K-12 EdTech Glossary

This glossary includes definitions of common K-12 terms relating to education software, pedagogy, and trends.

  • # 1:1 Learning -

    1:1 Learning

    The educational practice of assigning each K-12 student a digital device to use for class, homework, research, distance learning, and other learning opportunities.

  • # 21st-Century Skills -

    21st-Century Skills

    Technological, interpersonal, and self-direction skills that prepare K-12 students for success in the 21st-century workplace. Examples include technological and media literacy, communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and flexibility.

  • # 360 Video -

    360 Video

    Immersive video that gives the viewer a view in every direction, captured using an omnidirectional camera, group of cameras, or using 3D modeling software.

  • # 5G -


    The fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks. 5G has greater bandwidth, enables faster downloads and unlocks new opportunities for interacting with rich educational media.

  • # 6 Traits of Writing -

    6 Traits of Writing

    A model that helps students improve their writing skills using 6 traits: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. Sometimes called the 6 + 1 Trait Model, with the addition of a bonus trait — presentation.

  • Active Listening -

    Active Listening

    A method of listening that involves engaging full attention toward the speaker to accurately capture his or her meaning.

  • Arts Integration -

    Arts Integration

    A method of teaching that calls on students to both learn and demonstrate learning through artistic expression.

  • Asynchronous Learning -

    Asynchronous Learning

    Learning that does not take place in real time, relying instead on self-paced study and independent work. Asynchronous learning is student-centered and can occur in different times and spaces particular to each learner.

  • Audio Visual Aids -

    Audio Visual Aids

    Added materials that help a teacher clarify or demonstrate their lesson through sound and visuals.

  • Augmented Reality (AR) -

    Augmented Reality (AR)

    A technology that shows the viewer a superimposed, computer-generated overlay on top of the viewer’s actual physical surroundings.

  • Bark for Schools -

    Bark for Schools

    A student and school safety software that monitors students’ school accounts and flags worrisome behaviors, such as cyberbullying, adult content, sexual predators, profanity, and suicidal ideation.

  • Behavioral Psychology -

    Behavioral Psychology

    The study and analysis of human behavior and how students act in different settings and circumstances. It can be used to counsel students and address any positive or negative behaviors.

  • Blank Screen -

    Blank Screen

    A LanSchool feature that enables K-12 educators to shift classroom attention to their teaching by blanking student screens and locking their devices.

  • Blended Learning -

    Blended Learning

    Includes a mix of in-person teacher-led learning with online or digital components that give students control over their learning path and pace.

  • Bloom’s Taxonomy -

    Bloom’s Taxonomy

    A framework teachers can use to design lessons and tests, analyze whether their teaching time is being used effectively, and set measurable educational objectives. The 6 categories of the Bloom’s Taxonomy used today are: Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, and Create.

  • Book Creator -

    Book Creator

    A Chromebook creativity app that enables students to easily create multimedia digital books that capture stories, portfolios, science reports, and more. Book Creator’s flexible software allows students to collaborate, communicate, and demonstrate critical thinking skills.

  • Brain Break -

    Brain Break

    An activity that gives students a break from their more focus-intensive lessons and allows them to reset their energy levels. K-12 examples include dancing, stretching, deep breathing, or playing a game.

  • Broadcast Screen -

    Broadcast Screen

    A LanSchool feature that enables teachers and students to share their screens across all student devices, capturing attention and saving valuable time.

  • Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) -

    Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

    An act enacted by Congress in 2000 that imposes requirements on schools or libraries aimed at limiting children’s access to obscene or harmful content over the internet.

  • Chromebook -


    A laptop or tablet running Chrome OS as its operating system, popular among K-12 schools because of its lower price, good battery life, solid performance, and relative ease of management.

  • Classroom Management -

    Classroom Management

    The techniques and skills teachers use to create and maintain appropriate student behavior, optimize student engagement, and ensure their classes run smoothly.

