ISTE Standards for Educators: The Leader (source: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-educators)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 iste.org