(Day 8 #30DC14) Have you ever thought about how you facilitate digital age skills into your lessons?  The ISTE Standards were created to help guide educators in digital age skills that integrate technology into everyday learning.   ISTE Standards formerly known as the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) have been around in some form since 1998.  They have been modified over the years, including a change in name, but the core purpose of the standards remains the same.

Today’s students are expected to be able to do more than just use technological tools.  They are expected to be able to utilize technology to analyze, learn, explore, create and share their experiences with others in a globally connected world.  While technology is interwoven into many states and common core standards, many teachers and administrators fail to see the direct correlation between the two.  ISTE Standards are basic and help guide instruction to incorporate digital integration into any state or common core standard that you are teaching in class.  Let’s take a look at some of the standards and resources for implementing them.

Getting Started

There are ISTE Standards for Students, but there are also standards for teachers, administrators, coaches, and computer science educators.  I have created links for each set of standards below.

The basic student standards are here, but I would obviously encourage you to look at and work toward implementing the standards for your position in your professional learning goals.

ISTE Standards for Students

  1. Creativity and Innovation
    • Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
  2. Communication and Collaboration
    • 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.
  3. Research and Information Fluency
    • Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
  4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
    • Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
  5. Digital Citizenship
    • Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.
  6. Technology Operations and Concepts
    • Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technological concepts, systems, and operations.

Within each standard, there are additional indicators.  you can find those in the links below as well as the Profiles for Technology (ICT) Literate Students.  The profiles give indicators of achievement for ISTE Standard implementations at grades PK-2, grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12.

Additional Resources

Suggestions for Use

  • Analyze your current lessons and make sure you are integrating at least one ISTE standard in each lesson/unit
  • Look at the age-appropriate Profiles for Technology (ICT) Literate Students for indicators of ISTE standards to your lessons
  • Share the ISTE standards you are applying to your lessons with your students and in your lesson plans
  • If you are an Admin, Coach, or Computer Science Teacher, share the standards you are working on professionally with others

Why It Matters (Teaching Rubric)

Effective standards-based lessons are key to successful teaching.  Including the ISTE Standards into your instructional plans evidence support to address individual student needs in regards to digital learning and help increase student engagement. Consistently implementing these standards will also help prepare content that is integrated across content areas and other lessons/units (Effective Lesson Design: essential competency 1.1).  Scaffolding ISTE Standards into Standards-Based Instructional Goals and Learning Outcomes (essential competency 1.2) lead to a mastery of academic and digital standards alike, preparing our students for the digital world ahead of them.


Your challenge today is to review the ISTE standards for students and for your position (teacher, administrator, coach, etc..). Reflect on the current lesson/unit you are working on with your students/teachers. If you are currently using ISTE Standards, explain to the group which ones you are incorporating into the lesson/unit. If you aren’t currently utilizing these standards, which ones could you implement the next time you teach the same lesson/unit.

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  1. As I read through the ISTE standards for both students and teachers, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I am incorporating most of the standards in my lesson throughout the year. For example, next week my students will be creating trading cards of the Explorers from our unit as a way to research and collaborate. They will use both the Trading Cards app and Google Docs as they do this. I did feel like in the teacher standards that I can definitely use some work with regards to peer collaboration. I don’t always feel comfortable with asking for help or ideas from my colleagues, only because I don’t want to look needy or uninformed. My district provides large amounts of ongoing PD for technology, so I feel like we have built a huge network of easily accessible information for myself and my students.

  2. I am currently teaching systems of equations. With students getting chrome books next year with graphing technology, my students will be able to develop a systems problem that they can send to others for a graphical solution. We can partner with other school that also have the technology to solve this creating a global community of solving systems of equations.

