3/06/2013

Working with the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS)

As a part of our spring staff development day, teachers were asked to complete a self-assessment on the International Society for Technology in Education's (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards for teachers.

Educators work with standards on a daily basis. No matter your political opinion on state or federally mandated learning measurements, any measurement of learning across the board can be considered a standard group of measurements. 

ISTE's measurements for teachers are a set of standards for all educators working and living in today's world, and beyond. I was first apprehensive to use ISTE's NETS for Teachers because the general morale around standards in education always seems to carry a negative connotation along with it. As an everyday learner, having both goals and feedback on where you measure on working toward that goal are basic vitals to successful learning. 

With that, the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers are not a group of standards developed by a bureaucracy disconnected from education and what teachers do in a classroom on a daily basis. Just like many of the other content-specific educational organizations, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is an organization made of up of global educators focused on increasing learning through the power of technology (Read more about ISTE here)

Now that the mystery and negative atmosphere around standards have been debunked...

What is the point of ISTE's standards for Teachers? 

To quote ISTE

"ISTE's NETS for Teachers (NETS•T) are the standards for evaluating the skills and knowledge educators need to teach, work, and learn in an increasingly connected global and digital society.
As technology integration continues to increase in our society, it is paramount that teachers possess the skills and behaviors of digital age professionals. Moving forward, teachers must become comfortable being co-learners with their students and colleagues around the world." 
International Society for Technology in Education. NETS For Teachers. From http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers on 3-3-2013. 
While no one can expect teachers who have not worked with these technology standards to speak fluently about them, it IS a basic expectation as an educator to be both reflective on instruction and a continual learner, identifying the ways an individual's technology skills either support or inhibit the role and purpose of an everyday classroom teacher. 

Just as the students in your classrooms grow on a constant basis, so does technology. (This probably won't change any day soon...) 

How does reflecting on educational technology standards for teachers help?? 

It gives educators a standard for measuring and reflecting upon effective educational technology, not simply technology skills for the sake of using tech tools. 

As a district leader, it provides the framework for technology implementation, professional development and staff support into the future. 

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