This week in our first EDTECH class we learned about the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) NETS for teachers and NETS for students. These high standards are quite the stretch for me in many areas. When I took the self assessment it was very humbling to say the least. I have always thought of myself as fairly tech savvy and have tried to integrate technology whenever possible into my classroom. This has not always been a seamless process given our 3:1 ratio of netbooks to students and the notorious unpredictability of the netbooks all working correctly, but I have worked intentionally to not make it just one more thing we do. I strive to make technology part of our everyday classroom work like paper and pencil. The self assessment made me very aware that I am falling short of what the standards are in most areas for both myself as a teacher and for my students. I am excited to learn through this class how to better bring technology into the classroom and to reach those standards consistently.
One teacher standard I did feel that I was making gains in was:
5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership – Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources. (ISTE.org/nets)
As the teacher leader for PGE (professional growth and evaluation) for my building I have been the one to learn and train my staff on Teachscape. I gladly took on this position because I did want to stretch myself and continue to improve my practice as well as model lifelong learning to my students. In addition, I believe continuing my education through this class and Masters program allows me to reach this standard and bring back valuable knowledge to my building staff and students.
One final area that is especially important to me is digital citizenship (NETs 5 and NETt 4). Both as teacher and a mother of 3 I see every day that kids don’t know a world without technology and that also means they don’t understand the true ramifications of the choices they make when they use it. My mother used to tell me not to write notes in school unless I was willing to have it read in class to everyone. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. take that concept to a truly global level. Kids need to know that whatever they post is out there forever. That is a huge concept to understand even for adults. I have always tried to be a good model of this standard and help my students to reach it as well. I look forward to our next class session as we dive deeper into that standard.