  3. Like several other posters, I wasn’t aware that these standards existed. Seeing them now, I am able to assign an recognized identity to the technology experiences I’ve incorporated into my classrooms. English, particularly the teaching of writing and research, provides many opportunities to apply the standards. Word processing and document sharing has revolutionized how students create, edit, and respond to written text. OneDrive is an effective (and easy) way for students to participate in peer review. I’ve also had technology products crash and burn! Students used a site to create electronic shadow boxes, including images and text, about novels they had read. The site that seemed easy enough to use quickly turned ugly as students were unable to save their work, had trouble logging in on different occasions, and ultimately lost everything! However, one bad experience, didn’t deter me. I’m willing to try just about anything – always asking “how would this look in my classroom?”

  4. Creativity and innovation seems to be the easiest place to start. I have been looking for ways to enhance computer lab experience for my students, and using these standards is a great way to get inspired. I plan to implement science and/or social studies projects for students using digital technology,which will ramp up the interest factor for my students; especially in social studies.

  5. As the keyboarding/technology teacher and tech coordinator for our building I eat, sleep, and breathe these standards. Last year when I had the opportunity to start a keyboarding and technology class at our school I had no other standards to go by except these. There are so many lessons out there that incorporate these standards. I feel too many times we say there are standards for this subject or that but these standards can definitively be easily intertwined with whatever standard you are trying to cover no matter the grade level or subject. While I incorporate all the standards daily this year I am trying to focus on the digital citizenship standard. I am doing this by using the Common Sense Media lessons at each grade level. This last month we covered Cyber Bullying using their lessons and videos. I had each grade level then create an original work using a just right tool for them that had been previously taught. I am going to try and hit at least one topic a month. Hopefully by reviewing monthly good digital citizenship it will be second nature in use.

  6. I have never heard of ISTE Standards before, however we have changed the many ways we use technology at Corpus Christi. The classes are coming into the computer lab a lot more this year than they did in the past. We also have a set of 40 ipads that the students use on a daily basis. Usually two classes can use these at a time. All of our students are fairly computer literate. The know how to use Google Drive, to colaberate with each other. Many apps and websites are used for review after a lesson is learned. The can use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel

  7. I’ve heard of the ISTE standards, but I’d never read them until today. All of my classes focus on technology, probably more than the average English class. Right now, we’re working on writing convincing arguments that have a clear claim, convincing evidence (obtained from reliable Internet sources), and a counter-claim that’s shot down. I have talked with them about research and provided numerous examples of reliable sources, but I haven’t taught them the critical thinking skills necessary to understand why particular sources are reliable so they can evaluate sources for themselves.

    One big area I’m lacking in is digital citizenship. I make frequent comments to the class about how to be good digital citizens, but I’ve never modeled that for them or attempted to explain it in much detail.

  8. This is something fairly new to me. I am really enjoying all the 30 day challenge things that I have looked into thus far. I have to be honest sometimes (I make the excuse that) I don’t have time to search out these type of things. This is a great way to have a multitude of ideas at my finger tips. When I realized this weekend that I had missed the start of this I started looking at the days and got sucked in and ended up looking at all of them. These resources are great!

    • We are certainly glad to turn on the vaccuum effect. What ISTE Standards could you see using on an upcoming lesson and what would that look like?

      • I would love engage students in exploring real-world issues by implementing a news read or watch and having students blog about it to promote reflective thinking and collaborative discussion in my homeroom.

  9. As a tech teacher, I find great value in attending the grade level PLC’s in my building. I use the information I gain at these meetings, the ISTE standards, and the digital standards embedded into the curriculum maps for grades K-6 when creating lesson plans.

    3. Research and Information Fluency
    Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

    I used the standard above with my 2nd graders this week. These students are working on their reading fluency in their homerooms and have data folders tracking their scores. I combined what they were learning in the classroom with what we were learning in the lab. Students created an excel chart with fluency data and learned to use the tools within Excel to produce a bar graph of the fluency scores. My hopes are to help motivate students with their reading fluency by learning to track their scores in Excel and I’m also hoping to motivate the homeroom teachers by demonstrating the possibilities of programs like this. Combining content area standards with the ISTE standards is a win/win situation for everyone.

