A learning colleague of mine, Mitch Norris, threw out a ripper of a comment at our last COETAIL (Certificate of Education Technology and Information Literacy) meeting at Yokohama International School. Mitch, excuse me if I have misquoted, “If ICT is meant to be a tool for enhancing learning, then why do we have ICT benchmarks?”
Pretty good point if you ask me, and one, it seems, I can`t let go of.
Most of you are aware of the International Society of Technology in Educuation(ISTE) and the National Education Technology Standards (NETS) that they promote.
“ISTE’s NETS for Students (NETS•S) are the standards for evaluating the skills and knowledge students need to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly global and digital world.”
These NETS are not only for students but also for administrators coaches and teachers, provide standards for schools to strive for. Though not compulsory among the international school circuit, several “leading” international schools such as International School of Bangkok. International School of Munich and Yokohama International School, use these benchmarks.
Now, getting back to Mitch”s comment, he then attempted to make his point clearer by referring to math tools/materials teachers use for further understanding and enhancement. Which now leads us back to his original point which I shall repeat in my own words. Should we teachers, or administrators, be responsible for the teaching and learning of ICT benchmarks and standards? Should we look at our documents and make a concerted effort to to teach those standards? Or should ICT integration be part of the teacher’s normal practice of differentiation and, of course, extension?
Do we need ICT benchmarks or in fact have we gone beyond that now as we are progressing from ICT dependable infancy, into a more inquiring, risk-taking ICT childhood?
If that is the case, and I believe it is, can we also please get rid rid of the term “21st century learning”? For goodness sake, we have been here for the past 12 years…….. (I hope some of you see the connection I`ve made here!)
All feedback is of course welcome and if anyone from ISB, ISM or YIS would like to correct me or add, please feel free!