Thursday, December 1, 2011

What are NETS?

I am deep in burn-out mode right now.  Work, travel, write - a never ending cycle.  I am feeling a little stressed and some serious writers block, so naturally it makes complete sense to write my blog!

Anyway, the writing I am doing (Ch. 2 of my dissertation proposal, so the literature review) has me reading lots of research and such on professional development and tech integration, and I have just refreshed my memory on the NETS (National Education Technology Standards, 2008).  With so much press about technology and education, things such as iPads in the classroom, one-to-one initiatives and online courses, technology standards are something I think should be revisited by school districts and teachers, especially before making any decisions about what technologies to purchase/use in classrooms.  The hype around how technology can save education and what are the latest and greatest apps and technology gadgets I think blind us to what the purpose of education technology should do -help improve education practices and student learning. I think a lot of people have forgotten about the standards - I know I had.

There are NET's for students, teachers and administrators, but since I am focused on professional development for teachers, it is the teacher's standards that I am most interested in at this point. In reading them, it brings home to me how far we still need to go to be even close to proficient with truly integrating technology into instructional practice. I list just the basics here to refresh YOUR memory - you can read the details of each at ISTE's site:

1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments.

2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS•S.

3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society. 

4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices.

5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources

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