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The Next Generation of National Educational Technology Standards Released!
Posted by Kylie McGee on Thursday, September 20, 2007
The Next Generation of National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) Is Released
"There is one thing worse than not being able to see - it's being able to see and having no vision." -Helen Keller
A refreshed edition of the National Educational Technology Standards for Students: The Next Generation (NETS-S) was released this past July. These updated standards - focusing more on skills and expertise and less on tools - set the vision for 21st century learning and were announced during the annual National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) hosted by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) held this summer in Atlanta. The purpose of the updated standards, says ISTE CEO Don Knezek, is to identify "what students should know and be able to do with technology to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly digital world."
First published in 1998 after nearly three years of research and development, the new NETS-S continues to reflect the concerns of a broad range of education stakeholders. In that time, learning needs have evolved drastically, as clearly pointed out by education experts such as Ian Jukes and Marc Prensky, organizations like The Partnership for 21st Century Skills and even Time magazine (see December 2006 feature "How to Bring Schools Out of the 20th Century"). Mastery of core content knowledge is no longer enough. Students must achieve information, media and ICT (information and communication technology) literacy and "portable skills" such as critical and outside-the-box thinking, making connections and learning how to keep on learning if they are to compete in the 21st century. The national technology standards will serve as a roadmap to indoctrinating these skills.
The following outlines the six new standards as compared with the six previous standards of 1998 and indicates how they mapback to those previous standards:
1. Basic Operations and Concepts
2. Social, Ethical and Human Issues
3. Technology Productivity Tools
4. Technology Communications Tools
5. Technology Research Tools
6. Technology Problem-Solving and Decision-MakingTools
1. Creativity and Innovation (new)
2. Communication and Collaboration (4)
3. Research & Information Fluency (5)
4. Critical Thinking,Problem-Solving & Decision-Making (6, 3)
5. Digital Citizenship (2)
6. Technology Operations and Concepts (1)
Each standard is supported by four performance indicators guiding the expectations of students. ISTE's publication of performance indicators and real-world scenarios based on the new standards is due out in September. It will guide practitioners as they utilize technology to support learning in all content areas. One new principle, Creativity and Innovation, has been incorporated into the new standards. This standard addresses the need for students to "demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology." Students must learn to think across disciplines, since that's where most of today's new breakthroughs are made.
The student standards will be followed by an updated NETS for Teachers (NETS-T) in the summer of 2008 and an updated NETS for Administrators (NETS-A) in the summer of 2009. NETS-T was designed to support the understandings teachers should have in using technology in the classroom. These standards support the work of both pre-service and practicing teachers and administrators in technology leadership.
Tennessee technology coordinators contributed to the update process. During the fall of 2006, the Tennessee Educational Technology Association (TETA) established a new committee known as 21st Century Skills. In its first official act, the committee provided materials to each regional group (Eastern TETA, Middle TETA and Western TETA) to guide discussion and gather input on the needs of students in our state. The results were reported to ISTE as part of an international data collection effort and have informed the current standards. TETA looks forward to continued contributions to the update process as a recognized affiliate of ISTE. In addition, TETA is eager to continue the ongoing dialogue with Trina Davis, ISTE president, to support the needs of Tennessee's students and teachers.
Tennessee is one of only 12 states that has not adopted or aligned with the student technology standards in its own state technology certification, licensure, curriculum and assessment plans and other official state documents according to ISTE. However, Tennessee has adopted the NETS standards for teachers and references the administrative standards.
For more information, visit the ISTE website at www.iste.org and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills website at www.21stcenturyskills.org.