The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is working on a refresh of its Standards for Teachers — a process the organization performs every seven to 10 years, in part to ensure the standards reflect the current learning environment — and plans to release them this summer.
Although the public comment period closed on Feb. 28, a second draft of the proposed changes show ISTE divided its categorized individual standards into two themes: Empowered Educator and Learning Catalyst. The themes were designed to highlight digital age competencies among professionals and practitioners, respectively.
"The ISTE Standards provide a framework for learning, teaching and leading that is amplified by technology," the organization said in a statement in February. "These digital age standards are not 'technology standards,' but a road map for educators worldwide as they navigate decisions about curriculum, instruction, professional learning and how to transform pedagogy with technology."
ISTE said that between June 2016 and last January, education volunteers have hosted 30 refresh events, and more than 1,000 individuals have participated in the organization's survey to give their input. Volunteer education stakeholders have also served as advisers throughout the process, and technical experts and writers have been working on the second draft.
Survey participants were asked if technology amplifies particular competencies or dispositions, and to identify those that could be best amplified by technology. They were also asked their opinion as to whether certain attitudes or dispositions influence teaching, learning and professionalism with technology — or if the obverse is true, with attitudes or dispositions coming under influence.
Some name changes could be forthcoming. ISTE asked survey participants if the standards could be applied to educators beyond K12; if so, they could be renamed "Standards for Educators." The organization also asked if they should continue to be called "standards." Other monikers under consideration were "competencies" and "framework."
ISTE said the feedback it received from the first draft of changes to the standards revealed that many survey participants wanted to see the standards' language simplified and streamlined. They also had two suggestions: Adding an indicator to its Citizen Standard No. 3 to address critical consumption of media, such as resources that appear to be news; and moving the concept of cultural competency into Collaborator Standard No. 4, in order to include information for students, parents and colleagues. ISTE incorporated the latter two changes — as Standard Nos. 3D and 4D, respectively — as reflected in the second draft.
The organization plans to release the new standards at the ISTE Conference & Expo in San Antonio in June. At that time, ISTE will begin the process of renewing its Standards for Administrators. ISTE updated its Standards for Students in 2016.
This article is part of the "Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology" series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the #ConnectIT hashtag.