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Technology Standards for Teachers – pt.1

28 Sep

As an educational technology facilitator, I truly appreciate that work that ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) has accomplished in regards to standards for the integration of technology in schools. I am specifically referring to the ISTE NETS*T (National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers) in this article. Over the next while I shall write about the other four standards, so watch for them!

Before diving into the subject, let’s do a self-evaluation. What do you know about technology integration in the classroom? What do you want to be able to do? Understanding where you ARE right now is an important step to furthering your progress in unraveling the NETS*T.

The first standard is “Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity”

Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments. Teachers:

a. promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness.
b. engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.
c. promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes.
d. model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments.

(Excerpted from http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_for_Teachers_2008.htm )

Let’s break it down a bit.

In regards to (a), our school division is in the midst of the second year work on Critical Thinking with support from TC2 – Critical Thinking Consortium. Teachers are starting to see how they ARE already doing well in this standard and where they need to tweak an activity/lesson/unit.

With (b) the opportunities to connect in real-world issues are endless. For example, we have an upcoming municipal election and our schools have been challenged to work on the project In Pursuit of Excellence! This activity walks students through the process of selecting and voting for a candidate for an Alberta Order of Excellence award.  Other schools have established video conferencing connections through our own http://www.2Learn.ca opportunities and yet others have worked on exchanging their learning through the use of Voicethread and some great examples from K-12 schools can be found on this wiki started by @ccassinelli.

For (c) collaboration has come in small groups, large groups, offline and in online ways. Below is a listing of some of the online ways our students, teachers, administrators and parents have worked online simultaneously:

In regards to (d), modeling collaborative knowledge construction can be a scary step for teachers. No longer are they “the experts” in the field. It is key to show them that there are excellent ways to engage students with outside sources that are meaningful and authentic.

Take time to review standard one, pre-assess (if you haven’t yet), where you are and then try ONE thing and ANOTHER and soon you will realize that you are showcasing learning in a variety of ways. For further inspiration I have included some of the great TED Talks on creativity. Enjoy!

Please share how you are engaging your students, yourself and even others in this first standard. It is always great to hear from others and pass on the exciting things happening in and out of the classroom.

Image – http://www.weblo.com/asset_images/large/creativity.com_479f886238782.jpg

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