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ISTE Announces New Computational Thinking Standards for All Educators

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October 9, 2018

Detroit — October 9, 2018 —  The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) announced its new ISTE Standards for Educators: Computational Thinking Competencies (CT Competencies) during the CSforALL Summit, which followed ISTE's first-ever No Fear Coding Lab, held in Detroit.

CT Competencies focus on the knowledge, skills and mindset needed to bring computational thinking (CT) to all K–12 content areas and are designed for all educators, including those who are new to computer science. The CT Competencies represent the first-ever approach to correlate and align the ISTE Standards for Educators, the K12 Computer Science Framework and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) standards for students. Schools of education across the country will also use the CT Competencies to prepare new educators to lead the way with CT skills.

“The ISTE Computational Thinking Competencies are designed to prepare students with the skills needed to solve problems of the future,” said ISTE CEO Richard Culatta. “The CT Competencies provide a framework to help teachers leverage computational thinking across all areas of the curriculum, not just in CS classes.”

ISTE worked for nine months with the support and guidance of its Technical Working Group, Stakeholder Advisory Group, computer science (CS) partners and hundreds of educators to develop the CT Competencies. The design of the ISTE CT Competencies were created with support from LEGO Education.

As students become creators, not just consumers, of technology, the ISTE CT Competencies focus on the use of CT in all K-12 subjects, and are designed to help students understand how computer science concepts drive productivity and help solve problems in all disciplines. ISTE and CSTA will collaborate to create CS Educator Standards that will establish clear guidelines on what computer science educators should know and be able to do by fall 2019. These standards will provide a community of more than 33,000 teachers with aspirational goals to guide their professional learning and benchmarks for professional development providers as they craft computer science PD experiences.

“These standards will help educators develop the skills and knowledge they need to put the CSTA and state computer science standards into action in their classrooms,” said CSTA Executive Director Jake Baskin. “We’re excited to collaborate with ISTE on this important work.”

CT is a powerful framework for solving ambiguous, complex and open-ended problems by drawing on principles and practices central to computer science. Integrating CT practices in instruction can be overwhelming for educators who are unfamiliar with the concepts, but once educators learn it, they will see its application across content areas.

“Regardless of what your content area is, computer science and the use of technology are an integral part of our students’ learning,” said Eric Anderson, math instructor at KM Perform in Kettle Moraine School District (Wisconsin). “It may not be the center of your content, but it is helping your content move forward. If you are a visual artist, you have to know your technology. For the drama students, there is a lot of physics in the lighting of the stage.” You can hear about more examples here.

ISTE Standards for Educators: Computational Thinking Competencies include:

1. Computational Thinking (Learner)

2. Equity Leader (Leader)

3. Collaborating Around Computing (Collaborator)

4. Creativity and Design (Designer)

5. Integrating Computational Thinking (Facilitator)

For more information about the ISTE Standards for Educators: Computational Thinking Competencies visit


About ISTE

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a nonprofit organization that works with the global education community to accelerate the use of technology to solve tough problems and inspire innovation. Our worldwide network believes in the potential technology holds to transform teaching and learning.

ISTE sets a bold vision for education transformation through the ISTE Standards, a framework for students, educators, administrators, coaches and computer science educators to rethink education and create innovative learning environments. ISTE hosts the annual ISTE Conference & Expo, one of the world’s most influential edtech events. The organization’s professional learning offerings include online courses, professional networks, year-round academies, peer-reviewed journals and other publications. ISTE is also the leading publisher of books focused on technology in education. For more information or to become an ISTE member, visit Subscribe to ISTE’s YouTube channel and connect with ISTE on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.