5Ds Framework for Tech Integration: From Passive Consumption to Critical Interaction to Active Creation

What’s New with Version 2?

5Ds Framework V2.001

5Ds Framework (version 2) with focus on feedback-giving in the learning process

1. On Discern Stage:

5Ds Framework v2 shifts and makes evident the importance of “Discern” in the learning process. Although it was already stated before that Discern is never stuck between Do and Distribute, version 2 pushes the role of Discern in the learning process into a more encompassing one. Discern focuses on using tech tools as means of giving feedback effectively and efficiently to a learner throughout the learning process, from the beginning of the lesson until the end, which is ultimately, the showcase of one’s learning to a global audience. This acknowledges the essential role of giving timely and task-oriented feedback to the learner. Consequently and ideally, as feedback-giving is deeply and purposefully embedded in the process, learning becomes a continuous activity for the learner and a loop is created to ensure that feedback is given to the learner.

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2. From Passive Consumption to Critical Interaction to Active Creation

The use of technology in the classroom often starts from passive consumption, when the user or the learner passively takes in content or information from various tech sources, such as from web 2.0 websites, mobile apps, social media, etc. However, using tech tools for this purpose defeats the purpose of tech employment in the classroom. This act is almost, if not, purely similar, to how traditional teaching and learning spoon-feeds information to the learner. The learning process should move beyond this stage. The learning designer should ensure that the learner takes an active role in the learning process. In short, let the learner take the lead in searching, building, and creating knowledge.

This leads us to acknowledge that learners need to interact with the information, content, or topic at hand using his or her critical-thinking skills. Critical-thinking helps and ensures that the learner evaluates and interacts with what is being learned from a perspective that enables him or her to see everything in various angle, context, or understanding. Whether individually or collaboratively, learners have to use tech tools to examine what is being learned. Hence, the teacher should design learning activities in the Dip or Deepen stages that give learners differentiated tasks or opportunities to examine a problem and explore different means to solving it. The use of tech tools can be leveraged so that they can help the teacher bring these opportunities into the classroom.

Last, tech tools can help provide the learner freedom to choose the medium through which they can showcase what they have learned in class. In the Do and Distribute stage, learners look for and provide solutions to real-life problems through applying what they have learned in class. Authentic tasks or assessments are given to them. This process leads them to become active creators of information or knowledge. Learners go beyond mere repetition of the concepts or skills they have learned. They use their creative and collaborative skills to create original products that can become artefacts of their learning.

Using their communication skills, learners showcase their original products or creations to the global audience. While this is a momentous and successful event in the learning process, and by the way, the learner deserves to be commended for reaching this part, this, however, does not mean that the learning process has stopped. As they share their learnings to the world, the created products can be eventually examined by a wider audience. More feedback could be given, which can help improve the learning product. Moreover, the shared product of learning can also become a potential “source” of information for other learners across the world.

Hence, in the end, the 5Ds Framework guides educators to create a connected and meaningful tech-integrated learning process for students. If taken further, it could also lend itself to become a cycle of learning, where the final product of learning becomes a potential source of knowledge that other learners can critically interact with. Moreover, the learning process is transformed from a passive way of learning, which reflects traditional teaching, into a more active, critical, and creative act that successfully transcends the four walls of the classroom.


App Review: 1 Teacher + 37 Students + ClassCraft = ?

ClassCraft BlogEveryday, each classroom teacher is expected to manage his or her  class and to follow up on students’ behavior and academic performance. The teacher aims to put order into the class and makes sure that everyone is engaged with the various learning tasks at hand. Moreover, the teacher is also expected to encourage and motivate the kids to do better in class, participate in discussion or activities, and to perform well during assessments. Together with these is the need to communicate and work with parents for the sake of the students.


With all these expectations, how can technology support or assist the teacher to maintain an orderly class, motivate students, and give feedback to them and eventually, communicate these to their parents?

There are numerous apps that would promise answers to these expectations. The EdTech world is full of various learning management systems (LMS), classroom management apps, or apps with features that give feedback to parents or students. However, I was not just looking for apps that can help manage the class. I was also looking for apps that would help me motivate and engage the students with our learning activities. Something fun. Something that would excite my students.

The answer to this was ClassCraft.

ClassCraft transforms the class into a role-playing adventure. Taking on game elements and applying these in the classroom setting, ClassCraft offers a great experience for the teacher to use gamification in class. In ClassCraft, students take up characters that can wield powers, suffer from losing points, or level up with experience points. They can participate in random events or quests that the teacher can initiate for the class.

However, more than having these cool features and awesome graphics, how does ClassCraft help make learning for students engaging, meaningful, or collaborative?


1. ClassCraft makes learning a personal adventure for students.

As students step into their characters, they are challenged to behave well and perform well in class because they know that their teacher can reward them with points or deduct them with their HP or health points. In short, they have to learn how to manage themselves so that their character can progress in the adventure. In a way, the character reflects their performance in class.

2. ClassCraft help foster collaboration among students.

Because the game works on rewards system, students become mindful that their actions or performance in class can affect their team or guild’s overall performance. As they individually progress in class and in ClassCraft, they also think about how they can help protect or heal their teammates. They need to collaborate, plan, and work together to gain points. For example, during a group work, the teacher can put up rewards for those who finish the work well or for those who have shown great collaborative skills during the said learning activity.

3. ClassCraft engages and motivates students.

Rewards, ability to use “educational” powers or class incentives, awesome equipment, and fearsome or cute pets, who does not get motivated to work for these? Teachers can use ClassCraft as an academic motivator. I have parents telling me that their children were exerting more effort and setting more review time for a coming test so that they can receive Gold Pieces or more XP.  Another way ClassCraft makes learning engaging is through its Boss Battle, which turns reviewing, a formative activity, fun and exciting. Recently, the Boss Battle was added for the students to answer review questions, defeat a Boss, and eventually gain rewards.

4. ClassCraft teaches students to take risks and be mindful of the consequences of their decisions or actions.

While the game is all about rewards, another aspect that ClassCraft manages to subtly teach students is about taking risks and being mindful of the consequences of their actions in class. When they decide to battle a boss, they are become mindful that they can fall from the game if they fail to answer the review questions well. This possible outcome pushes them to prepare well for the Boss Battle. Helping others or protecting their teammates can also give the team great results.

FullSizeRender 6There are other helpful features that can be used when the ClassCraft account is upgraded. Features such as grade book, analytic, or additional rewards are made available to further deepen the feedback mechanism in class and intensify the role-playing adventure. ClassCraft also has a parent feature where parents can have an access and clear view of how their children are doing in class. However, whether your account is free or premium, the main essence of ClassCraft remains. It still engages and motivates students to behave or perform well, whether individually or as a team.

So, in the end, 1 Teacher + 37 Students + ClassCraft = a motivated class, taking an adventure of a lifetime. Yes! That was my experience in my own classroom in the Philippines. ClassCraft successfully helped me to manage and make learning exciting and fun for 37 young and energetic boys.