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?


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

  1. Hi Jeanette,
    I used a slightly different scoring rubric. I rated myself as unprepared on standards 1 and 3. I rated myself as slightly prepared to implement standard 2. I considered myself prepared to meet standards 4 and 5. I like how you explained your rankings. Using a number system I would give myself a 5/10 on standards 1 and 3 a 6/10 in standard 2 and 8/10 on standards 4 and 5. Here’s a link talking about why technology is important and why we need to meet these standards.


  2. Janette,
    Love your pictures, thanks for sharing!
    I rated myself pretty low on all of the standards, but that was a few weeks ago! After just 4 weeks of EDUC 422 class I feel that I have already gained a lot of knowledge of tech tools and how they can be used in the classroom. Its also comforting to know that I am not the only functioning adult that isn’t a tech whiz. Since your are such an outdoors person, I thought you might be interested in the Beetles Project. BEETLES stands for Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning, and Expertise Sharing. They have some great ideas on how to become a better educator and it can be applied in or out of the classroom. Enjoy!


  3. Hi Janette,
    I also was told many times by friends and family I should pursue teaching before having my aha-moment. Though my hold up was I felt I was never good at explaining things. Now I am eagerly awaiting the moment I am standing in front of my own class.
    My scoring was high in the first and fourth standards. I feel confident in my creative ability and believe I will be able to create fun opportunities to learn with technology. I also have been a responsible member of the online community so I can be a good role model of digital citizenship. However, the second, third, and fifth standard are my weak points. Primarily because I am limited in my knowledge of a variety of digital tools. That is changing with this class and hope I will score much higher at the end.
    I found a list of ways to put technology in the classroom. It includes ways for students to interact with tech, but also some ways to make a more effective teacher.



  4. Hi Janette,

    Great Blog and ISTE information. I am also new to these tech standards, but definitely see the benefit of having these for responsible and ethical use of technology as an educator. I’d rate myself 6 out of 10. I feel comfortable using tech tools to promote education, but still learning new and creative ways to engage my students in the digital world. I’m very excited to learn about Twitter for professional growth and development. I didn’t know Twitter had such a large education community. Knowing these ISTE standards will help me navigate these new tech platforms with professionalism 🙂

    I also found an article for promoting responsible and ethical use of technology in classrooms you might enjoy.

    Good luck on your educational path!


  5. Hi Jenette, you did a great job outlining each of the ISTE standards. I also feel that I have a lot to learn in terms of technological skills and how to use the skills I will develop in the classroom. For facilitating and inspiring student learning and creativity I would rate myself at a 4/10. I am a pretty creative person and I, myself, am extremely passionate about education. I love school and I hope to inspire my future students but I am still learning how to do that as a teacher. For designing and developing digital-age learning experiences and assessments I would rate myself a 2/10. Despite being a millennial, I am still not very technologically savvy. For modelling digital age work and learning I would give myself a 2/10 for the same reason. For promoting and modeling digital citizenship and responsibility I would rate myself at a 7/10. I am rating myself highly on this particular standard because I feel like growing up I was always told how important it is to be appropriate on the internet. I have made all of my social media accounts very appropriate and I always make sure to think of future employers or family members looking at my accounts. For engaging in professional growth and leadership I would rate myself 5/10 because I do feel like I have good leadership qualities. I am still learning about professional growth in my own life so I think I need more experience with that before I will really be able to teach my students how to grow in the professional world.

    Here is a link that talks a little bit more about the ISTE standards that you might find interesting!


  6. Hi Jenette,

    I loved reading your bio. I want to hike the John Muir Trail as well. Maybe I’ll see you out there!

    As for your question, here is what I have: Inspiring Student Learning, I gave myself a 7. I think I have a pretty good handle on technology and the better understanding, the more you can teach it to others and show them all of the uses one can get! I’m sure there are some parts to this that I am not thinking of, but a 7 will do. Design and Develop I gave myself a 2. I find it extremely hard to find the best way to design an assessment. Model the Digital Age, 9. Teaching technology sound very fun to me. It’s fun to see how excited people get when they learn how to work something they didn’t know before. Promote Digital Citizenship, 6. Like you said, I am not sure about etiquette, but I’m anti-cyberbully so I can get some points across. Engaging in Professional Growth, 9. Learning is one of amy favorite things in the world. I am on youtube all of the time learning new apps or programs.


  7. Hi Jenette. I really like your openness and information you gave us. It really helps to see where others are in their understanding of things of this caliber. So to be honest on a scale of 1-10 10 being best or most comfortable I feel I lay between a 6-8 on everything. When it comes to technology i feel very comfortable using it. This is because in my day job I am always using computers and machines and I am a very quick learner with that type of stuff. Here is a link to help us learn how to use technology in our future endeavors.


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