Tuesday, January 30, 2007

ISTE and NETS: Should be called iETS or GETS?

You may be interested to explore the
Draft of refreshed NETS for students by the International Society for Technology in Education.

This is a working document detailing "What students should know and be able to do to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly digital world..."

On the NETS refresh Project page it states:
"The collective wisdom of the educational technology community is necessary to help ISTE maintain the NETS for Students and associated resources as fresh and meaningful guides for leadership and innovation in the use of technology. Please add your voice and expertise to the NETS•S Refresh Forums."

YOU are invited to contribute to their online survey to have input into what the National Educational Technology Standards should look like.

What are the new NETS?

I: Creativity and Innovation (new)
Students think creatively, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products using technology.
II: Communication and Collaboration (based on old NETS 4)
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
III: Research and Information Retrieval (5)
Students access, retrieve, manage, and evaluate information using digital tools.
IV: Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making (6, 3)
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems and make informed decisions using appropriate technology tools.
V: Digital Citizenship (2)
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.
VI: Technology Operations and Concepts (1, 3)
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.

I just completed the survey about each point and contributed a couple of ideas for rewording. I am impressed with the idea to highlight creativity and innovation but think that more emphasis should be given to what the outcome is. Creativity is a powerful force that can be used to improve the way we learn, the way we live, the way we communicate. What are the local and/or global outcomes of a student's creativity and innovation? Can a statement that comes towards raising awareness of output and consequences be included in this document as part of the first standard?

The online survey, however, offered no opportunity to contribute a new name for the standards! Why are they still being called 'N' (National) ETS?? Let's really put the 'I' into ISTE and take the opportunity to break away from US-centric nationalism and create a truly global and useful set of standards that can be adopted internationally.

My humble suggestions include:
  • iETS, International Educational Technology Standards (doesn't role off the tongue so easily and may be confused with a new gadget ;-)).
  • GETS, Global Educational Technology Standards...lets 'GET' them
  • iLDS, International Literacy and Digital Standards (??)
What do you think? How can ISTE best cater for all of its members and educational technology initiatives on a global basis? How does the NETS refresh come towards doing this? or does it still have a long way to go? Have you already completed the online survey? What did you say?

As a member of the International Committee for ISTE I am very interested in what you (as an ISTE member or as a person working in education reading this blog) has to say.

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