Bass-ackward

January 31, 2008 § 1 Comment

I received an email this morning from ISTE calling for help during the upcoming TCEA conference in Austin to “refresh the NETS for Teachers.” These were standards that were first put into place for teachers in 2000, following the implementation of NETS for students in 1998.

From the ISTE NETS web page:

NETS for Students was unveiled at NECC 2007. NETS for Teachers (NETS•T) will be introduced in 2008, and NETS for Administrators (NETS•A) in 2009.

Doesn’t that seem a bit backward? I mean, when the standards first came out, of course everyone was gunning for what students should know, but now that kids are growing up with computers, shouldn’t we be focusing more on what the adults need to know?

According to the US Department of Commerce, the percentage of households with computers rose 20% in 5 years (1998-2003) with just over 60% of households having computers in 2003. If that trend continued, then we can extrapolate that close to 80% of households in the US have computers today.

Kids get it. It’s the adults that we should be focused on, not just because they need to know, but because of the top-down effect.

Why would you release new student standards for technology without making sure the teachers knew how to teach it, or that administrators, for that matter.

I think the root of a lot of problems with technology in education is that we have expectations for students, but don’t have any expectations for teachers or administrators. If you have administration that supports and expects that technology will be used, then teachers will have to get on the ball and learn or suffer on their evaluations. If you don’t have those expectations in place from the top down, it’s never going to get to the majority of students, no matter how great your standards for students are.

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§ One Response to Bass-ackward

  • I couldn’t agree with you more! That’s like giving the student his objectives for the 6th grade, and then giving them to the teacher once the child has completed the 6th grade. The refreshed standards, in my eyes, were a huge leap in thinking so I expect the teacher and admin standards to follow suit. Given that, we can’t expect the students to measure up when teachers are still working under older standards themselves.

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