  10. As part of our striving to make the Academy “look different” we have always sought new or improved ways to deliver content and options for demonstrating what the student has learned. In attempting to do this we were all ready addressing most if not all of the ISTE Standards before we even knew they had a name. Leah don’t feel too bad, we had no clue either.

    What I liked best having the ISTE Standards spelled out along with specific indicators I can know check to make sure my use of technology is in-line with expectations and that I check to see if there are any additions I can make to the assignment to enhance the experience in accordance with the standards even more.

    The very first day of class the students are assigned to create an “I Am” video that was based on an “I Am” poem activity we did on paper before the EVSC adopted Netbooks. The assignment has grown into a multi-media project in which a student introduced his or herself to the class via a Photostory or Movie Maker project. This project teaches the student to evaluate content the is appropriate for sharing including pictures, video, and music selections. In addition to the students introducing themselves to the class the instructor also shows their “I Am” that helps to demonstrate what is possible and appropriate. The students are evaluated according to an on-line rubric which is then returned to them electronically using the Haiku Learning Resource class website we have established for our class. The ISTE Standards help reinforce what I’ve all ready been doing while also showing me areas that I can and need to take even further to guarantee the students is prepared and capable of a productive digital citizen.

  11. I may be the only person to post so far that did not know about this group of standards. I am a standards guru for my subject (math) and didn’t know that I was supposed to have a group of technology ones too. I think I do the 5 teacher ones when planning but just didn’t know to include those on my lesson plans too.

  12. I teach computer class, so I am hitting most of these on a daily basis. My students are creating daily. I always like to have them create from scratch. I feel like the learning is deeper this way. My students currently use edmodo, Google drive , and blogger to communicate. We have also used Padlet to share ideas with one another. The research component, we hit on most days. The students use technology to gather information and we curate it using technology. For example, I had the students research who the key players were in a court room. They inserted a picture of the courtroom in thinglink and then linked resources and videos to each person. I do remind the students daily about how to act when creating and collaborating online. The students usually rise to the occasion. I would say the last standard is where I need more work. I do not discuss much of the system operations. I actually tell the students not to mess with any settings on the computer.

  13. One of the ISTE teacher standards that jumped out to me that I believe I incorporate was Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments . Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity. I’ve started getting into the use of sketchnoting topics throughout each class I know students are struggling with a concept with an app called Paper by 53 on my iPad. Creating a digital illustration with notes or diagrams of a concept or skill has inspired some students to do a few of their own. Depending on the subject or content skill, some are easier to develop but it seems to catch students’ eyes a little more and illustrating it in a way that they will remember is the goal so they can recall that information when asked to later.

  14. I have to admit. It seems like more work to look at these standards. It is great to have the information to be able to back up why the technology is used but seems overwhelming.

  15. I regularly try to incorporate the creativity and innovation standards with my students through projects and making things their own. I am also a big fan of the critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making standards, helping students to build these skills is one of the most important thing we do as teachers. I am working on a unit for the end of the year that, I believe, will incorporate nearly every ISTE standard in some fashion. I am a fan of the standards and believe that they provide a good list of what to do – even with limited technology!

  16. I was aware of the ISTE student objectives due to the technology teacher at Scott School. As I teach, I try to apply the standards wherever possible. I always try to start with the content, which would be the state standards and curriculum maps, and then look to the pedagogy and determine which activity I’m going to do to help retain this information. Finally, I select the appropriate technology. I think it’s really easy to get caught up in the tool. What is more difficult is to really integrate that tool into your lesson. I want to always make sure that the tool will deepen the learning. I strongly feel that in the schools today all teachers should be looking to these technology objectives as they have become a more important part of lesson planning.