  • Classroom Management Software -

    Classroom Management Software

    A type of software that helps teachers guide digital learning, promote collaboration, and make the most of teaching time (ex: LanSchool). Popular classroom management software features include Screen Monitoring, Blank Screen, Messaging, Share Screen, Limit Web, Push Website, Battery Status, and Snapshot.

  • Classroom Orchestration -

    Classroom Orchestration

    How a teacher manages learning activities across multiple levels of interaction, such as individual or group work. Orchestration includes the design, the adaptation, and the real-time management of that activity across students and groups of students.

  • Clever -


    A digital learning platform for K-12 schools that can provide automatic rostering, single sign-on, messaging, analytics, and more.

  • Cloud-Based Software -

    Cloud-Based Software

    A software program delivered through the Internet browser, rather than installed on a self-hosted server. Cloud-based software is typically delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and handles the technical management to ensure uptime and security.

  • Collaborative Learning -

    Collaborative Learning

    Also known as Cooperative Learning, Collaborative Learning is a method where students work together in pairs or groups to complete a lesson or project.

  • Common Core -

    Common Core

    A set of standards for teaching and testing English and math for K-12 students in the United States.

  • Competency Based Learning -

    Competency Based Learning

    A style of learning that enables students to progress through lessons at their own pace, moving from one learning level to the next as soon as they’ve demonstrated mastery at their current level.

  • Computer-Based Testing -

    Computer-Based Testing

    Computer-based testing is an automated form of assessment used to evaluate a person's knowledge, skills, or abilities. It typically involves using computers, either online or at a designated testing site, and can involve multiple choice questions, essay writing, audio recordings, or other interactive elements.

  • Content Filtering -

    Content Filtering

    Software that blocks access for certain networks or users (Ex: K-12 students) to web content that is deemed offensive, inappropriate, or dangerous. 

  • Cooperative Learning -

    Cooperative Learning

    See Collaborative Learning.

  • Critical Thinking -

    Critical Thinking

    Thinking that is deliberately rational and evidence-based, rather than emotional or based on preconceived notions. 5 key critical thinking skills for students include analysis, interpretation, inference, explanation, self-regulation, open-mindedness, and problem-solving.

  • Cyberbullying -


    Bullying or harassment that takes place through electronic communications. Common K-12 examples include sending mean-spirited messages, posting embarrassing photos of another person, posting rumors or threats on social media, impersonating a victim to embarrass them, creating a website or blog intended to shame a victim, or even instigating and sharing an embarrassing video of a victim.

  • Daily 5 -

    Daily 5

    A literacy framework in which students select from 5 reading and writing choices each day: read to self, work on writing, read to someone, word work, or listen to reading.

  • Deductive Teaching -

    Deductive Teaching

    A traditional, teacher-centric learning approach in which the teacher gives learners rules for a given topic and examples of those rules in action, followed by time to practice the new concept. This learning approach is in contrast to Inductive Teaching.

  • Design Thinking -

    Design Thinking

    A process for designing products or solutions that starts with understanding the end user, challenging normal assumptions, and testing a prototype. Though design thinking models vary, they typically include 5 phases—Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.

  • Device Management -

    Device Management

    The process of implementing, operating, and maintaining digital devices, typically by an IT person or team on behalf of a school or district.

  • DIBELS -


    Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills is a set of tests that measure early literacy skills, including phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, and fluency. 

  • Differentiated Instruction -

    Differentiated Instruction

    An approach to tailoring teaching that enables all students to learn the material by varying either the content, process, assessment, or learning environment.

  • Digital Citizenship -

    Digital Citizenship

    The proficient, responsible, and respectful use of digital technology across 9 areas: digital access, etiquette, commerce, rights and responsibilities, literacy, law, communication, health and wellness, and security. Examples may include engaging with others respectfully, avoiding illegal activity online, and maintaining security best practices.

  • Digital Divide -

    Digital Divide

    The educational, economic, and social inequalities that exist between those who have access to digital devices and the internet and those who do not.

  • Digital Learning -

    Digital Learning

    Learning or instructional practice that leverages digital technology.

  • Digital Safety -

    Digital Safety

    Processes and behaviors that proactively avoid or reduce risks to protect the individual, device, or network.

