NETS-S: First or Second Edition?

1 03 2008

As explained in an earlier post, an important aspect of my job is to establish standards for technology use, both for students and teachers. NETS standards, developed by the ISTE, and used by thousands of schools in America and abroad, are a logical choice. The standards are not tied to a specific curriculum, allowing us to adopt NETS without significant impact on our curriculum model. The ISTE publishes electronic and print resources to help administrators create a well-balanced IT integration plan. The ISTE publishes teacher competency standards that are associated with the NETS-S student standards called NETS-T.

NETS-S standards are categorized into 6 categoies:

  1. Basic operations and concepts
  2. Social, ethical, and human issues
  3. Technology Productivity tools
  4. Technology communication tools
  5. Technology research tools
  6. Technology problem-solving and decision making tools

Why not just adopt these standards? Late last year, the ISTE published updated NETS-S standards, based on input from schools all over the United States and 22 other countries. The six categories of the second edition standards are:

  1. Creativity and Innovation
  2. Communication and Collaboration
  3. Research and Information Fluency
  4. Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving, and Decision-Making
  5. Digital Citizenship
  6. Technology Operations and Concepts

It would be logical to adopt these new standards for our integration plan as they reflect a fundamental shift away technology operations and concepts (how to create a database, how to search for information on the Internet) to focus on the impact technology has on society (what are the limits of technology, how can we use technology to communicate and collaborate with others). However, the student standards are just one part of the equation. Teacher standards that match the new student standards are currently being reviewed, but will not be published for some while. In addition, many resources are available that incorporate NETS-S first edition standards, but few have been published for the second edition.

Is anyone in the same situation? If so, I would really like to hear your opinions on the matter.