  17. This year we implemented Exploration Hour, that allows students to write proposals (via Google form) to research a topic of their choice (Quarter 2 must be Science, Quarter 3 must be Social Studies). The culminating activity give students opportunities to use Animoto, storybird.com, and Symbaloo to make their learning into something they can share with their community…and beyond.

  18. Awesome post! As a tech coach, I work with teachers on a daily basis. The ISTE Standards are something that I have been “preaching” about since I was hired here a year and a half ago. I try to incorporate the ISTE Standards into every single aspect of my job. I explicitly model PD and coaching conversations around the standards. In every PD session that I host (F2F or Online), I always referenced the standards. At first, teachers took the approach of…”ugh, more standards”. However, after scaffolding opportunities for teachers to apply the ISTE Standards, teachers are now starting to incorporate these standards into their lessons and activities. One of the questions that I frequently ask teachers is: “What ISTE Standard does this relate to for our students? What skill or concept are they applying?”

  19. I have a vested interest in the standards regarding Research and Information Fluency as well as Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making as a media center specialist who has worked in college libraries. There is so much to be done for students to be college ready when they graduate! Evaluating information is a crucial skill that can only be learned with repeated exposure to teachers sharing how they selected a given resource and with practice doing it on their own with a teacher or librarian evaluating the results. And it goes hand in hand with critical thinking skills, problem solving and decision making.Without the ability to find and evaluate information, students will have a very difficult time making sound choices in their life involving finances, careers, and so much more. I hope every teacher will have a conversation with their media specialist about ways to weave those skills into course work and even ask the media specialists to assist.

  20. This year I am new to being in charge of a lab at our school. I teach in a K-5 building. Thus far I have honestly been doing TONS of testing: SRI, NWEA, ACUITY, now back to SRI. When I am not testing I have been showing my classes various programs on the computer such as ABCYA.com, VOKI, POWERPOINT, and a few others. I am just touching on the surface of those programs. What I definitely need to start doing is looking at having the students begin to use higher level thinking skills and problem solving using the programs they have been shown. In all honesty, I have only introduced them to the programs — now is the time that I have to start creating lessons to have them begin using the programs to answer real life situations. I also need to be sure they are answering in a way that will ensure success when being an active participant in our state testing.

  21. I have always had an affinity for anything technological and have always tried to find ways to incorporate it into the classroom. Recently my chemistry class was learning about light and the colors of light that stem from electron absorption and emission of energy. I always like to talk about fireworks and where the different colors come from. I have used video of fireworks displays, but this year I wanted to bring up the level a bit from simply watching to interacting with the color. I had the students use Thinglink to create hotspots on four different colors on a picture of fireworks. On these hotspots they had to very briefly describe what element is responsible for the color and provide a link to a website that provides details. This allowed them some creativity and developed information processing skills.

    I also like to use digital data acquisition tools like Vernier probes. These allow great opportunities for students to work with more advanced tools and they get to see results much faster. This leads to more time spent analyzing and interpreting the results as well as more time for experiment redesign. Students can then ask the “What would happen if…” questions and actually do it.

  22. I am using technology to a much higher extent than in the past. I use it in a variety of ways for several reasons. One reason is that I use it for students to learn to research and find information for themselves. Another reason is I use it to make lessons more interesting and fun.

    I give a question of the day for several weeks to get students researching information on their own.s. I post the question in My Big Campus in our class group under the discussions tab each day as soon as the bell rings for class to begin. The first person with the correct answer gets an award achievement on their MBC wall which I believe is good for their self esteem. Many students never seem to get awards in anything, so it is nice for them to get a little recognition. Each student in a class is only allowed to win once per week, so this allows more students the chance to win. I have one student who has been a winner every week and is working to keep her record intact. I also have a bulletin board recognizing the daily winners and give them a treat. The purpose of the activity is also to get them interested and help them be knowledge in the current health events of the day.

