Navigating the Toggled Term

A Guide for K-12 Classroom and School Leaders

by Matthew Rhoads (Author)
©2021 Textbook XXII, 256 Pages


Online learning, blended learning, socially distanced classrooms, educational technology, safety protocols, instructional models, organizational logistics, and educator burnout are all realities presented by the toggled term. Navigating the Toggled Term: A Guide for K-12 Classroom and School Leaders sets the stage not only for the present but also well into the future to help K-12 classroom and school leaders navigate online learning, blended learning, integrating educational technology tools with effective research-based instructional strategies, and moving between various educational settings at the instructional and organizational level. This book provides experienced and novice classroom teachers and school leaders with best practice instructional and organizational frameworks integrated with mainstream educational technology tools to navigate the challenges of teaching students of all ages in an ever-changing world. Beyond the major instructional and organizational frameworks, this book touches on differentiating instruction for all learners, communicating to students and families within digital environments, and provides strategies for educator self-care. Last, this book includes teacher and school leader voice in the form of twelve narrative case studies of practicing educators that align with each chapter’s theme to show the strategies and frameworks in motion for readers.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Dedication
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Introduction: Navigating the Toggled Term
  • Part 1. Building and Refining an Online Instructional Infrastructure
  • Chapter One: Selecting EdTech Tools (With Teacher Narrative – By: Shannon Moore)
  • Chapter Two: EdTech Tools and Applications for Distance Learning, Blended Learning, and Traditional In-Class Instruction (With Teacher Narrative – By: Jennifer Ingold)
  • Chapter Three: Research-Based Instructional Strategies to Integrate with EdTech Tools to Amplify Learning (With Teacher Narrative – By: Mark Ureel)
  • Part 1. Conclusion
  • Part 2: Differentiating Instruction, Special Education, and Student and Family Engagement During a Toggled Term
  • Chapter Four: Differentiating Instruction with EdTech for English Language Learners and Students with Special Needs (With Teacher Narrative – By: Elizabeth Esposito Haupert)
  • Chapter Five: Special Education, IEP Meetings, and Case Management During a Toggled Term (With Teacher Narrative – By: John Maguire)
  • Chapter Six: Student and Family Engagement During a Toggled Term (With Teacher Narrative – By: Janet Ilko, Ed.D.)
  • Part 2. Conclusion
  • Part 3: Instructional Models and Organizational Frameworks, and Planning During a Toggled Term
  • Chapter Seven: The Toggled Term Instructional Model (With School Leader Narrative – By: Mark Brown)
  • Chapter Eight: Types of Blended Learning (With Teacher Narrative – By: Victoria Lowe)
  • Chapter Nine: Lesson Plans in Action for Online and Blended Learning Settings (With Teacher Narrative – By: Alicia Rhoads)
  • Chapter Ten: The Coherence Framework for the Toggled Term (With School Leader Narrative – By: Darin Peppard, Ed.D.)
  • Part 3. Conclusion
  • Part 4: Professional Development and Educator Self-Care During a Toggled Term
  • Chapter Eleven: Optimizing Professional Learning During a Toggled Term (With Teacher Narrative – By: Rosalinda Avalos)
  • Chapter Twelve: K-12 Educator Self-Care While Navigating the Toggled Term (With Teacher Narratives – By: Jillian DuBois and Ariel Adrian)
  • Part 4. Conclusion
  • Conclusion: Navigating the Toggled Term
  • Contributing Author Biographies
  • Index


The COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools and brought much of Southern California to a halt. One innovative high school teacher, Dr. Matthew Rhoads, began remote learning with determination to meet individual student needs and enhance instruction digitally. He read everything he could find on the topic and experimented with many of the programs, tools, strategies and techniques. He then described what he learned in his first book, Navigating the Toggled Term: Preparing Secondary Educators for Navigating Fall 2020 and Beyond. Brilliantly he reintroduced the Toggled Term (originally coined by Dr. Bryan Alexander) offering exceptional insight to how schools may toggle between face-to-face and remote online learning.

