When school leaders set out to create a profile of their ideal graduate, many trip up on defining technological literacy and subsequently struggle to select the right edtech to get students there.

One way to simplify this process is by connecting the criteria to your school or district’s computer science (CS), edtech and STEAM initiatives. Start by incorporating CS and STEAM into instruction through classroom projects that also address digital equity and digital citizenship while teaching science, math, ELA and other subjects.

Related content: Redefining “college ready”

Using the four steps below, you can thoughtfully create a profile of a technologically literate graduate.

STEP 1: Have a model and unpack it

Via ISTE, a profile of a technologically-literate graduate

To jump-start the conversation within your school, use your division-wide or statewide profile of a graduate. Many departments of education have developed such profiles that are helpful for educators to review.

First, choose the knowledge and skills that every graduate must have. In my state of Virginia (like many other states), we focus on these four:

  • Content knowledge
  • Workplace skills
  • Community engagement and civic responsibility
  • Career exploration

Since these categories are very broad, you’ll want to describe how they apply specifically to CS and STEAM education. You can start by presenting a model of what a student maker looks like.

About the Author:

Jorge Valenzuela is an ISTE member, an educational coach and a graduate teaching assistant at Old Dominion University. He is the lead coach for Lifelong Learning Defined, a national faculty of the Buck Institute for Education and a national teacher effectiveness coach with the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA). He is also a member of the Lead Educators Team for littleBits. You can connect with Jorge on Twitter @JorgeDoesPBL to continue the conversation.


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