Education is constantly evolving thanks to technological advancements. In order to provide structure to this evolution process, the International Society for Technology in Education (or ISTE) has developed and released its newest set of standards for students. The goal of these standards is to equip students of all ages to succeed in a global community that is becoming increasingly digitized. This newest set includes the creation of an empowered learner, digital citizen, knowledge constructor, innovative designer, computational thinker, creative communicator, and global collaborator. Each of these categories collectively sums the ISTE Standards evolutionary process, which has moved from the initial goal of learning to use technology to the previous standard of using technology to learn and now on to the ambitious idea of transforming learning with technology:
- Empowered learners are able to effectively utilize technology to help them meet their learning goals; these students understand the fundamental concepts of technology.
- Digital citizens can safely, legally, and ethically interact with the interconnected digital world.
- Knowledge constructors are able to think critically about digital resources and can leverage resource tools to construct knowledge.
- Innovative designers can utilize a variety of technologies to design and create new, innovative solutions to problems.
- Computational thinkers have the ability to apply the power of technological methods and test solutions based on personal strategy development.
- Creative communicators can express themselves over a range of platforms, tools, styles, formats, and digital media.
- Global collaborators are able to broaden their perspectives via working and collaborating in teams both locally and globally.
Students who can skillfully adopt each of these traits are able to accurately assess the value of technology and its implications for the learning process, which includes the ability to utilize technology in a way that allows for successful problem solving. Additionally, students who meet the aims of the standards can design and implement solutions in unique and fascinating ways. The skills and qualities engendered in ISTE’s newest standards can be taught across multiple disciplines and in varying age groups, and can be definitive of all learners when expressed and relayed in an engaging fashion.
Given the rapidly changing technological landscape, these standards are valuable in ensuring that students are able to meet the demands of the 21st century. PCS is excited about ISTE’s developments and strives to provide creative supplements to learning both inside and outside of the classroom. Such supplements often include technology mediums. Further, while technology is only one portion of STEM, technology provides the platform necessary for best understanding other scientific endeavors.