The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) works to ensure that technology is an integral part of the classroom experience, and also
“strives to ensure that technology improves learning and teaching to help more students achieve their full potential.”
Drawing from the ISTE‘s Educational Technology Standards for Students, The National Statements of Learning for Information and Communication Technologies from MCEETYA – Australia; and the ICT Student Expectations – Queensland Department of Education, my school’s Technology and Media Group drafted an Educational Technology Expectations document which identify
“the knowledge, understanding, ways of working, and skills that we expect students will develop from Nursery to Grade 12 as Educational Technologies are embedded in teaching and learning.”
The ETE’s are described through five main organizers : inquiring, creating, communicating, operating, and ethically using educational technology. Keep in mind that this is in draft form only.
As teachers, we often struggle with time constraints when trying to make sure we have proper “coverage” of the detailed curricula that we are required to teach. A key point that should be made straight away is that this document is not intended to be a technology curriculum. It is a set of expectations designed for use within existing units. In our school, many innovative approaches to learning which incorporate technology already exist; therefore, there are benefits in the documentation of these innovations at each grade level. These ETE’s will:
- create common language around technology and media literacy
- insure articulation from grade level to grade level
- assist teachers when developing, refining, and mapping units of study
Technology is a tool for learning. While some discrete tech skills may need direct teaching, these ETE’s should be embedded within units as part of a mapped curriculum rather than in a 45-minute special “computer” class. The Edutopia article, Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many, drives home this point. Effective tech integration needs to occur across the curriculum in “ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process.” Even though we sometimes need to instruct students in the operation of equipment and the use of applications, the ultimate goal of technology in education is a deeper and wider understanding of the concepts that we are currently teaching.
In looking back over this year, it’s evident to me that we’ve covered many of these ETE’s in the units that my students have completed. For example, my LASS students recently created Book Broadcasts as part of an independent reading program. Using MovieMaker, students were required to create a short movie about their book with the intended audience being potential readers. They were to cover the main characters, the problem in the story, and their personal recommendation. They either created their own content or used Creative Commons to find images and music for their broadcasts. Once we published these to SchoolTube, students then created QR codes which they placed on the physical book. For e-books on our library Kindles, we created a Google document which we shared with our librarian. This code, when read by a free app on a smart phone, will lead potential readers to the student’s video and will provide them with helpful information in deciding whether or not to read the book. This learning activity covers 3 of the 5 organizers in our ETE’s:
- Creating - design and create digital products for personal, class, or community use
- Communicating - incorporate online communication tools into real work situations
- Ethically using - adhere to codes of practice and apply strategies to conform to intellectual property and copyright laws including identifying and acknowledging the owner/creator of digital sources and citing references
These tech standards, or ETE’s, are already integrated into the learning activities within each of our units. The document itself will serve to be a very important resource for teachers as we continue to explore ways of organically incorporating technology as an enrichment tool for student learning.
Graphic Reference : http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-students.aspx