Browse Month: November 2015

Back to Basics: ISTE Student Standards 3

The third ISTE Student Standard focuses on Research and Information Fluency. There are multiple methods and tools available to facilitate assignments and projects that require students to “apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.”  ASCD recently published the article Research Untethered  that addresses multiple phases of the research process and how mobile devices can be used to support inquiry.  Rather than start my own list of resources, Mrs. McDaniel has already curated many digital resources and tools in the OTMS Library HomeDoc including access information for EBSCO Host and a link to the OTMS Research Home Doc.  Mid-Continent Public Library also provides many research databases that provide reviewed research material.  These are valuable guides for locating digital resources that are available to OTMS staff and students.  Edudemic recently published an article with suggestions to help students become better online researchers.  If you are looking for a few alternatives to the traditional research paper, there are few ideas shared in this blog post.

Standard 3 also addresses the necessary evaluation skills that should be applied to each source a student finds through their research.  For some ideas on teaching critical evaluation skills, here are a few resources.

EasyBib — All seventh and eighth grade students have the EasyBib Chrome Extension installed in Chrome.  There is also an EasyBib Add-on for Google Docs that works with your research document.  EasyBib allows students to quickly cite a variety of sources to create a bibliography that can be copied and pasted into Google Docs.  EasyBib also supports login with Google, so that students do not have to create an account or remember an additional password.

Mel and I are looking forward to hosting the second annual EdTech Chef Challenge on January 4 when we return from the semester break. To help you prepare for the event, I’ve compiled the  resources above. I also spent some time this week compiling the scores from the Player Motivation Survey we took on November 13. Mel and I will use the results from the Player Motivation Survey to form groups after we receive your content standards (due December 1). In the meantime, I will share a summary of the results listing the average scores for each of the six Motivation Types. Although averages don’t convey a complete picture, this gives you a broad snapshot of how the faculty scored as a whole.

Player Type Averages

OpenEd and ISTE Student Standards 2

OpenEd is a directory of open educational resources (free) that can be browsed or searched by standards, grade level, or keyword.  This could save some time searching the web for quality resources since they have already curated many videos, assessments, and activities into one place.  OpenEd recently added the ability to share the resources indexed through the site with Google Classroom.  When you find a resource you want to share with a class, click the Classroom link at the top of the resource listing and a window will open giving you the option to create an announcement or assignment and select which class you want to receive a link to this resource.  You will then have the ability to title the announcement and assignment and include any instructions before posting to Classroom.

I am sharing the article Know the ISTE Standards for Students, Standard 2: Communication and Collaboration in preparation for the EdTech Chef Challenge on January 4, 2016.  Don’t forget to submit your content standards to Mel by December 1.

Back To Basics: ISTE Standards for Students

What does effective technology integration look like?  Am I integrating technology appropriately?  How can I tell if elements of a lesson employ technology beyond replacement?  What is the next step I should take when implementing technology?  Will I know transformation when I see it?

These are some of the questions that come to my mind when I strive to be specific about instructional technology.  While attempting to answer these questions, it is easy to become quickly inundated with sources, opinions, examples, lesson plans, and philosophies–some of which do not always agree.  One of the best sources I have found as a starting place to answer these questions is the ISTE Student Standards.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) “serves educators around the world through professional development, advocacy, and the creation of standards for teachers, administrators, coaches, and students.”  The ISTE Standards are not meant to be an evaluation tool, but rather a source of guidance when asking the question “Am I effectively integrating technology into instruction?”  Think of the Standards as a compass that can help keep us on the correct instructional course, rather than a stopwatch that enforces deadlines and specific requirements.  As we strive to move beyond using technology for only replacement purposes, the ISTE Standards can serve as a guide to advancing our technology integration to the next level.

“The ISTE Student Standards describe the skills and knowledge [students] need to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly global and digital society.”¹ The Standards are organized into six broad categories, with sub-standards in each group.  You can view the Standards on the ISTE website along with other supporting material including the ISTE Standards Student Profiles (the link is on the left column).  These profiles contain a few sample activities that illustrate the Standards across grades PK-12.

The Standards are focused on student knowledge and skills rather than specific technology tools.  Due to this careful planning, the Standards do not become dated as hardware and software are replaced.  The Standards are also broadly written to facilitate teacher independence and freedom.  If you are reading through the Standards for the first time, you will quickly realize that the Standards can be met through a wide variety of activities, projects, and technology tools.  You are likely already meeting many of the Standards through the activities and projects you currently facilitate in your classroom.