Sunday, November 27, 2016

Need YOUR Feedback on the ISTE Standards for Teachers 2017

The ISTE Standards have been a driving force since the 90s.  These standards have been developed for students, teachers, administrators, coaches, and computer science teachers. 

Every 9 or 10 years, the ISTE Standards are Refreshed.  This means that a team of ISTE leading educators review the present set of standards and evaluate how well they are still addressing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that our present students need to flourish in our technology-driven world. This team asks for input from educators the world over.  Using these ideas, they create a new version of the standards and then release them in "draft form."  Educators around the world are asked for feedback and to hold discussions with their peers about the proposed standards.   Based upon this input, they finalize the standards and then release them at the June ISTE conference.

ISTE Standards for Students

They don't do them all at the standards in the same year.  In fact, they work on one per year. This year they released the ISTE Standards for Students 2016.  While it was evident that the ISTE Standards for Students 2007 were greatly influenced by Bloom's Taxonomy of Higher Order Thinking Skills, the 2016 Standards are based upon students assuming causative roles in the world.

The 2016 Standards for Students challenge students to assume the roles of Empower Learners, Digital Citizens, Knowledge Constructors, Innovative Designers, Computational Thinkers, Creative Communicators and Global Collaborators.   You will notice that there are 7 overall standards instead of the 6 standards in the 2007 set.

 Is this just a repackaging of the previous standards?  I don't think so. This model was created to place the students in the center of the learning expectations.  It is all thoroughly encapsulated in this graphic from the ISTE website.

ISTE Standards for Teachers 2017

This year the ISTE Standards for Teachers team has been working to update the Teacher Standards just as the Student Standards team has completed.  They have gone through the interactive process of developing these standards and they have released them in DRAFT format for us to provide feedback.   These standards are not as directly aligned with the 2016 Standards for Students. They are organized to provide a connection with the Student Standards.

The 2017 ISTE Standards for Teachers see teachers as having two primary roles - Empower Educator and Learning Catalyst:
  • The Empowered Educator is a Learner, Leader, and Citizen. These three standards are designed to encourage educators to develop themselves professionally.  They embrace the need for continuous learning as well as the teacher's leadership role in transforming learning with technology.
  • The Learning Catalyst is a Collaborator, Designer, Facilitator, and Analyst. These standards provide direction in more of a classroom environment. They foster the need for working collaboratively as an educator to Design, Facilitate and Analyze their students' learning.

Provide Your Own Input for these Standards

What do you think about the new organization of the educator's role?  

These new standards acknowledge the many hats that educators have to wear inside and outside the classroom.  They acknowledge that our role is not just to "teach stuff."  It also includes the roles of visionary, organizer, designer, expediter, assessor, implementer, and so much more.

You have the opportunity to provide your own input into developing these Teacher Standards.  The ISTE Team is calling for you to read their new standards and provide feedback on the draft of these standards.  (see below)
This is the page you will visit.  Nothing fancy.  It is just a Google Doc containing the proposed standards and links to pages where you can complete feedback surveys.

You will notice that you have the opportunity to provide feedback as an individual.  They are calling for feedback teachers, administrators, college students (future teachers), parents, even k-12 students.  Your voice can be heard so Make It So!!!

Get Your Colleagues Involved. 

Another option is to get a group of your colleagues together to discuss the new standards and provide your group's feedback.   You can create your own group discussions by downloading the Refresh ISTE Standards for Teachers Forum Toolkit.   Download it and discuss your future opportunities.

Share your ideas. Create your future.

Leave a note in the Dr. Z Reflects comments about your opinion and maybe something about what you shared in the ISTE questionnaire.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

After the Election . . .

I don't know how you have been handling your students' feelings after the election, but I discussed it in my class on Friday.   I began the discussion by saying 

I have been reading a number of things about teachers asking their students about how they feel after the election, and I just wanted to open up the discussion to you.  After 9/11, I didn't know what to do so I just taught my lessons and didn't even discuss the incident.  Students came to me saying that they felt cheated because they didn't have a chance to share and deal with their feelings.  I don't want to do that this time so do any of you have feelings that you want to share?  This isn't a discussion about politics.  It is about feelings.

Some of my students shared some deep feelings of fear and anxiety.  Some of those who didn't feel threatened still felt anxiety. Some students felt that some of the reactions we heard about on the news (i.e., closing down a college so that students could deal with the results of the election) were not the reactions of adults and that we just had to deal with it.  

It was a good discussion and we talked until they had nothing else to say.  I shared that I was available if anyone wanted to talk. I think that it was a positive experience.

I was prompted to write this email after reading a posting on Jennifer Gonzalez's blog, The Cult of PedagogyShe decided that the best thing to post a "To Do List" of things that teachers can do in a situation like this.

I recommend reading, After the Election: A To-Do List, and maybe sharing it with your students.  BTW, this is a wonderful blog filled with posts, podcasts, videos, and teaching materials that you may find useful in your everyday teaching - I know that I have.

What are your experiences?  
What suggestions do you have about dealing with these emotions?

Share them in the Comments section below.