Connected Learning and Thinking Frames


Connected Learning

Our planning and designing is based on Connected Learning Principles . Also see CLThingLink for more information


Connected Learning

 Thinking Frames

Our connected work develops through the framework of Thinking Frames, adapting the “Writing Frames” of Liz Stephens and Kerry Ballas.

Inside Thinking: investigating, discovering, and documenting a topic of interest to you by connecting with text, images, sounds, videos, etc.


Responsive Thinking: communicating successfully face to face and online to collaborate and create through interactions and feedback to make sense of a topic by defining, labeling, questioning, challenging, and validating topic information


Purposeful Thinking: investigating and presenting one’s own or one’s collaborative team’s interpretation of the topic for an audience to review, be that notes, media, image, text, etc.


Social Action Thinking: exploring and collaborating to create a multimedia production to move others to action using reasoned argument with digital tools that emphasize the message.

These frames provide a way of thinking about projects — from the personal to collaborative to presentation to social action. Any project, prompt, and student response can be explained through these frames, which are not linear, but rather iterative. We may move back and forth through them several times before a culminating presentation.

William Zinsser explains:

“Writing is thinking on paper.”

“Writing and learning and thinking are the same process.”

Our brains solve puzzles. Transferring ideas onto paper is a puzzle; it’s a process that requires careful thought, and the puzzling, although hard, is fun — we feel accomplished when we’ve done it right. And doing it right means, according to Zinsser,

“Four basic premises of writing: clarity, brevity, simplicity, and humanity.”

So lets keep it clear, brief, and simple: engage your brain, enjoy the puzzle, and join in a collaborative effort to learn writing by writing.

Inquiry Frames

How?  Through our Inquiry Frames




Connected Learning Principles

Thinking Frames Source
Liz Stephens and Kerry Ballast (Liz Stephens and Kerry Ballast (2011). Using Technology to Improve Adolescent Writing: Digital Make-Overs for Writing Lessons) present a new paradigm for writing lessons that includes four frames, four lenses to view process writing and assignments.

Reflection on Writing Frames

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April 2024



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