    I use various apps and online games to help engage students more and make learning more enjoyable. My students love the Kahoot It game and I can get 100% class participation using that online game. We use Quizlet for review which they enjoy a lot. We use the Pick Me Buzzer game while playing Jeopardy games created on Equizshow.com. Students can play in small groups or we can play as a whole class. Sometimes I have the students create their own games.

    A couple of things I need to do better or different is that I need to start documenting my use of technology as most evaluators probably would like to see the documentation and know we are using the technology. Having these standards listed here will help me to do that. Something I struggle with is knowing the legalities of using online material when students are making posters and power-points. I really need a lesson on that. We created Red Ribbon Week posters this week both electronically using the IPADS and also on regular poster with some photos printed out and placed on them in addition to drawing/writing on the posters. I am not knowledgeable about the rules/legalities in using graphics off the web. I had one student who simply copied someone else’s poster and used it which is obviously the wrong thing to do. However, I encouraged them to use several images they found to include on their poster. I don’t know the legalities as far as referencing the source as well. I believe the legalities are less strict for education, but I would like to know more about this area.

  23. My 8th Grade students are about to begin a large project using Inspiration and PowerPoint. If they would rather they can choose to create their project using open source software such as Glogster or Prezi, I leave the choice up to them which presentation tool they want to use. Inspiration is one of the most important components of the project, it allows them to visually plan out their project, create a diagram arranging the components and allows them to take notes directly into Inspiration. If students choose they can even then export their Inspiration diagram with their notes directly into PowerPoint if they wish. This project encompasses so many of the ISTE Standards because students are using technology operations and concepts, thinking critically and making decisions, gathering and using information, and I encourage them to bring out their creative and innovative ideas. In the end students have to share and present their project in front of their peers.

  24. I have always promoted responsible use of technology and using it in different ways to facilitate learning and education. While as a K-6 tech and classroom teacher and tech coordinator, I promoted and took an active role in infusing technology in lessons and demonstrating the use of tools for both students and teachers. I am well aware of the digital footprint that is left by all. So, encouragement and education on Netiquette skills were foremost in all instruction and the basis for lessons taught for both face-to-face and virtual classrooms. I designed and implemented a poster of the ISTE Student Standards for students to use as a tool.

    Now, as a teacher at EVSC Virtual Academy K-8, I am working on the student standards of Communication and Collaboration, Digital Citizenship, and Technology Operations and Concepts. We are utilizing email, message board in our software, and Today’s Meet for the communication and collaboration piece. I can see the students taking ownership of their learning. We are in constant pursuit of Digital Citizenship or Netiquette. I have created a Protopage with an embedded Symbaloo that contains the varying levels of digital citizenship each level needs to infuse into their learning. Since we are ‘virtual’, we are constantly incorporating Technology Operations and Concepts throughout our day.

    As the teacher of the K-8 student body, I facilitate Student Learning and Creativity via lessons Designed and Developed in our software and also embedded on the Protopage. Constant monitoring and of coursework lends itself to new Learning Experiences and Assessment at end of unit. I bring students in on a regular basis and model what digital age work should look like and then release the responsibility to the student and parent. I also send constant reminders about staying safe on the internet.

    On a personal level, I attend eRevolution Professional Development sessions. I also have taken the IBOT course provided by IDOE and am currently enrolled in Designing Digital Learning Spaces through them. There is a lot of great information to learn from these courses.

  25. I know the ISTE standards. I took an IU class on education technology for my re-certification requirements a couple of years ago. It was the first time I had heard of ISTE or the standards. This is a great source for teachers of educational technology and library media specialists. As a LMS, of course I’m am greatly involved in the Research and Information Fluency standards but of late I am working with our teachers on the critical thinking skills. Not only am I involved in the research part but our teachers have asked me to find more sources of examining critical thinking areas. For example, find source examples of situational problems. On the job “what if this happened” questions. This is a great lead in for our science teachers who could apply the “makerspace” rules to teaching. Where the student solves the problem hands on.

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