  • Digital Storytelling -

    Digital Storytelling

    Lessons that incorporate multimedia elements such as images, audio, video, and web content to engage students, share different types of ideas and materials, and cover a wider range of learning styles.

  • Direct Instruction -

    Direct Instruction

    Structured, sequenced instruction that is led by the teacher. This is the most common or traditional form of instruction in American public schools.

  • Discovery Learning -

    Discovery Learning

    A method of inquiry-based instruction that leads learners to discover facts and concepts without being explicitly taught them.

  • Distance Learning -

    Distance Learning

    Remote education or online learning in which the student and teacher are not physically present in the same room.

  • DNSFilter -


    A security software provider that offers web filtering, threat protection, and content classification solutions for K-12 schools. 

  • EdTech -


    Education technology, or any technology that supports scholastic learning with education-focused hardware or software.

  • Education Continuity Plan -

    Education Continuity Plan

    A documented strategy showing how education will continue in the event of a school closure.

  • Elearning -


    Learning or instruction that takes place on a digital device, typically over the Internet.

  • Engagement -


    A student’s level of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion while learning.

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) -

    English as a Second Language (ESL)

    Specialized English language instruction for non-native English speakers.

  • Equitable Learning -

    Equitable Learning

    Learning that occurs in an equitable classroom environment where students of all backgrounds have access to the same type of lessons, tools, and information to develop their knowledge. The consideration of multiple cultural perspectives improves outcomes among diverse learners in equitable classrooms.

  • Esports -


    Competitive video gaming, often organized as a special event that’s observed and may include prizes.

  • Expeditionary Learning -

    Expeditionary Learning

    An educational approach that seeks to engage students using non-traditional learning experiences, such as outdoor education, environmental education, and adventure.

  • Experiential Learning -

    Experiential Learning

    Learning through doing, as opposed to traditional instruction.

  • Explain Everything -

    Explain Everything

    A Google Creativity app that serves as an interactive whiteboard platform where students can collaborate using new and existing media, annotations, and text.

  • Exploros -


    A cloud-based curriculum platform for student-centered, tech-enabled learning. Equipped with social studies and ELA courses for grades K-12, teachers can easily assign lessons that encourage collaboration as students work in small groups or independently.

  • Extrinsic Motivation -

    Extrinsic Motivation

    Engaging in an activity in the hopes of earning a specific external reward or incentive.

  • Fail Forward -

    Fail Forward

    To learn from one’s mistakes and apply that learning to the next attempt rather than seeing failure as a reason to stop trying.

  • Flexible Seating -

    Flexible Seating

    Classroom seating that enables students to work from different areas of the classroom according to their needs.

  • Flipped Classrooms -

    Flipped Classrooms

    An instructional strategy in which the order of teaching and practice are reversed, so that students work with ideas and assignments before receiving direct instruction and in-class discussion.

  • G Suite for Education -

    G Suite for Education

    See Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals.

  • Game-Based Learning -

    Game-Based Learning

    A learning technique where games and gamification tactics are used to enhance student learning. Game-based learning promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills, allowing students to engage with educational materials in a playful and dynamic way.

  • Gamification -


    Applying game principles, such as goals and achievements, to engage students in an educational lesson or objective. Gamification takes game elements (such as points, badges, leaderboards, competition, and achievements) and applies them to a non-game setting.

  • Genius Hour -

    Genius Hour

    An inquiry-based student-led learning method that gives them a regularly occurring, set amount of class time during which they are allowed to pursue their own passions.

  • Google Classroom -

    Google Classroom

    A free tool that helps teachers create and organize assignments, provide feedback, and communicate with their classes.

  • Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals -

    Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals

    Formerly known as G Suite for Education, it is a free suite of digital tools that provide a flexible and secure foundation for learning, collaboration, and communication. Apps include Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Drive, Classroom, Meet, and more.

  • Growth Mindset -

    Growth Mindset

    Students with a growth mindset believe they can grow their intelligence and solve complex problems if they work hard and persevere.

