Technology Assessment: Practices for Integration and Literacy

Instruction, Integration and Assessment of
Current K-12 / College-Prep Technology Literacy Standards

Because we live in an ever-changing technological and global society, technology plays an important role in education, and the choice for schools is not whether they should use digital technology but how they will use it.

Too often attempts to integrate educational technologies by technology directors have been limited to wiring and connecting classrooms to the Internet, or simply providing children with access to computers for word processing and presentations. Instead, true integration is achieved by properly training teachers to apply integrated technology and adopt current technology standards as part of their curriculum, effectively becoming facilitators for students to be better equipped to thrive in the today's technologically-driven world.

The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) and the International Computer Driving License (ICDL), are research-based technology integration standards and proficiency assessment guides that incorporate international, national, state and local curriculum models of current technology literacy in our global community.

The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS):
Digital Learning Assessment and Instructional Design

The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) are a set of standards published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). They are designed to leverage the use of technology in K-12 education, and to enable students to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly digital society.

NETS for Students (k-12)
Within NETS for Students there are six Performance Indicators. Each Performance Indicator indicates and outlines what the student should be able to achieve within technological literacy by the completion of a school year. The Performance Indicators are guidelines where the students are aware of the programs goals and what they are attempting to achieve to meet NETS standards. The Performance Indicators are as follows:

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts

Profiles of Technology Literate Students (k-12)
A major component of the NETS Project is the development of a general set of profiles describing technology (ICT) literate students at key developmental points in their pre-college education. These profiles are based on ISTE’s core belief that all students must have regular opportunities to use technology to develop skills that encourage personal
productivity, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration in the classroom and in daily life.

Coupled with the standards, the profiles provide an invaluable set of examples for preparing students to be lifelong learners and contributing members of a global society. Here are excerpts of the literate student profile contents:

Grades PK-2 (Ages 4-8)
  • Engage in learning activities with learners from multiple cultures through e-mail and other electronic means.
  • In a collaborative work group, use a variety of technologies to produce a digital presentation or product in a curriculum area.
  • Communicate about technology using developmentally appropriate and accurate terminology.
Grades 3-5 (Ages 8-11)
  • Use digital-imaging technology to modify or create works of art for use in a digital presentation.
  • Debate the effect of existing and emerging technologies on individuals, society, and the global community.
  • Apply previous knowledge of digital technology operations to analyze and solve current hardware and software problems.
Grades 6-8 (Ages 11-14)
  • Participate in a cooperative learning project in an online learning community.
  • Use collaborative electronic authoring tools to explore common curriculum content from multicultural perspectives with other learners.
  • Independently develop and apply strategies for identifying and solving routine hardware and software problems.
Grades 9-12 (Ages 14-18)
  • Design, develop, and test a digital learning game to demonstrate knowledge and skills related to curriculum content.
  • Create and publish an online art gallery with examples and commentary that demonstrate an understanding of different historical periods, cultures, and countries.
  • Configure and troubleshoot hardware, software, and network systems to optimize their use for learning and productivity.

2007 ISTE NETS Implementation (k-12)
As part of the NETS movement toward integrating digital learning games into the k-12 core curricula, in November 2010 ISTE published a guide to help instructors satisfy this literacy standard.

Playing Games in School: Simulations and Video Games for Primary and Secondary Education by Atsusi "2c" Hirumi.

Playing Games in School focuses this on four topics: why games should be a part of education, the availability of games in four core subjects and physical education, selecting and integrating games in school, and alternate perspectives on game-based learning. Each chapter takes an in-depth look at research or case studies on topics including how today's students differ from previous generations, integrating games into the classroom with instructional strategies, incorporating gamebased learning without computers, commercial off-the-shelf games, virtual environments, and more. The additional resources throughout the book, such as lists of guidelines and a technology consent form template, assist educators as they integrate this compelling form of instruction into their classrooms.

