A discussion centered around the ISTE NETS for students (2007), teachers (2008), and next year for Administrators (2009). The standards, essential conditions, and profiles are available from the ISTE NETS website: http://www.iste.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=NETS
From the ISTE NETS site, "A major component of the NETS Project is the development of a general set of profiles describing technology (ICT) literate students at key developmental points in their pre-college education. These profiles are based on ISTE’s core belief that all students must have regular opportunities to use technology to develop skills that encourage personal productivity, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration in the classroom and in daily life. Coupled with the standards, the profiles provide a set of examples for preparing students to be lifelong learners and contributing members of a global society" (ISTE, 2007).
The discussion centered around what else can we do to help our students, teachers, and administrators when a student has the essential conditions at home, the library, but not at school.
If the essential conditions do not exist: Shared Vision, Implementation Planning, Consistent and Adequate Funding, Equitable Access, Skilled Personnel, Ongoing Professional Learning, Technical Support, Curriculum Framework, Assessment and Evaluation, Engaged Communities, Support Policies, Supportive External Context. What else can we do?
Stay involved. Encourage our students to start or participate in a movement through organizations like Do Something! or What Kids Can Do. We continue to support our students by volunteering at the local libraries and conducting the computer workshops to enhance the skills of the students, stay involved with our students' computer activities, and encourage our students to be proactive in learning something new with their technology gadgets and continue to share the knowledge, digitally or F2F (Face to Face).
I empathized with my daughter and her friends and felt their frustration when her educators feared or refused to do anything with technology. I stepped up and volunteered at the local library to conduct computer and scholarship workshops. Now as my student begins college and has a requirement to log in to her college website even before school starts I am confident in her ability to embrace the technology that was banned or neglected at her last public school. I am concerned with the students still in the system.
An external audit provided recommendations to the school district with an entire chapter for technology, but technology touched every portion of the the recommendations. With so many free tools available, and sites and projects like Vicki Davis' Cool Cat Teacher Blog, the Flat Classroom and Horizon Projects demonstrating what is being done with students on a global educational level, why is it that our students are not keeping up globally, not just in core subjects by technology as well?
Your feedback, success stories, and shared links are always welcome.