Setting the Standard for Digital Literacy Success

by | May 14, 2018 | News

It can be a daunting task to build a digital literacy curriculum at your school or district. Fortunately, educators today have reliable standard-aligned resources such as International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), and Common Core State Standards to guide lesson and curriculum development. To help ensure your students ‘hit their target’ with their digital literacy skills, let’s take a closer look at these three essential sets of standards.

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

Historically, the ISTE standards drive emerging digital literacy programs and instruction for most students and educators. Originally created in 1998 to help students learn to use emerging technologies, the standards were refined in 2007 as a guide to help all students use technology to learn. Refined again in 2016, the latest seek “transformative learning with technology.”

There are seven ISTE standards, each containing four indicators:

  • Empowered Learner
  • Digital Citizen
  • Knowledge Constructor
  • Innovative Designer
  • Computational Thinker
  • Creative Communicator
  • Global Collaborator

Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)

Originally created in 2011 and revised in 2017, the CSTA standards focus on computer science and related technologies that are integral for students to be prepared for careers in the 21st Century. The CSTA standards are designed to provide the foundation for a computer science curriculum at K-12, but they are often adapted to guide broader digital literacy programs and instruction, too.

CSTA standards are organized by grade bands around the following themes:

  • Computing Systems
  • Impacts of Computing
  • Networks and the Internet
  • Data and Analysis
  • Algorithms and Programming

Common Core State Standards

Developed in 2009, Common Core standards were created for reading, writing, and mathematics to provide consistent learning goals across states and help prepare students for college and career readiness. The Common Core standards promote integrating digital literacy instruction so that students are able to use “technological tools to explore and deepen their understanding of concepts” across reading, writing and mathematics.

Common Core standards are broken out by grade level and are:

  • Aligned with college and career expectations
  • Include grade-specific goals
  • Based on rigorous content and application of knowledge through higher-order thinking skills

Some states, such as Oklahoma and Indiana, had originally adopted Common Core, but have now created their own standards. Similar to Common Core, however, these new state-built versions still include technology and digital literacy skills embedded within core subject-area standards.

Hitting the Target for Success

These three sets of standards, and many others, provide targets to guide digital literacy programs, curricula and instruction, and professional development. The standards also guide educational content companies to design solutions and services aligned to them to enhance the experience for students. In combination with other state standards, they provide instructional targets to guide students to excel in a digital world.

Need some more great ideas for building your digital literacy curriculum? We recently hosted a webinar, The Search for a Standards-aligned Curriculum, presented by former District Instructional Technology Teacher at Klein ISD, Nettie Briggs. To watch this webinar recording and stay informed about other upcoming webinars, join our edWeb community!

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