Schools looking for a framework to help guide their teachers’ use of technology in the classroom have a new resource at their disposal: The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has issued new technology standards for teachers.
Unveiled June 30 at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in San Antonio, ISTE’s revised National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Teachers mark a significant overhaul of the group’s original teacher technology standards, which ISTE introduced in 2000.
Those first standards focused on what teachers should know about, and be able to do with, technology. The new standards expand this focus to include what teachers should know and be able to do “to promote students’ abilities to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly digital world.”
“We’ve got to have teachers prepared to prepare today’s students for the challenges of a new digital world,” explained ISTE Chief Executive Officer Don Knezek at the launch of the new framework.
The original teacher standards included categories such as “technology operations and concepts.” For the revised standards, “we began with the assumption this time that every teacher recognizes the importance of technology and how it can transform teaching and learning,” said Lajeane Thomas, chair of ISTE’s standards committee and director of the NETS project.
The “NETS for Teachers, Second Edition” includes five categories, each with its own set of performance indicators: (1) Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity, (2) Design and develop digital-age learning experiences and assessments, (3) Model digital-age work and learning, (4) Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility, and (5) Engage in professional growth and leadership.
Under the category “facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity,” for example, there are four performance indicators: (1) Promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking, (2) Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources, (3) promote student reflection using collaborative tools, and (4) model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students.
For every performance indicator within each category, ISTE has included a rubric that describes what meeting the standard would look like at four levels of proficiency: beginning, developing, proficient, and transformative.