This second book, Navigating the Toggled Term: A Guide for K-12 Classroom and School Leaders targets all K-12 teachers and school leaders and provides readers with simple effective use of tools, techniques and strategies to develop critical learning opportunities for students during the toggled term and beyond. Dr. Rhoads uses his introspective research skills and first-hand classroom experience to give readers guiding principles and Illustrative examples/case studies to systematically approach addressing problems and challenges (and finding solutions) associated with moving between face to face, blended learning, and remote learning. He provides a toolkit to strategically navigate the instructional, logistical, and organizational needs as educators seek to deliver equity and access to every student worldwide.←xiii | xiv→

The text introduces educators to a vocabulary of EdTech tools (i.e., Pear Deck, Nearpod, Flipgrid, Google Apps), online instruction (synchronous or asynchronous), formative and summative online assessment tools (i.e., Kahoot, Quizzizz, GoFormative, Socrative), online management systems (i.e., Class Dojo, Seesaw) and step-by-step processes to implementation of each. Numerous free resources give educators easy to apply lesson plan ideas. Examples of how to use research based instructional strategies with EdTech and online are demonstrated throughout the text.

I have known Dr. Rhoads for four years. He recently completed a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Concordia University Irvine where I serve as Coordinator of Learning and Instruction for the Doctoral Program. My research interest is in instruction. I have spent my career traveling the globe training teachers how to implement research based instructional strategies. Dr. Rhoads sets high standards for instruction, student achievement, character, and climate for learning. He has a variety of research based instructional strategies he uses to enhance classroom engagement. His career has included teaching at the secondary level. He holds three teaching credentials (English, Social Science, and Mild/Moderate Specialist). All of his experience entails work with English Language Learners. He is an expert in making data-driven decision-making in classrooms, schools, and district-wide settings. He is able to develop, implement and analyze assessments to determine learning mastery and review data to determine levels. He has taken all of these skills and applied his practical knowledge to the research and depth developed in this book.

At a time when our country is in need of solid yet simple educational tools and supports to enhance learning for all, Dr. Rhoads is leading a new generation of technology integration that educators need to pay attention to. Teaching is hard work! In this book Dr. Rhoads eases the burden and makes the process of navigating the toggled term a reachable goal for all involved.

Belinda Dunnick Karge, Ph.D

Concordia University Irvine


On March 13th, 2020, the world changed forever. Everything stopped, and restrictions began being implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools closed physically, and our daily lives shifted. As a practicing educator at the secondary level and in higher education who has been utilizing educational technology (EdTech) their entire careers and types of blended learning, I knew my skills might come in handy to teachers and school leaders. A few days later, one of my mentors and doctoral professors, Dr. Belinda Karge, sent an email to my graduated cohort stating we were at the forefront of making a difference amid a tumultuous time.

This email helped ignite a fire in me. I am already a highly motivated person, but something about the circumstances and that email made me want to take action. I have had over five years of experience working in a flipped classroom blended learning model as a secondary Educational Specialist. In addition to experimenting and employing blended learning models, I had some expertise with about thirty EdTech tools that I could use proficiently with a multitude of instructional strategies. During those years of experimentation, I delivered all of my instruction through a learning management system and various educational technology tools, which created an almost 100% digital environment within an in-person classroom setting. Through this time, I experimented and researched various EdTech tools aligned best practice instructional strategies to use with technology ←xv | xvi→and data-driven decision-making to maximize learning for my students. As a result, I had a background and expertise in using various educational technology tools that I wanted to give back to my colleagues and the wider educational world, which prompted me to take action.

