Saturday, December 30, 2017

ISTE Standards for Educators: The Citizen

ISTE Standards for Educators: The Citizen (source:

What is a citizen? According to, a citizen is, "a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection." By definition, the term citizen implies action; it is not a passive but an active role in a community. A citizen receives the benefits of a community, but also owes allegiance, or loyalty and commitment, to the community.

According to the ISTE Standards for Educators, an educator, as a citizen of the educational community. should inspire students to positively contribute to and responsibly participate in the digital world. Educators:

3a Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.

3b Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.

3c Mentor students in safe, legal and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property.

3d Model and promote management of personal data and digital identity and protect student data privacy.

3a Create experiences for learners
This ISTE standard requires educators to create experiences that engage learners and permit them to contribute to the body of knowledge and other resources available publicly, and also privately, in a safe and positive manner. As specified in the definition of citizen, learners are expected to take an active a role as members of the educational community. They are not to be only observers. The educator is required to offer learners the training, guidance, and opportunity to become full citizens of the educational community through their original works. These could be any form of intellectual property such as poetry and prose, music and lyric, video, or even counseling, tutoring, and fundraising.

There are two more parts to creating this learning environment. In additional to making "positive, socially responsible contributions," learners are to "exhibit empathetic behavior online that build[s] relationships and community." This standard requires much more than an educator throwing a lesson together and presenting it to students. It requires that an educator know what is appropriate for the learning environment, research appropriate tools, develop meaningful assignments, monitor learner activities, and more.

I imagine this is overwhelming to one looking at all of this for the first time. Remember, none of us is working alone. There are numerous resources that can be drawn on to get started. No one needs to reinvent the wheel to meet this standard. If you are feeling lost, join a PLN or a Facebook group that encourages student-centered learning in the digital age. Many teachers and organizations publish blogs with creative ideas for projects and other assessments that meet the ISTE Teacher and Learner standards. Some educational organizations publish state standards for education online and include curriculum-based project ideas you can reference.

3b Establish a learning culture
The learning environment is no longer teacher-driven. As I like to say to my students, education is not a spectator sport; you must participate, and what you receive from your education is directly impacted by what you put into it. There is not enough room for creativity in a teacher-driven system. Learners must have the opportunity to explore in order to feed their curiosity.

A large part of achieving this standard requires that students have an opportunity for self-reflection. They need to not only be trained to determine the validity and reliability of the information they are looking at, but also how their own personal bias might impact how they receive it. Media fluency requires that learners develop the skills necessary to "interpret large amounts of complex information in multiple formats and communicate and share across various media formats."

Providing a digital and information literacy program that begins at the kindergarten level will help learners develop these skills, but many of our young people have not had any training in evaluating information sources. Today's educator must find a way to help learners develop these skills so that they can become productive citizens of the digital age.

3c Mentor students
Mentoring may be a new concept for a lot of us. It requires that we listen to and observe each learner to determine what their individual needs are, and do our best to meet those needs within the learning environment. Everyone learns differently so the teacher-centered approach will not fit here as a citizen of the learning community. Student must be given opportunities to share and to help other learners.

Learning environments should be based on "safe, legal, and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property." Today's learners must be aware of the laws and usage opportunities afforded them under current copyright laws and Creative Commons licensing. They should also understand what it means to violate these rules.

3d Model and promote smart practices
Modeling is something that educators do every day. Modeling according to the ISTE citizenship standard sets the bar higher than some educators might be used to but it necessary for today's learners. The first aspect requires that "Educators engage in these best practices themselves; bring transparency to them with colleagues, parents, students, and other stakeholders; and promote them among students colleagues and stakeholders." Educators are in the public eye, and what we do may impact how others behave. It is important that educators demonstrate best practices in citizenship in and out of the classroom and in social media.

Another aspect of this standard is protecting student data. Educators model this by password protecting their own data and not sharing personal information. Educators also need to be aware of who is present when they are discussing issues related to student academics or behaviors. Student work should not be shared without specific permission; demonstrate to learners proper methods of presenting intellectual property that belongs to others.

·        Creative Commons licensing
· citizen
·        Digital Citizenship
·        Educators as mentors
·        Student centered learning resources
o   Edutopia: Student-Centered Learning Environments: How and Why
o   Pinterest

o   Teachhub: Top 12 Student-Centered Lessons for All Grades

ISTE Standards for Educators: The Collaborator

ISTE Standards for Educators: The Collaborator (source:

Educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems. Educators:
·        4a Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.
·        4b Collaborate and co-learn with students to discover and use new digital resources and diagnose and troubleshoot technology issues.
·        4c Use collaborative tools to expand students' authentic, real-world learning experiences by engaging virtually with experts, teams and students, locally and globally.
·        4d Demonstrate cultural competency when communicating with students, parents and colleagues and interact with them as co-collaborators in student learning.

