Our Essential Questions for today’s session:

  • How do the NETs and AASL standards address the needs of a successful learner?
  • Who’s job is it to teach the NETs and AASL standards to students?

The NETs (National Education Technology Standards) are from ISTE (International Society Technology in Education) and the AASL standards are from the American Association of School Librarians.

Our table group enjoyed a good deal of discussion comparing and contrasting both standards.   We looked at what are these organisations talking about in terms of what students need to be doing and asked ourselves do they address the things we have been looking at back in Course 2.  We discussed the value of having standards, what was missing, what seemed unnecessary and was their any overlap.

AASL  appeared to be more holistic in terms of the 21st century learner, whilst ISTE – appeared more “techie” in terms of the 21st century learner. When thinking about the value of standards, I personally think that it really matters what you are using the standards for.  Are you looking specifically at technology or are you looking at the learner as a whole?

AASL was more fitting with Bloom’s Taxonomy, more specific. Technology is hardly mentioned and looks more at the learner as a whole no matter what area of learning they are in.

Why do we need to have these standards?  Are these two organisations just legitimizing themselves?  Aren’t all these things integrated into curriculum areas?   But if we don’t specifically state what is expected then how can we hold anyone accountable for these standards being met?  Do our specific curriculum areas specifically address these particular things?  There is overlap in all curriculum areas.

What should schools do?  Do schools need to have a set of standards like from ISTE or AASL or an amalgamation of the two?  Or is this already in the school’s curriculum?  Who’s job is it?  Could we really make learner’s like this?  What’s the best way for this to happen?  This fundamentally the hardest part!!

When you get a new teacher in and this isn’t their passion how do you know that this is going happen?  More important is the level of understanding – it’s all very well to have these standards – do teacher’s value this stuff?  Do they understand it?  Is it grounded in a belief?

My personal belief is that ultimately the school has to have this embedded into their mission statement, it has to be part of the vision for our learners.  Are we aligning the standards with how we see our learners – are these standards grounded in our beliefs of the learner.  It is important to know (as a teacher) what to expect or what is expected of you as a teacher.

When you want to build common understanding – that takes everybody.  It’s not going to be a static document either and it’s not a content driven document.  It needs to be constantly revisited, realigned, and contributed to by everybody including the students themselves!!

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So who’s job is it to teach the NETs and AASL standards to students?  I think that job belongs to ALL of us.

What do you think?

Image Attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericmmartin/3370560968/