Ultimately, after Dr. Karge’s email, it led me to begin researching and writing while I was teaching in an online setting. During this time, I wanted to make an impact to help my colleagues as well as contribute to the overall educational community. This also brought upon a university lecturer opportunity to lecture on educational technology tools and their instructional applications to teacher candidates at a local university in addition to opportunities to present professional development related to these topics to teachers in my own district and then across North America. Through these experiences, it gave me the material to think about moving forward in writing a book. Backtrack to the beginning on March 15th, I took to my blog and to Twitter and began writing. Each week my goal was to write at least three different blogs to share with the world and my colleagues.

Over time, by the end of March, I began looking ahead and thinking about blended/hybrid learning as well as the notion of going back to school in the fall. This prompted me to do more research, which resulted in learning about a concept called the “toggled term.” At the time, it was only being applied to universities for the upcoming school year. Essentially, the “toggled term” relates to schools being physically open at times in addition to physically closing down when COVID-19 cases were found locally at a school. I knew this was likely to be the reality for K-12 schools when we returned to school in the fall of 2020 and knew that this could be our reality for years to come. As a result, I began thinking about instructional and organizational models that can help all K-12 teachers and school leaders navigating this challenge. Thus, the genesis for writing this book came to fruition during the early days of the pandemic through the initial writing and reflecting that I participated in while locked down at home.

My goal from the beginning of writing this book has always been to make a positive impact and make the lives of educators much more flexible, less stressful, and effective. The goal of Navigating the Toggled Term: A Guide for K-12 Classroom and School Leaders is to make this happen through the use of building an online infrastructure to deliver instruction and then incorporating this idea with the Toggled Term Instructional Model and the Coherence Framework, which puts teachers, school leaders, schools, and districts in the position to transition from online learning to hybrid/blended settings seamlessly and continuously without having to reinvent their instructional and organizational models. Additionally, I wanted to show online and blended learning in action and provide mechanisms for selecting, utilizing, and integrating research-based instructional strategies with educational ←xvi | xvii→technology tools that educators can use to amplify student learning in any classroom setting. I also wanted to touch on professional development as a modern 21st-century educator in addition to self-care. As a practicing educator, I wanted to provide strategies to optimize professional learning and ensure educators have a tool kit for self-care to have long careers in the field. Thus, this book aims to help teachers and school leaders read research-based and implementable practices for all grade levels and school settings, digest, and curate, and then take action. Ultimately, the goal is to have a guide in the form of this book to help teachers and school leaders navigate our current world in education and the future of K-12 education.

Ultimately, this book illustrates what our reality looks like in the present and the future of K-12 education. My voice and the voices of teachers and school leaders across North America are reflected in this book. It synthesizes research-based strategies with the real-life experiences of K-12 educators navigating the toggled term. My goal is for K-12 educators to navigate our present using this book and create a foundation for the future of K-12 education with the contents outlined throughout this book. Now, let us navigate the toggled term and beyond to not only amplify learning now but also in the future as the K-12 educational landscape evolves and innovates at an ever-increasing rate.


←xviii | xix→

First, I am grateful for the opportunities over the course of my career in education to experiment and innovate using educational technology within the classroom setting. Thank you to all of the school leaders and colleagues who allowed me to do things within the classroom at the instructional level that were not mainstream at the time. This experimentation and innovation have allowed me to amplify learning for my students in my own classroom as well as provide the foundations for other teachers to do this for their students across North America.


XXII, 256
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2021 (July)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2021. XXII, 256 pp., 20 tables.

Biographical notes

Matthew Rhoads (Author)

Matthew Rhoads, Ed.D., is a practicing Educational Specialist at a secondary school and a University Lecturer on Educational Technology and Teacher Candidate Supervisor in San Diego, California. He received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Concordia University, Irvine. Dr. Rhoads was recognized by San Diego CUE as the 2020 Innovator of the Year for his innovative instructional integrations with technology to amplify student learning. He currently runs a blog on educational technology and instruction and is active on Twitter @mattrhoads1990.


Title: Navigating the Toggled Term