4a Dedicate planning time
Anyone who works in education knows that prioritizing is a must. In order to meet the standard as a Collaborator, time must be set aside for collaboration. Find a way to collaborate regularly with others who can add to your educational portfolio. There are many PLNs who focus on just this sort of thing.

4b Collaborate and co-learn
One thing that greatly improves the educational experience for a young person is an opportunity to give within the learning environment. So much of traditional education is based on getting. For example, you “get passing grades” to move from 5th grade to 6th grade. You “get a high school education” to get into college. You “get a college degree” to get a job. Our students also have a lot to give, and they will give freely when they have an opportunity to do so.

When using technology, students need to be given time to explore and to make mistakes. Many of us learn a great deal through the mistakes we make. In a testing environment, everything is either “right” or “wrong.” In an exploratory environment, nothing is wrong. When a student has taken a different turn, they can turn around, come back, and try again.  

4c Use collaborative tools
Today’s technology makes it possible to coordinate with educators and others in your field all over the world. Students will be more engaged learning experiences are authentic -- relevant to their personal experiences. has some good resources to get you started with connecting your students with others around the world. There are many others to explore as well.  

4d Demonstrate cultural competency
“Cultural competence is the ability to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with people across cultures. Cultural competence encompasses: being aware of one's own world view, developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences, [and] gaining knowledge of different cultural practices and world views.” See more at

Understanding the cultural background of other people and their point of view leads to tolerance. When all stakeholders can take part in a child’s education, everyone benefits. Many educators find that understanding their students’ cultural backgrounds and incorporating them into regular educational activities creates a richer educational experience.

·        ISTE Standards for Educators

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

ISTE Standards for Educators : The Leader

ISTE Standards for Educators: The Leader (source:

Educators seek out opportunities for leadership to support student empowerment and success and to improve teaching and learning. Educators:
  • 2a Shape, advance and accelerate a shared vision for empowered learning with technology by engaging with education stakeholders.
  • 2b Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
  • 2c Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation and adoption of new digital resources and tools for learning.
2a Shape, advance and accelerate a shared vision for empowered learning.
The few words in this statement say a great deal. I would like to start with shared vision. They say it takes a village to raise a child; it also takes a holistic education system to educate a child. If we all follow different visions of what education looks like, we would provide a disjointed system of education in which students may become frustrated and confused. When we all share a vision and impart this vision to our students and all education stakeholders, the path to educational accomplishment is simplified and everyone gains.

Shape implies that this vision has a form; it is shaped through the knowledge and experience of educational leaders and must take all stakeholders into account. Advance and accelerate indicate that we must not wait but most make this shared vision a reality.

Empowered learning is the path that will lead to the educational accomplishment we all envision for our students. I often tell my students that education is not a spectator sport, that they must participate in order to gain from the experience. Empowering students as equal partners in education gets their attention and helps to motivate them. Through technology, student empowerment and engagement can move beyond the classroom where there are no limits to educational growth.

 2b Advocate for equitable access

Equitable access is a grand idea though it may be the most difficult to achieve. Access to technology, digital content, and learning opportunities requires money be budgeted and spent. It is difficult to justify setting up a computer lab when the food pantries are empty. I do not know what the answer is for this. I am fortunate to live somewhere that access to technology is readily available to all for free at local libraries. Many are not so fortunate. There are wonderful programs such as the One Laptop per Child initiatives, but it will be a long time before this vision is realized.

Internet access is another tool that many take for granted, but is considered an unnecessary luxury to others. In many industrialized nations, Internet access is provided through infrastructure established and maintained by the government. In other countries, Internet access is privatized and offered for-profit to willing subscribers. Net neutrality laws may make access even more difficult for some.

2c Model for colleagues

Objective 2c is directly tied in with 2a. Modeling is one of the best ways for us to share the vision for empowered learning. I believe it is one's responsibility to share tools and techniques that lead to academic success for students. It can be difficult with our busy schedules to make time to help others. But as the overall goal is to empower today's learners, withholding knowledge or information that would help achieve that goal undermines the entire education system.

There are many resources available already through the World Wide Web, so if there is something you would like to share, you may find someone else has already done it. Workshops and Webcasts are available for free, and for pay, all around the world.

·         ISTE Professional Learning Networks at