As a suppliment to ISTE's array of published instructional guides to standards, profiles and rubrics for the 2007 NETS, an open forum and online database was created for instructors to share their ideas and lesson plans, below are links to the various grade levels and subjects:

ISTE / AMC / CSTA Core Curriculum Implementation (2010-2011)
This is an interactive map showing to what extent each state has adopted ACM and CSTA's nationally recognized computer science education standards into state standards, in conjunction with the ISTE NETS, and whether computer science counts as a core mathematics or science graduation credit.

The International Computer Driving License (ICDL):
Proficiency Standards for High School, Pre-College and First-Year College Students

Inconjunction with the ISTE NETS, the ECDL Foudation has produced what is considered a new global standard for IT literacy assessment, named the International Computer Driving License (ICDL). As of May 2010, the ICDL has been implemented as a required proficiency exam of high school and first-year college students in 164 countries worldwide, and over 30 colleges and universities in the US. It is modified every year as technology continues to evolve.

(The 5/12/10 itemized list of required skills can be viewed here: ICDL General Recommendations for High School / Pre-College Technology Proficiency Exams).

Divided into seven parts or modules, the topics outlined below represent the ICDL minimum baseline set of knowledge that students should possess to ensure Technology Proficiency in the 2010-2011 school year.

  1. Basic Computer Concepts: Parts of a computer, computer terms, computer use in everyday life.
  2. Using the Computer and Managing Files
  3. Word Processing: Opening a document, basic operations, formatting, editing, printing (Microsoft Word).
  4. Spreadsheets: Opening a spreadsheet, inputting data, working with formulas and functions, graphs and charts, printing. (Microsoft Excel)
  5. Databases: Planning a database, entering and sorting data, retrieving information, reporting (Microsoft Access)
  6. Presentations: Creating a presentation, formatting text/images, inserting graphics, printing (Microsoft PowerPoint)
  7. Information and Communication: Using the Internet, Web browsing, E-mail, managing messages. (Internet Explorer)

Applied Technology and Personal Finance
Another area of applied technology that is gaining in interest, especially for first-year college students, is personal finance management. According to a recent study, one of the top concerns of parents of pre-college and first-year college students is their childern's knowledge of personal finance. In fact, the Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Quarterly, which surveyed 1,000 Americans in June 2010, found that 51 percent cited "financial know-how" as the most important life lesson schools could share with their children before they begin college.

Technology Integration Webinars Archive
The following are archived recordings and event materials from Webinars that I attended as part of the Moving Forward With Technology Series offered jointly by CITEd and Don Johnston, Inc., and endorse by the ISTE NETS program. These webinars are timely, and address a number of the top challenges to Technology Integration, including:
  • Time
  • Equipment
  • Professional Development
  • Technical Support
  • Administrative Support
(To view the folling recordings, you must first download and install the WRF Player.)

Technology Implementation: Getting to Where You Want to Be, January 6, 2009
(Slides / Recording)
Authors: David Rose, Mary Thorngren, Jenna Wasson

This session features an overview of Universal Design for Learning and interactive website tools hosted by the Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd) that offer guidance to educators on the stages of effective technology implementation. Learn about just-in-time resources and tools to support instruction for diverse learners and an online course for teachers on “differentiating instruction through technology.

Evaluating Your Technology Implementation Program, May 2, 2008 & May 12, 2008
(Slides / Recording)
Authors: David Rose, Grace Meo

Documenting the effectiveness of your technology implementation initiative is critical to improving and growing the initiative. Data is also critical to gaining support in the community. Learn to use the resources in the EdTech Locator, an online toolkit from CITEd to help you assess your efforts and plan for improvement and growth.

Differentiating Instruction with Technology, November 29, 2007 & December 4, 2007
(Slides / Planner Handout / Resources Discussed / Recording)
Author: Judy Zorfass & Jenna Wasson

Meeting the diverse needs of students is a challenge - technology can make it work for you. This webinar will share a successful model for implementing differentiated instruction with technology and provide a toolkit of resources, strategies, and practice guides that address your needs to differentiate planning, instruction, management, and student assessment.


Click here to view the Bibliography




Module 1 - Basic Concepts of IT Module 2 - Using a Computer and Managing Files Module 3 - Word Processing Module 4 - Spreadsheets Module 5 - Databases