There are four ISTE (International Society for Technology Education) standards that students need to meet. They are as follows: creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, research and information fluency, and critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making.
Creativity and innovation involves free thinking. This is where the student begins to use technology as a tool in order to let their more imaginative side out. Not only can they create with technology, but they can facilitate the avenue and the means. Students can use various websites to be creative and innovative. Perhaps, they wanted to build a robot. Maybe they wanted to make art through online drawing resources. All of these are pushing the student out of their comfort zone. They are going head on with new approaches, and they are forced to explore and discover what works best for them.
The second standard of ISTE involves using media and technological outlets as a means to learn more, and to also contribute to the education of others. Students must learn how to collaborate with a variety others, including other students through the use of technology. Instead of being limited to a single classroom, kids now have a chance to branch out and learn from those they have not actually met. This can force them to become more culturally competent since they will come in contact with groups of people they have never before met. It also pushes them to operate more fluently in a team setting. Skype is a great example of a learning network. Classrooms can interact with other students around the world to share culture, ideas, and writings. Professionals can be interviewed with only a click of a button. The possibilities are endless, and all it takes is one person branching out.
Students must learn how to use the technology at hand effectively and responsibly. They have an ocean of possibilities before them, but unless they are guided, they may soon begin to drown. Standard three directly addresses this problem. In order to become technologically fluent, students must understand how to properly organize the information in front of them. For example, they must be aware of the tools and apps designed to make their lives easier. Note-taking apps for example are a great way for students to organize their information. They must also learn how to decipher if a source is credible or not. The overflowing information online also tends to mean that not all of it is accurate and usable. Moreover, students need to know if the source is even relevant to the task at hand.
Becoming critical thinkers if the fourth and final standard for ISTE. Students must be able to solve problems, manage their own research, and analyze any data that is found. Deep learning is meant to be carried out by the student, and critical thinking fosters this kind of learning. Students must determine on their own what is relevant and what is not. Students who are shown creating their own blogs, and YouTube series are all taking hold of their learning. They are doing their own research, and finding ways to solve and explain problems.
The ISTE standards are put into place to facilitate and encourage deeper student learning. Through the use of all four standards, students become better learners and higher achievers. As teachers, we need to find ways to integrate and master all four standards in curriculum. Only then will students reach their highest potential.