  • Higher Order Thinking -

    Higher Order Thinking

    The utilization of critical thinking skills rather than just memorizing or learning by repetition. Higher Order Thinking skills include synthesizing, analyzing, reasoning, comprehending, application, and evaluation.

  • Hotspots -


    A physical location where people can wirelessly connect to the internet using a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other smart device. Hotspot access typically uses Wi-Fi, via a wireless local area network with a router connected to an Internet service provider.

  • Hybrid Learning -

    Hybrid Learning

    Also sometimes known as Blended Learning, hybrid learning is a teaching method that combines face-to-face instruction and online learning time. A hybrid approach combines traditional classroom experiences with experiential learning and digital course delivery.

  • Immersive Learning -

    Immersive Learning

    Placement of a learner in an interactive environment to teach skills or concepts through experience. Examples include AR/VR and simulation or role-playing situations.

  • Individualized Instruction -

    Individualized Instruction

    Teaching that is tailored to a K-12 student’s individual needs, including modifying or accelerating lessons or providing additional resources.

  • Inductive Teaching -

    Inductive Teaching

    Similar to Discovery Teaching, a teaching process that allows learners to explore and discover a concept by observing examples and inferring solutions. This is different from deductive teaching, where students are given rules they then need to apply.

  • Infinite Painter -

    Infinite Painter

    A Google Creativity art app that lets students create realistic paintings and learn about useful design concepts with tools that are used by industry professionals.

  • Inquiry Based Learning -

    Inquiry Based Learning

    A style of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems, or scenarios. Teachers do not present material to students, but rather encourage students to learn by asking questions and sharing their ideas.

  • Instructional Scaffolding -

    Instructional Scaffolding

    A process in which a teacher provides a support structure that systematically builds on students' experiences and knowledge as they are learning new concepts.

  • Intrinsic Motivation -

    Intrinsic Motivation

    Behavior that is driven by internal rewards, such as self-esteem, personal achievement, or satisfaction.

  • Job Readiness -

    Job Readiness

    Preparing students with the skills they need to find, acquire, maintain, and grow within their future careers. Examples of these skills include communication, motivation, and the ability to take criticism.

  • Kinesthetic Learning -

    Kinesthetic Learning

    Also known as tactile learning, kinesthetic learning is a style of learning by performing a physical activity rather than listening to a lecture or watching a demonstration. Examples may include art projects, chemistry experiments, or sporting activities.

  • Landschool -


    A common misspelling of the term LanSchool, an award-winning classroom management software.

  • Learning Cycle -

    Learning Cycle

    A inquiry-based teaching approach that uses defined stages or steps to guide instruction and enable students to apply inquiry and discovery to their learning.

  • Lenovo Education -

    Lenovo Education

    A division of Lenovo focused on providing hardware and software edtech solutions to schools and districts. The Lenovo Education portfolio includes ThinkPad, Yoga, Legion, and Ideapad laptops as well as ThinkCenter and IdeaCenter desktops. The portfolio also includes a variety of software solutions including LanSchool, Lenovo NetFilter, Bark, DNSFilter, Exploros, and Google Creativity Apps.

  • Lenovo NetFilter -

    Lenovo NetFilter

    A cloud-based web filter that uses advanced artificial intelligence to provide real-time analysis of online content to protect students and schools from digital dangers.

  • Lesson Plan -

    Lesson Plan

    A detailed guide that outlines what the teacher expects students to learn or accomplish during the course of the lesson. Typically, a lesson plan includes step-by-step activities, goals, and a materials list.

  • Limit Web -

    Limit Web

    A LanSchool classroom management software feature that enables IT teams and teachers to enforce rules around which websites students can and can’t visit.

  • Makerspaces -


    Collaborative workspaces that contain tools and materials for experimenting and creating projects such as robotics, art, and crafts.

  • Messaging -


    A LanSchool software feature that enables teachers to message directly with individual students or the entire class.

  • Metacognition -


    An awareness of and ability to analyze one’s own thinking or learning habits and processes. It refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one's understanding and performance.

