ISTE: What is it? What are the standards? How does this relate to me as an educator?

I honestly admit I wasn’t aware of the organization called ISTE before I started this project.  I had no idea what it was and how it related to me as a future educator.  I began by reading through the ISTE website to gain the majority of my information.  After reading through the history of ISTE I found it to be very interesting.

It began nearly 40 years ago with a group of educators from Oregon having a backyard barbeque.  They began to discuss the potential of educational technology and its ability to change the way students learned.  After collaborating with numerous educators from around the world and from various educational backgrounds, the nonprofit organization, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) was developed.  This was the beginning of a system in which educators provide their students with the technological tools so that the students can collaborate and problem-solve with their peers. As ISTE stated in an online video clip, “[they] are the nexus between technology and education.”

So how would a teacher know how to implement this style or system of learning?  ISTE has developed sets of standards for educators which provide guidelines outlining the skills and teaching practices necessary to flourish in the digital age.  I will be analyzing the teachers’ standards as well as assessing my own skills in each of the standards.  Click here for the complete list of ISTE’s teacher standards.

There are five standards for teachers:

  • Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity. This standard requires the teacher to utilize their knowledge in the subject matter, teaching practices and of course technology to promote student creativity.  The teacher should be able to model and inspire the students so that they can assess real world issues and utilize technology in a variety of forms to learn and problem solve.  After reading this standard I felt pretty confident that I am on the lower end of the spectrum in regards to how skilled I am.  On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being low and ten being high, I gave myself a 2.  I think I can being interesting and engaging towards the students but I look at the technology aspect and I’m a little hesitant to give myself a higher score.
  • Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments. This standard looks at the design and development of the learning experiences that boost student learning.  The learning experiences should be designed to fit the individual’s style of learning and ability to use the technological tools.  Once again, I gave myself a low score of 2.  I do like the idea of customizing the learning plan based on the student’s abilities.  However, when it comes to my skills in this particular area I lack the knowledge of creating such experiences and assessing students’ progress.
  • Model Digital Age Work and Learning. This standard was fairly easy to interpret.  The teacher is expected to have knowledge in the technology tools, utilize the tools, and model the tools for students, peers, parents and the community.  Teachers should embrace the current technology as well as the newest technology available.  After reading this standard, I couldn’t question my score of 1.  I could be a little harsh on myself, but I know that I am not computer savvy or technology literate.  I will definitely have to familiarize myself with as many tools as I can and gain an abundance of confidence in order to score higher.
  • Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility. Again another standard that I found to be pretty clear in its purpose. Teachers are expected to model and encourage good behavior in regards to digital technology.  This includes behavior related to communication with others and also the responsibility associated with documenting sources and crediting individuals for their work.  I gave myself a score of 8 on this standard.  I feel I might be missing something but I have confidence in my own personal digital etiquette right now.  I feel I model good behavior and I can see that translating easily to the students in this respect.
  • Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership. This standard requires teachers to actively engage in professional growth, meaning continue their education of technology.  Teachers should know what new tools and resources are being developed and also how to implement them for their students.  This standard is stating that teachers are lifelong learners.  As of right now I gave myself a score of 2 because I do not participate in events such as conventions or workshops.  But I do find it interesting and of course I would like to further my knowledge in this area.  Technology is not going anywhere, it is here to stay.

As you can see I didn’t score my skills very high on the scale of 1-10. I do have a lot to learn, but I am hopeful that with technology and all the tools available that I can succeed in modeling and applying the ISTE standards.  My question to you is:  How do you score yourself in each of the five standards?