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Friday, March 20, 2015

5 Word Clouds Reveal What ISTE Standards Emphasize

Recently I was preparing for teaching my course, Leading Change Through Instructional Technology. As I was reviewing the ISTE Standards, I became interested in looking for the emphases in each of the areas identified by these standards.  It was quite obvious that addressing the teacher standards would prepare Teachers for creating a learning environment where Students could learn in a 21st Century manner. The Administrators were envisioning and providing schools where teachers could create such learning environments. The Coaches were training Teachers to use the 21st Century Skills to create these learning environments.

While reading these standards, I took notice of the language used in each of them.  I decided that the best way to look for linguistic structure and commonalities was by drawing Word Clouds. I ran each of the standards through Wordle.net and they yielded the images below. Review them briefly and identify look for the dominant words in each of the clouds. Remember that the larger the word, the greater the number of times that word appeared in each standard. 

It is encouraging to see that Learning is the largest word in each of the first three clouds. The Teacher's second largest word is Students.  Technology is the second largest in the Administrator and Coach standards.  Look at these clouds identify the what's important in each of these standards.
ISTE Standards for Teachers
ISTE Standards for Administrators
ISTE Standards for Coaches

As I reviewed the Students cloud, it was interesting to see that Learning is not even included in their cloud. That is strange since the only thing the students are assigned to do is Learning. Information is the main word for the students. That is what the students need to manage. Look a little closer and you will see that the action verbs including Use, Analyze, Solve and Develop are some of the larger words in the cloud. These are the measurable behaviors that will indicate that learning has occurred. 

ISTE Standards for Students
The one set of standards that is unique is the ISTE Standards for Computer Science Educators. Inspecting the Word Cloud shows that the most important thing for these educators to do is demonstrate their mastery of the computer science content and pedagogy. These standards seem to be more directed towards evaluating the CS Educators' competence than preparing students for the field of Computer Science.  Hopefully this is just a difference in the authors' perspective and vocabulary than what was used for the other standards.
ISTE Standards for Computer Science Educators
The ISTE Standards provide important guidance for educators in preparing our students for the 21st Century.  

How do you use them to direct your teaching?  What are your ideas for the strengths and recommended areas of improvement for the ISTE Standards.

Z

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