Friday, February 23, 2007

Updated Technology Standards

ImageChef.com - Create custom imagesGreater minds than mine have already begun to deal with the update to the ISTE technology standards but I wanted to process this new information in a way that makes sense to me.

A little background first: my state's technology standards don't even come close to being usable in my opinion and so, for the past 8 years,whenever we talked in my district about technology standards, I always referred to those published by ISTE. The problem, of course, becomes that, as time went by and we gained access to a web based more and more on communication and collaboration, these standards became less and less relevant. So, this morning, I located this new draft and began to think about how it's changed and how that will benefit those of us who might use this document as a reference in conversations with both teachers and administrators.

So...a little comparison is in order~

Verbs used

Old NETS: Words and phrases such as "students use..." and "tools" are prominent implying a focus on learning (possibly) isolated skills

New NETS: The language is related to higher level thinking. Words such as apply, develop, evaluate, transfer are used implying that technology is used beyond just merely learning isolated skills.

Focus

Old NETS: Mostly focused on learning skills to operate tools.

New NETS: Mostly focused on technology as a tool for learning. Brings in work place skills for the 21st century.

Introductory Statement

Old NETS: Refers to the teacher using the document for planning "technology based activities."

New NETS: Refers to the student and what he/she needs to know and be able to do "to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly digital world..."

Bloom's Levels (revised version)

Old NETS: Lowest levels: remembering, understanding, applying

New NETS: Higher levels of thinking, analyzing, evaluating, creating.

Standards Titles

Old NETS:
1. Basic operations and concepts
2. Social, ethical, and human issues
3. Technology productivity tools
4. Technology communication tools
5. Technology research tools
6. Technology problem-solving and decision-making tools

New NETS:
1. Creating and Innovation
2. Communication and Collaboration
3. Research and Information Retrieval
4. Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making
5. Digital Citizenship
6. Technology Operations and Concepts

Although I'm just beginning to process these new standards, overall they seem to be a much better indicator of how technology supports learning than the previous document. This is finally a document that I can point teachers to that is more than "one more thing" they have to do in the classroom. It is simply what our students need to know and be able to do in order to survive in a digital world.

2 comments:

Kim Cofino said...

Just found your blog via Langwiches.

I love this post. Our school is using the old NETS and refuses to update to the new version - even though the old standards are just about 9 years old by now. How can we be preparing our students for the future if we're using 9 year old standards? Our elementary students weren't even born when those standards were adopted!

Thanks for your clear cut comparison - I'll be forwarding it on :)

Diane Quirk said...

Thanks Kim. Good point! My first task on Monday morning is going to be to send both the old and the new to our director of technology and our technicians.