This free Information Age Education Newsletter is written by Dave
Moursund and Bob Sylwester, and produced by Ken Loge. The newsletter is
one component of the Information Age Education project. See http://iae-pedia.org/
and the end of this newsletter. All back issues of this newsletter are
available free online at http://i-a-e.org/iae-newsletter.html.
Common Core State Standards
5: National Educational Technology Standards
David Moursund Emeritus Professor University of Oregon
This is the fifth IAE Newsletter in a sequence that addresses various
issues related to the Common Core State Standards. All back issues of
the IAE Newsletter are available free at http://i-a-e.org/iae-newsletter.html.
International Society for Technology in Education
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), based in
Eugene, OR, is the leading professional society for Computers in
Education in the United States. It began its work on developing
National Educational Technology Standards for PK-12 students in the
In the interest of full disclosure, readers should be aware that I
(David Moursund) founded ISTE in 1979 and headed the organization for
19 years. During this time, ISTE developed its first version of
Standards for Students (ISTE NETS•S, 2007). Dr. Lajeane Thomas of
Louisiana Tech University headed the standards development project.
First introduced in 1998,
the National Educational Technology Standards
(NETS) Project is an ongoing initiative of the International Society
for Technology in Education. In a unique partnership with teachers and
teacher educators, curriculum and education associations, government,
businesses, and private foundations, ISTE has responded to calls for
educational technology standards, curriculum, and tools with its NETS
Project. The primary goal of the NETS Project is to enable stakeholders
in PK–12 education to develop national standards for educational uses
of technology that facilitate school improvement. The NETS Project
works to define standards for students, integrating curriculum,
technology, and standards for student assessment and evaluation of
technology use. Forty-nine of the 50 U.S. states have adopted, adapted,
or referenced ISTE’s NETS in state department of education documents.
Creativity and Innovation:
Using creative thinking and innovative technology the students
demonstrate and develop models and simulations to explore and identify
complex systems and forecast possibilities as well as they use existing
knowledge to generate new ideas and creative thoughts.
Communication and Collaboration:
Students use digital media and environments to collaborate,
communicate, and interact with other students, teachers, and
professionals. They also engage in a cultural and global awareness and
contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.
Research and Information Fluency:
Students apply digital tools to plan, organize, and gather information,
in order to be able to inquire, analyze, organize, and evaluate
Critical Thinking, Problem
Solving, and Decision Making: Students use critical thinking
skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems,
and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and
Students demonstrate personal development to be life long learners
because they are aware of the human, cultural and social issues related
to technology and they practice ethical and legal digital behavior.
Technology Operations and
Concepts: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of
technology concepts, systems, and operations so they are able to
select, transfer, understand and troubleshoot various systems and
applications productively and effectively.
Notice the generality of statements a-f. There is no mention of
specific hardware or software, types of problems to be solved, academic
disciplines, or grade levels. There is little indication of how one
might go about helping students to learn these general concepts or how
student knowledge and skills might be assessed.
The next step was the development of more detailed recommendations for
students in grade levels PK-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. ISTE did this by
giving examples of learning activities suitable for each of the various
grade-level bands. To illustrate, learning activities for grades 6-8
(ages 11-14) are given below. The letters in parentheses indicate the
general categories of each of the activities. Quoting from (ISTE
Grades 6-8 (ages 11-14):
Describe and illustrate a content-related concept or process
model, simulation, or concept-mapping software. (a,b)
Create original animations or videos documenting school,
or local events. (a,b,f)
Gather data, examine patterns, and apply information for decision
making using digital tools and resources. (a,d)
Participate in a cooperative learning project in an online
Evaluate digital resources to determine the credibility of the
and publisher and the timeliness and accuracy of the content. (c)
Employ data-collection technology, such as probes, handheld
and geographic mapping systems, to gather, view, analyze, and report
results for content-related problems. (c,d,f)
Select and use the appropriate tools and digital resources to
accomplish a variety of tasks and to solve problems. (c,d,f)
Use collaborative electronic authoring tools to explore common
curriculum content from multicultural perspectives with other learners.
Integrate a variety of file types to create and illustrate a
or presentation. (a,f)
Independently develop and apply strategies for identifying and
solving routine hardware and software problems. (d,f)
This level of detail is still loaded with implementation difficulties
for curriculum developers. You can gain some insight into this by
examining one section: d. Critical
Thinking, Problem Solving, and
Decision Making from each of the grade-level bands. Here are the
recommended standards in two grade-level bands.
