Friday, September 16, 2011


Who is responsible for teaching National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS)?


The wording of the new standards applies to parents, teachers, staff - basically all adults.  I've been using technology for 30 years. The skills change so quickly as new technology gets invented that I can see why they've made the new standards more general than the old ones that focused on skills. They've done the same thing for library standards. People living in a technological society need to understand technology use and the consequences of good and bad actions.

I just spent three days at the Learning 2.011 Technology Conference in Shanghai, China. Presenters gave an onslaught of ways to connect technology with curriculum and social networking. I came back oozing with excitement at trying the new ideas and foolishly tried three new lessons on the same day. That was a little too ambitious. I really didn’t have the right technology tools to do everything I was trying. I tried using cameras instead of iPads and they were too cumbersome and slow for grade 4 students. I did have an iTouch and that group finished the project in 40 minutes. Hmmm. Tells you something about those touch screens and young children.

What was obvious at the conference was that technology affects all of us. Kim Cofino stressed using technology to customize education, Kevin Honeycutt stressed using social networking and gave the example of his son raising money through social networks to purchase laptops and begin a library for a school in Nepal, Julie Lindsay spoke about the flat classroom and connecting with students and teachers around the world, Wes Fryer talked about his daughter publishing a book, Sheldon Bradshaw showed his 5 year olds blog. However, the highlight was when three young students showed how technology had impacted their learning.

After the keynote speakers, we separated into different classes of interest. I signed up for Digital Storytelling. One of the instructors,  Sheldon Bradshaw , pointed out that there are times to “get rid of the burden of text” and focus on oral storytelling. Bradshaw and Wes Fryer had an iPad and iRig microphone and showed examples of how your can do this in a short time with the iMovie app. I needed to transfer this learning to the age of the students I teach which is KA-5. I decided to try it on grade 1 students. I didn’t have an iPad but I did have an iTouch. Before the conference I read, The Library Mouse, to first graders. It’s a story about a mouse who starts writing books and hiding them in the library for people to find. The readers decide they want to meet the mouse and he leaves blank books and pencils on a table encouraging the readers to start writing. A self-published center begins in the library. First graders wrote their own books and then hid them in our school library. When they finished, I asked them if they wanted to read me their story and I videotaped them with the iTouch.  The following video shows a first grader reading her story and then being creative and making up the end of the story about the witch being good.


So... to recap.

As we become more and more connected in a digital world, it’s the responsibility of all members in a community to teach students and each other responsible technology use, and the NETS standards give a structure for doing just that. As a librarian, I want to get students excited about reading and technology is one tool I can use to reach that goal.


  1. I agree it is everyone's responsibility to teach the NETS and the skills needed for students to engage in technology adventures. As you said technologies change quickly and we all must adapt to these changes. The icon for Save is a floppy disk and today's students have never even seen one. While the hardware is what changes the concepts do not and we need to teach students to think so they can adapt to the new technologies.

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