Jun 25 2018

ISTE 2018: New Standards for Leaders Focus on Equity, Digital Citizenship

New guidelines for education leaders highlights ISTE's focus on digital citizenship for this year's event.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has released new standards for education leaders, which focus on equity, digital citizenship, team and systems building, continuous improvement and professional growth, the organization announced.

ISTE CEO Richard Culatta provided a preview of the new 2018 ISTE Standards for Education Leaders, formerly called the ISTE Standards for Administrators, Monday at ISTE’s 2018 Conference & Expo in Chicago.

New Standards Focus on Common Misconceptions

Culatta said a key focus of ISTE this year is redefining digital citizenship, which many people mistakenly believe to be avoiding putting personal information like credit card numbers online.

“That is not digital citizenship,” Culatta said. “That is online safety. Digital citizenship is using technology to solve problems, to engage respectfully with people of different viewpoints, to make your voice heard and to understand how to recognize fact from fiction.”

The characteristics of effective leaders outlined in the new standards are:

  1. Equity and Citizenship Advocate: Leaders use technology to increase equity, inclusion and digital citizenship practices.
  2. Visionary Planner: Leaders engage others in establishing a vision, strategic plan and ongoing evaluation cycle for transforming learning with technology.
  3. Empowering Leader: Leaders create a culture where teachers and learners are empowered to use technology in innovative ways to enrich teaching and learning.
  4. Systems Designer: Leaders build teams and systems to implement, sustain and continually improve the use of technology to support learning.
  5. Connected Learner: Leaders model and promote continuous professional learning for themselves and others.

To set the standards, ISTE asked for input and feedback from more than 1,300 educators and leaders from 50 states and 36 countries. The organization previously released the ISTE Standards for Educators in 2017 and the ISTE Standards for Students in 2016.

“As administrators, our responsibilities cover many areas, including technology, which has become a necessary component of living and work,” Curt Mould, director of digital media, innovation and strategy for Sun Prairie Area School District in Wisconsin, said in a press release announcing the latest set of standards. “The world our students are walking into is increasingly global and diverse — and technology is often the leverage point needed to bring global and diverse ideas together. In this regard, technology can be a game-changer in our schools. We need a new plan to help operationalize our work for the long-term benefit of our students.” 

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ISTE U Promises Unique Learning Opportunities

ISTE is also working on a refresh of its Standards for Computer Science Educators and beginning enrollment for its new online professional learning hub called ISTE U.

The draft CSE standards are under review until July and will be released in the fall, but according to Culatta, there is always more work to be done. “Having the standard on the wall does not say mission accomplished,” he said.

ISTE U will partner with education experts and vendors to bring the latest technology course offerings.

“We have topics that are not available elsewhere that teachers need,” Culatta said. “For example, there is no course right now focused on AI for educators.” One of the first 11 courses at ISTE U is “Artificial Intelligence Explorations and Their Practical Use in Schools.” 

For more information about courses, visit www.iste.org/ISTEU

2018 Attendance Largest in ISTE History

According to Culatta, this year’s ISTE is shaping up to be a record breaker.

“We’ve broken every number so far,” he said. “This is the largest attended ISTE conference by a significant number.”

Culatta said there were 5,000 session submissions, 84 countries represented and “multiple ministers of education in attendance,” including the newest affiliate from Russia.

The 2019 conference will be held in Philadelphia June 23–26.

For more of the latest stories out of ISTE 2018, check out our conference page here.

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