Monthly Archives: February 2010

ISTE NETS Standard 3: Using technology, and using it well.

As schools attempt to keep up with ever-changing technology and reach students who are more technologically inclined than ever, they are being faced with decisions to make great financial commitments. The decision to turn to new technologies like interactive whiteboards and document cameras can be an extremely beneficial one, provided that teachers are prepared to embrace them. The ISTE NETS Standard 3 addresses this issue by suggesting that teachers “exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in global and digital society.” Furthermore, the standard says that teachers should “demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies.” That being said, now more than ever teachers need to be well-versed in the technologies available to them in order to make them effective teaching tools.

Take, for example, the interactive whiteboard. After doing some research on the effects of this technology in the classroom, it is clear that they have much to offer students and teachers alike. However, what use is a $3000 piece of equipment if a teacher is not ready and eager to use it? Jan Lacina, in the article “Interactive Whiteboards: Creating Higher-Level, Technological Thinkers?” proposes the idea that schools should be selective in which classrooms or teachers receive interactive whiteboards and that they be adequately prepared to integrate into their daily lessons.[1] If a teacher is willing and ready to use the technology, they can open up a world of opportunities for their students.

Once teachers are comfortable using the technology, some argue it will even save them time in the long run—a literature review by Smith, et al shows that teachers who invest time into using IWBs can actually “save, share, and re-use lesson materials.”[2] To read more about the benefits and drawbacks to IWBs, as well as read further research on their affect on student learning, visit this website put together for a group project for this Teaching with Technology class. Although the research is not exhaustive, it clearly shows the advantages to not only having technology available for use, but the importance of teachers being able to use it well.


[1] Lacina, J. (2009). Interactive Whiteboards: Creating Higher-Level, Technological Thinkers?. Childhood Education, 85(4), 270. Retrieved from ERIC database.

[2] Smith, H., Higgins, S., Wall, K., & Miller, J. (2005). Interactive whiteboards: boon or bandwagon? A critical review of the literature. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, vol 21(2), pgs. 91-101.

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ISTE NETS Standard 2: Keeping Up with Technology

There is no question that students today have been exposed to a great deal of technology, and, in general, they feel comfortable using it in their everyday lives. That being the case, Wheeler et al state that “it has never been more imperative for educators to understand how to adapt new technologies and software into real teaching contexts.” (Wheeler, et al.) How can we as teachers apply this knowledge in our classrooms? The ISTE NETS Standard 2 calls teachers to “design or adapt relevant learning experiences” using “contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning…” In order to make learning relevant and meaningful to students, we should be using an avenue with which they are comfortable—the internet and other computer technology.

This use of technology in the classroom has also altered the way that teachers teach. These resources have allowed teachers to implement more “student-led collaborative learning where teachers adopt a supportive role,” according to Wheeler. This alteration of teaching further addresses the ISTE NETS Standard 2 as students can “pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants…managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress.” Salomon & Perkins, as quoted by Niederhauser and Lindstrom, say that this shift means that the learner will find an “active engagement in assembling, extending, restoring, interpreting…constructing knowledge out of raw materials of experience and provided information.”

One way that teachers can address this issue is by using WebQuests. A WebQuest, as defined by “QuestGarden” is designed “to create lessons that make good use of the web, engage learners in applying higher level thinking to authentic problems, and use everyone’s time well.” Using WebQuests gives students the opportunity to learn at their own pace with methods that work best for their learning style. The activities can also be designed in a way that students are encouraged to learn about something that really interests them, all the while practicing their computer and internet skills.

For part of this standard, I have begun creating a WebQuest assignment. Although far from finished, the goal of this assignment is to guide students through the process of choosing a research topic that will be interesting for them and meaningful for the class. The project towards which they will be working is in line with the 9th/10th grade World History CBA (Classroom Based Assessment).

Works Cited:

Guided inquiry made semi-easy. Retrieved from http://questgarden.com/.

Niederhauser, D., Lindstrom, D. (2006). Addressing the NETS for students through constructivist technology use in K-12 classrooms. J. Educational Computing Research, 34(1), 91-128.

Wheeler, S., Yeomans, P., & Wheeler, D. (2008). The good, the bad, and the wiki: Evaluating student-generated content for collaborative learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39 (6), 987-995.

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