Grades PK-2: d.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
Identify, research, and collect data on an environmental issue
digital resources and propose a developmentally appropriate solution.
Use simulations and graphical organizers to explore and depict
patterns of growth, such as the life cycles of plants and animals.
Independently apply digital tools and resources to address a
of tasks and problems.
Grades 3-5: d. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
Produce a media-rich digital story about a significant local
based on first-person interviews.
Recognize bias in digital resources while researching an
environmental issue with guidance from the teacher.
Select and apply digital tools to collect, organize, and analyze
to evaluate theories or test hypotheses.
Conduct science experiments using digital instruments and
Conceptualize, guide, and manage individual or group learning
projects using digital planning tools with teacher support.
Apply previous knowledge of digital technology operations to
and solve current hardware and software problems.
These standards for students also illustrate the depth and breadth of
ICT knowledge and skills that their teachers need to have in order to
effectively implement the problem-solving component of NETS•S.
ISTE has published a number of books that provide considerably more
detail about the NETS for students and about the knowledge and skills
teachers must develop to implement these standards (ISTE, 2012).
From the very beginning of the ISTE Standards project, there was
full awareness of the staff development needed to enable teachers to
comfortably implement the ISTE Standards. The U.S. Department of
Education recognized these difficulties. Beginning in 1999, the
Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology program provided
one-year start up grants and three-year implementation grants to
hundreds of teacher education programs across the U.S. See http://www2.ed.gov/programs/teachtech/index.html.
For years, ISTE has included a strong focus on teacher education in its
annual conference sessions, workshops, and webinars. In addition, ISTE
has developed National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) and
supportive materials for educators:
NETS for Teachers: The standards for evaluating the skills and
knowledge educators need to teach, work, and learn in an increasingly
connected global and digital society.
NETS for Administrators: The standards for evaluating the skills
and knowledge school administrators and leaders need to support digital
age learning, implement technology, and transform the instruction
NETS for Coaches: The skills and knowledge technology coaches need to support peers in becoming digital educators.
NETS for Computer Science Educators: The skills and knowledge
that computer science educators need to reach, inspire, and teach
students in computing. See http://www.iste.org/STANDARDS.
ICTing Across the Curriculum remains a challenging and fast
moving target. Our current educational system is not designed to deal
with the pace of change that ICT brings to our students’ world of
schooling, work, play, and learning to become a responsible adult
The strong and forward-looking leadership of ISTE’s work in this field
has been insightful and helpful. However, the challenge far transcends
what one professional society can do alone. The professional
association(s) of each academic discipline must fully accept the need
to educate its practitioners in the uses of ICT to help students both
to represent and to learn to solve the problems and accomplish the
tasks that define their discipline. The school curriculum in each
discipline area needs to fully integrate ICT into the content, teaching
processes, and assessment of their discipline.
In this context, CCSS must carefully evaluate the rapidly changing
nature, abilities, and interests of today’s students who have grown up
in an ICT-rich environment. Their approaches to communication,
entertainment, learning, and problem solving are vastly different from
those of their teachers and parents. See http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/
a-new-kind-of-learner.html. We as educators must be fully aware of, and prepared to adapt education in response to, these differences.
David Moursund earned his doctorate in mathematics from the University
of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught in the Mathematics Department and
Computing Center at Michigan State University for four years before
joining the faculty at the University of Oregon. See his vita at see http://iae-pedia.org/David_Moursund.
few highlights of his professional career include founding the
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), serving as
ISTE's executive officer for 19 years, and establishing ISTE's flagship
publication, Learning and Leading
He was a major professor or co-major professor of 82 doctoral students.
He has authored or coauthored more than 60 academic books and hundreds
of articles. Many of these books are available free online. See http://iae-pedia.org/David_Moursund_Books.
He has presented hundreds of professional talks and workshops.
We are using the Disqus commenting system to facilitate comments and
discussions pertaining to this newsletter. To use Disqus, please
click the Login link below and sign in.
If you have
questions about how to use Disqus, please refer to this help
Readers may also send comments via email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Information Age Education,
Information Age Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to
improving education for learners of all ages throughout the world.
Current IAE activities include a Wiki with address http://IAE-pedia.org,
a Website containing free books and articles at http://I-A-E.org, a Blog
and the free newsletter you are now reading.
For a free subscription to this twice a month newsletter and to see
back issues, go to http://i-a-e.org/iae-newsletter.html.
You can change your address or cancel your subscription by clicking on
“Manage your Subscription” link at the bottom of this message.