Sunday, March 15, 2009

Interpreting the new NETS-T

While facilitating a recent LoTi Mentor Certification Institute, I was attempting to provide a quick and succinct summary of each of the dimensions comprising the National Education Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) because these same dimensions form the backbone for the new LoTi Digital-Age Survey Professional Development Priorities. The five dimensions embedded in the NETS-T include: Digital Age Work and Learning, Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments, Student Learning and Creativity, Professional Growth and Leadership, and Digital Citizenship and Responsibility

In their current format, the new NETS-T can be a little overwhelming for many classroom teachers. Unfortunately, if teachers cannot comprehend and internalize these standards, then there impact on promoting 21st Century teaching and learning will be minimal at best. In an effort to provide greater clarity to the new NETS-T, I offer the following short-cut explanation for each dimension:

•Digital Age Work and Learning: This dimension represents an individual’s PCU or Personal Computer Use level. Digital age Work and Learning is about knowing about and using digital age tools effectively in a global and digital society.

•Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments: This dimension comprises the LoTi level of an individual in terms of how he/she designs, develops, and evaluates authentic learning experiences and assessments incorporating digital tools and resources. LoTi represents the teacher Input of the learning experience.

•Student Learning and Creativity: This dimension focuses on the amount of student H.E.A.T. generated from the lesson in terms of creativity and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments. H.E.A.T. represents Higher order thinking, Engaged learning, Authentic connections, and Technology use. H.E.A.T. constitutes the student Output of the learning experience.

•Professional Growth and Leadership: This dimension addresses the Professional Development resume of the individual as both a participant and facilitator of continuous improvement efforts relating to promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.

•Digital Citizenship and Responsibility: This dimension encompasses both the protocols and procedures addressing Internet Safety and Communication as well as the equitable use of digital tools to promote and sustain a student-centered approach within the learning environment.

Similar to using a well-articulated and student-friendly rubric for students to self-assess their academic performance, it is pivotal that educators possess the same understanding of the NETS-T to gauge their own professional performance within their respective learning communities.

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