  • Mindfulness -


    Maintaining an awareness of one’s own thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and surroundings.

  • Needs Assessment -

    Needs Assessment

    A process for identifying and setting goals for a student, class, or school, and determining what gaps need to be addressed to achieve those goals.

  • Netiquette -


    Short for internet etiquette, Netiquette is an important part of digital citizenship and is the set of rules for engaging courteously on the internet, such as avoiding posting inflammatory comments and content, respecting others’ privacy, and showing good sportsmanship when playing online games.

  • Opportunity Gaps -

    Opportunity Gaps

    In the context of K-12 education, opportunity gaps refer to significant and persistent differences in the distribution of educational resources and opportunities that can lead to differences in academic performance between different groups of students.

  • Pedagogy -


    One’s approach to teaching, which may be based on a particular learning theory or teaching method, such as Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development or Vygotsky's Theory of Learning.

  • Peer Review / Peer Assessment -

    Peer Review / Peer Assessment

    A structured process by which students review their peers’ work and provide constructive feedback and criticism.

  • Personalized Learning -

    Personalized Learning

    Also known as personalization, personalized learning is an educational approach that aims to customize learning for each student based on their strengths, culture, needs, abilities, and interests. 

  • Pilot Program -

    Pilot Program

    A planned trial typically conducted for a set length of time and with a small subset of the desired user base. Commonly used for software or other technology programs.

  • Problem Solving -

    Problem Solving

    A method of learning in which students are given a problem and expected to solve it by going through the steps of observing, understanding, analyzing, interpreting, finding solutions, and applying their newly gained knowledge to demonstrate thorough understanding of the concept. 

  • Problem-Based Learning -

    Problem-Based Learning

    A teaching tactic in which students are presented with a real-world problem to solve that teaches them particular concepts or principles.

  • Project Based Learning -

    Project Based Learning

    Learning that is based around doing an activity rather than passively taking in information, often involving real-world challenges, solutions, or problems.

  • Push Website -

    Push Website

    A LanSchool teaching software feature that enables you to instantly launch the same website on every classroom device to ensure students are always on task, focused and ready to learn.

  • Remote Learning -

    Remote Learning

    Also known as online learning, an elearning format in which the student and teacher are not physically present in the same room. As schools around the world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote learning was the primary teaching format.

  • Request for Proposal (RFP) -

    Request for Proposal (RFP)

    A formal request from a buyer (i.e., a K-12 school or district) to a vendor to put together a customized pricing package based on the buyer’s needs.

  • Response to Intervention (RTI) -

    Response to Intervention (RTI)

    A multi-tier approach to addressing student academic challenges with early intervention and support. RTI aims to identify students who are struggling in school and help them succeed by using targeted teaching methods.

  • Rural and Underserved Communities -

    Rural and Underserved Communities

    Communities where students may not have equitable access to the educational tools and support that are common for other K-12 students, including digital devices, software, and the internet, among other resources.

  • Scalability -


    The ability for a software, special program, or other initiative to expand easily and manageably as more students are added or needs grow.

  • Screen Monitoring -

    Screen Monitoring

    A LanSchool classroom management tool  that enables teachers to view students’ screens in real time to ensure they’re progressing on their work as expected during class time.

  • Screen Time -

    Screen Time

    The amount of time students spend actively using a digital device. Teachers and parents must balance screen time in an increasingly digital world.

  • Self-Hosted Software -

    Self-Hosted Software

    Software schools or district must self-host. This software delivery method is in contrast to Software-as-a-Service.

  • Small Group Instruction -

    Small Group Instruction

    Typically following whole group instruction, small group instruction is a teaching method to reinforce specific concepts by reducing the student-to-teacher ratio, usually to two to four students.

  • Social-Emotional Learning -

    Social-Emotional Learning

    The process of developing and using a wide range of skills that are necessary to thrive in school, career, and life, such as emotional regulation, conflict resolution, and other skills of self and interpersonal awareness. 

  • Software License -

    Software License

    A subscription to use a type of software that may include single or multiple “seats” or users per license.

