ISTE and the ISTE Technology Standards

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 a 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 are organized in six main categories.

  1. Creativity and innovation
  2. Communication and collaboration
  3. Research and information fluency
  4. Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making
  5. Digital citizenship
  6. Technology operations and concepts

You likely noticed a column for the ISTE Student Standards in the discussion document that we used during Wednesday’s faculty meeting.  I included this column in the document to encourage us to reflect on our technology use in light of the ISTE Standards.  If our technology integration aligns with one or more of the standards, we know we are on the right course.  Although we did not address the ISTE standards on Wednesday, they will be included in future conversations.  Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the ISTE Students Standards in preparation for these discussions.


During the PD afternoon on January 16 PD, the faculty will be taking the School Technology Needs Assessment (STNA).  Students will be taking the student version (STNA-S) this month during Computer Lit classes.

The STNA and STNA-S are intended to determine the collective needs of a school, from the teachers’ and students’ perspectives, related to the use of technology in education settings. The STNA and STNA-S provide information to help planners—administrators, technology and media specialists, and school or technology planning team members—make purchasing, resource allocation, or other decisions relating to technology. They also provide decision makers and policy makers with data to guide building- and district-level decisions about resource allocation, professional development, and school readiness for technology initiatives.

STNA results are not scored or reported for each individual respondent. Instead, each person’s responses are combined with those of other educators in their building, and reported at the school level in terms of how many times each possible response is selected for each item.

Both the faculty and student assessments are taken online, and we will be provided the results shortly after the assessment window closes.  I am anxious to see the results and utilize them as we strive to meet our building technology goals and apply the ISTE Standards to our instructional planning.

If you haven’t submitted your proposal for the speed table discussions on January 16, there is still time.

Mr. Schuler is looking for a few volunteers to provide an instructional video for administration training purposes.  If you are interested in helping out, please contact Mr. Schuler or me.  I will record and process the video, so you don’t have to provide anything except the opportunity to share what is happening in your classroom.

  • The clips will be fairly short, between 5 and 7 minutes generally
  • The clip will need to show evidence of ‘teaching’ (the teacher presenting/talking to the class or a group of students) and ‘learning’ (students responding in some way to what the teacher is saying or demonstrating)
  • We are interested in clips ranging across all grades and subject areas
  • We would like to have at least one clip from each building
  •  We don’t plan to identify the teacher or the students in the clips, and they will only be used for training purposes within the district

Fa</con> Tech, the student technology leadership group here at OTMS, will be hosting student-led professional development during early out Thursday on January 22.  The format will be similar to our speed table discussions on January 16.  Please attend to support our students as they share their knowledge with us.  I will provide more specific information as we get closer to the event.

STNA information from http://www.fi.ncsu.edu/selected-resources/stna/

ISTE Standards · Students
ISTE Standards for Students, Second Edition, ©2007, ISTE® (International Society for
Technology in Education), iste.org. All rights reserved.


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