ISTE Standards: What Teachers Should Know

Last week in class, we discussed the new standards that are thoroughly centered around technology. These standards which are known as ISTE standards literally mean “International Society for Technology in Education”. As its abbreviation stands around this technology center, we examined in particular the standards, both for students and teachers. I appreciate having standards that are centered around technology, given the nature of society and its prevalence and daily use. However, I couldn’t help but consider my mother- who has been a teacher for more than 25+years. With her given experience she has enough knowledge on technology and with my help-can manage. But then I also began to wonder how these standards would effect teachers of my mother’s generation, and those that aren’t tech savvy.

Although training for these standards are probably going to be enforced,I kept this in mind as the saying goes “Can you really teach a old dog new tricks?”.  As I am all for technology and its use in the classroom as a resource towards new achievement and forward thinking for the future, I still appreciate an ‘old sense’ of having physical homework, and or textbooks that I can physically touch etc. Technology- don’t get me wrong is capable of making learning so much more accessible-but I argue to an extent- as I am afraid that is technology keeps advancing in education; classrooms and teachers altogether might slowly disappear. But as that is an extreme, I like focusing specifically on these ISTE standards.

I found an article from Concordia University, that listed “5 Things Teachers Should Know About ISTE Tech Standards”. I wanted to share this article and the five aspects a teacher should know when implementing these standards into their curriculum.

*note: below information is taken from the website from Concordia University* just formatted in an easier way to read!

  1. ISTE standards 
    • Though technology is at the root of the ISTE standards, the program is about more than online research and learning to use new media.
    • Three of the five ISTE goals reflect changes in the way students learn in general.
    • This includes teaching based on students’ collective and individual needs, creating a project-based learning environment, and promoting critical thinking skills.
    • The ultimate goal is to get students prepared, at all stages, for a career in a global economy.
    • On a school-wide level, the plan is to create digital learning spaces and teaching models that are appropriate for the time and reflect recent developments in technology.
  2. Available professional resources
    • Teachers and administrators working to implement the ISTE in their own schools can turn to various resources, both online and in print.
    • Webinars and online courses can be found at the ISTE website with information on best practices for meeting and using technology standards across the board.
    • Books and courses range from broad curriculum planning tools to specific topics, like blogging and classroom management.
  3.  Administrative responsibilities 
    • In order to create the ideal learning environment, the ISTE has developed a list of essential conditions: steps that must be taken by administrators and policy makers so that teachers can effectively run a ISTE friendly classroom.
    • Among the conditions required are adequate funding and support from the school, which covers everything from ongoing learning courses to accountability and incentives.
    • The plan cannot succeed without a top-down vision and plan for ISTE implementation; principals and teachers should meet and agree on the practices, staff, and technological tools needed.
  4. Leading by Example 
    • One of the most important aspects of the ISTE standards is also one of the most overlooked.
    • Though teachers are expected to create a certain environment for the students, they are also required to model that behavior.
    • Educators, in many situations, are a student’s first exposure to digital technology. They have a responsibility to present knowledge and showcase ethical behavior.
    • The new generation is faced with almost unlimited access to information and media; now they can learn about intellectual property and piracy as they learn how to cite their sources.
    • Teachers also model lifelong learning by keeping current with new technologies and show students that education is a process.
  5. Technology & Creativity 
    • There are several learning models that tie together technology and creative thought:
      • Real world problem solving
      • Unique teaching tools such as games, videos, and interactive presentations
      • Collaboration and group planning
      • Pursuing curiosity and answering questions through digital media
      • Online testing and writing assessments.


    • Digital tools enhance and add to student’s inherent creative skills.
    • By creating a safe online space for exploration, teachers can encourage students to try new things and innovate.
    • The ISTE standards can seem imposing at first. The requirements and goals are numerous and cover a wide range of skills and topics.
    • Fortunately, there are many resources available to clarify the program, which ultimately boils down to a quest for improved learning in an era of faster-than-ever information availability.
    • It represents a change from old-fashioned ideals of lecture and repetition toward collaboration and classroom problem solving, made easier through new technology.

One thought on “ISTE Standards: What Teachers Should Know

  1. Interesting article. And I am not so sure there is a huge “digital divide” between the generations… I know some pretty experienced teachers who are always looking for new things to try in the classroom — you don’t have to be good with tech, so much as brave, to try it out. There may be teachers who are stuck in their ways, but there are also new teachers who don’t want to try anything risky. The key, I think, is to get the kids on your side — make them part of the learning adventure, so that they can help one another learn about the tech.


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