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) -

    Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

    Software that is hosted and supported by the vendor and delivered to the customer through the internet, often as a monthly or annual subscription service. This is in contrast to self-hosted software.

  • Squid -


    A Google Creativity app that enables students and teachers to write on their Chromebooks just as they would a piece of paper using their finger or an active pen or passive stylus.

  • Standards Based Learning -

    Standards Based Learning

    An approach to grading based on the mastery of a particular standard, as opposed to the completion of certain work or assignments.

  • STEM / STEAM -


    Acronyms for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, a grouping of academic disciplines that are considered high-paying and beneficial to student development.

  • Student-Led Learning -

    Student-Led Learning

    An approach to learning where students actively participate in their own education, through self-teaching, teaching each other, and working collaboratively with peers.

  • Synchronous Learning -

    Synchronous Learning

    The style of learning in which all students receive the same instruction in real time, either in-person or remotely.

  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) -

    Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

    Teaching English to students who are non-native speakers or for whom English is not their first language.

  • Thinking Based Learning -

    Thinking Based Learning

    Prioritizing students’ ability to conceptualize, build on ideas, organize information, approach problems logically, and make decisions on the best course of action.

  • Threat Protection -

    Threat Protection

    A type of cyber defense software used in education that automatically filters and protects students against malware and other incoming network threats.

  • Tiered Intervention -

    Tiered Intervention

    A way of classifying students according to their level of need in order to provide the right level of support and measure their progress.

  • Time Management -

    Time Management

    Effective time management maximizes learning and includes organizing the day and classroom, deciding the lesson length for each subject, recording student progress, and streamlining classroom management processes.

  • Trauma Informed Teaching -

    Trauma Informed Teaching

    An approach that adjusts teaching methods based on understanding how trauma, such as hunger, death of a loved one, bullying, poverty, or other adversity, can affect a student’s ability to learn.

  • Twitch -


    An American video live streaming service that focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasting esports competitions. Twitch is a platform and community for connecting gamers to each other, fans, and funding.

  • Video Conferencing Platform -

    Video Conferencing Platform

    Cloud-based software that enables people in different locations to speak on video in real time, often with screen sharing and other collaboration features included.

  • Virtual Learning -

    Virtual Learning

    Learning that takes place in-person or remotely using software or the internet with or without an instructor. Examples of virtual learning can include remote learning, blended learning, and elearning.

  • Virtual Reality (VR) -

    Virtual Reality (VR)

    An immersive, artificial environment that is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment. These environments can be interacted with in a physical way through sight and sound using special equipment.

  • VR Classroom 2 -

    VR Classroom 2

    Lenovo’s complete solution for immersive teaching with VR, including hardware, content, device management, and support. VR Classroom 2  empowers teachers and administrators to easily integrate virtual reality lessons and field trips into their curriculum, leading to inspiration, better student engagement, and meaningful learning outcomes.

  • We Video -

    We Video

    A Google Creativity app for video creation, providing editing, collaboration, and sharing capabilities across any device.

  • Web Filtering -

    Web Filtering

    A software technology that blocks access to suspicious websites on specified devices or networks based on the web filter’s own guidelines or allow/block lists provided by a school’s IT team, teachers, or other leadership.

  • Web History -

    Web History

    A LanSchool Classic student safety feature that enables teachers to view students’ web browsing, app, and keystroke history.

  • Wellness -


    A state of well-being that affects student achievement and success. Teachers must assess and keep these factors in mind when guiding learning. Wellness can include emotional, intellectual, physical, environmental, personal, and social factors.

  • Whole Group Instruction -

    Whole Group Instruction

    Sometimes referred to as whole class instruction, whole group instruction involves direct, typically teacher-led instruction that uses traditional methods to help students learn together in the same space and focused on the same lesson.

  • Workshop Model -

    Workshop Model

    An instructional model that consists of a teacher-led opening or warm-up, followed by a mini-lesson in which the teacher models what is expected of students. Next, there is a workshop session, where students break into small groups or work individually, followed by a closing debrief as a large group.