREE web resources that help address the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards for Students, and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Some of the Web resources and tools used for the Quests require registration online with an email address.

Anatomy of a Thing: Each Thing contains several project-based Quests. The main Thing page has a link to: a Teacher Lesson Guide, a Complete Student Checklist, Learning Objectives, Slide of the Learning Objectives, Introduction, list of the web resources, list of the apps, link to the different Quests, and a link to the Graduation Page

Video introduction 3:30 min (also located on the Basics Orientation page for students.) Direct link for fullscreen viewing. Updated July 2015


The 21 Things are broken down into smaller units called Quests. When students complete a Thing, you can provide them with a digital Badge and/or Award Certificate (these are provided as images in the teacher Moodle resource).

Anatomy of a Quest: A Quest has an introduction, key vocabulary, and step-by-step directions. Most begin with a short animated video introduction, and include tutorials. The standards are listed (ISTE and some Common Core), Apps on the sidebar. A Quest specific Student Checklist is also provided.  Anatomy of a Quest (jpg, Slide, shared at ISTE 2015)

21t4s Roadmap (previously called the tracking guide):

We have provided a Thing/Quest roadmap document for students to use to keep track of the Things and Quests they have completed. There are several versions provided on the first Basics Quest 1 Navigation page (and in the Teacher Resources in Moodle). Students and teachers can use these documents to check off overall progress, track quiz scores, notes/reflections, as well as badges, and awards and gems as supplied by you. Some versions have a notes field for feedback or comments. 

Teacher Handbook, Lesson Guides, and Syllabus


An updated handbook will be available for 2016-17 late July
Download or view this  2016-17 21things4students Teacher Handbook as a reference containing:

Organization of the 21Things, the anatomy of 'Things' and 'Quests'
Important teaching suggestions about content and delivery and Teacher Lesson Guides
Student Guides
Moodle site with Teacher Resources
Digital badges and awards
Browser and device recommendations
Assessment, Quizzes, and Rubrics
Curriculum and Technology Standards
Use of Audio and Video
CMS integration
and more ... answers to FAQ

Teacher Lesson Guides:

A "Teacher Lesson Guide" for each of the Things, is linked to from the main page of each Thing on the right-hand sidebar. These are also listed on the Teacher Resources page. We are providing an extremely short survey for teacher feedback that will be invaluable for us to guide our improvements next spring at the bottom of each Teacher lesson plan, so please help out. We would appreciate help on the timing you experience in teaching these resources (how many periods/class hours to complete it). Please help us improve this resource, provided FREE to you.


2016-17 Syllabus in Google Docs


Word Version        PDF Version

Student Checklists

Student Checklists:

Directions for using the checklists (Please read this first if you are going to use them).

*A complete student checklist is provided on the main page of each thing that includes all of the steps for all Quests for that "thing".

*A shortened student checklist is provided for each Quest on the Quest pages (added based on student feedback)

3 minute video about the Student checklists. (Direct link to video)


Quizzes and Study Guides

Quizzes and Study Guides:

1. There are vocabulary study sets (new June 2016) that are housed in Quizlet for each Quest. There are 10 gaming or study modes available. These are located in the right-hand panel. Teachers are able to group these together or create their own from these. Direct link to the video: How to play Quizlet, located on the Basics - Begin Here page.

2. ProProf Quizzes are also provided for a short multiple-choice quiz at the end of each Thing on the Graduation page.

      4:50 minute video about the Quizzes (Direct link to the video)


ProProfs Quiz password: The student name is not saved on the Quiz site, so they can retake these as many times as they wish. The password to take each quiz is provided with the link to the quiz on the "graduation page" for each "Thing". (It is always the first name of the "thing" plus 21. Example: Basics quiz password is basics21).


Recently revised ISTE Standards for Students have been released (June 2016) and we have revised the standards listed on the Quest pages accordingly.

Elementary Teachers: We recently received special funding to add 10 Quests for Elementary level students. If you are an elementary teacher using these resources please help us by completing this very short form .

Registration: As you register or re-register each year you will want to save the new password provided to access the Moodle course that contains additional teacher information (badges, awards, syllabus, and other helpful documentation) .

Tech Boot Camps for educators:

Visit the TechBootCamp page for more information.


Please visit the Updates page  frequently  for the 2016-17 school year (a link goes bad, content is no longer available, site is no longer appropriate...).