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Washington State Adopts Educational Technology Standards

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May 18, 2018

OLYMPIA—May 18, 2018—Today’s students are “digital natives,” and need to be prepared to thrive in the ever-growing technology-powered world. Communicating digitally, understanding computer applications and using online research tools are examples of skills that students apply daily and need to know for success in the future.

To ensure all students are ready and empowered to learn, Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal formally adopted the new educational technology learning standards today at Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington (Vancouver Public Schools). Teachers at Skyview already incorporate many of these standards into classes and programs.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) developed the ISTE Standards for Students for use all over the world. One of the main differences between the previous standards (adopted in 2008) and today’s are the “aspirational” statements about what we want for our students’ futures, and the emphasis on students as contributors and producers, not just consumers of information. Being a “Computational Thinker,” for example, is one new element.

“Transforming education for the digital age means thinking critically about how we learn and teach,” Reykdal said. “These educational technology standards empower our state’s innovative educators and administrators to re-imagine their schools and classrooms for today’s digital landscape and inspire students to become digital citizens and computational thinkers.”

The standards aim to have every student graduate as a/an:

  • Empowered learner
  • Digital citizen
  • Knowledge constructor
  • Innovative designer
  • Computational thinker
  • Creative communicator
  • Global communicator

Each standard describes how students can demonstrate learning. For example, students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, and engage them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.

“We congratulate Washington on becoming a national leader in endorsing the ISTE Standards,” said ISTE Senior Director Carolyn Sykora. “We see first-hand how technology is being used to transform learning and teaching and accelerate innovation. The ISTE Standards for Students help frame areas of focus and provide a road map that can be adapted from classroom to classroom.”

To honor the new standard adoption, Superintendent Reykdal and ISTE’s Senior Director of ISTE Standards Carolyn Sykora and Chief Membership Officer Jessica Medaille visited Skyview High School to tour the Science, Math and Technology magnet program and viewed student work.

“Our students must be innovators and problem solvers in every aspect of their learning,” said Steve Webb, superintendent of Vancouver Public Schools. “These new technology standards are critically important for preparing future-ready graduates.”

Teams of educators from across Washington convened during the 2017-18 school year to update the original 2008 state educational technology standards. After careful review and discussion, they decided to adopt the ISTE Standards for Students as their state standards.

Two goals framed the development work that led to these updated standards:

  • Integrate technology across core curricula, and provide realistic examples connected to other content standards whenever possible.
  • Determine what students should know and be able to do in a digital world.

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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.