Did you know that ISTE is updating the NETS for Students? Now is the time to give feedback before the deadline of March 31.

I thought I’d share with you a quick little comparison I did. I wanted to see where videoconferencing fits into the new NETS for Students and if it seems appropriately represented.

The current standards potentially address videoconferencing in the 4th standard: Technology Communication Tools.

  • Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.
  • Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.

Have you noticed or thought about the fact that these standards are focused more on students interacting, communicating and collaborating than on “receiving” content? There’s definitely a basis here for collaborative projects and highly interactive programs, don’t you think?

The draft of the new standards move the communication standard to number II with the new heading of Communication and Collaboration. Higher importance? Don’t you love the word Collaboration in there?!!!

  • Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:
    A. collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and others employing a variety of digital media and formats.
    B. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences utilizing a variety of media and formats.
    C. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
    D. contribute to project teams to produce original works.

Emphasis mine. Note how the wording in B is very similar to the previous standard, but the focus is on the learning task at the beginning of the sentence instead of the technology used. Excellent!

Isn’t C. awesome!! I love that line! Succinctly expressing the need and value of international connections. Can anyone say Read Around the Planet or Megaconference Jr.?
D. sure gives food for thought. I’ve had simmerings of ideas before on projects that could happen via VC. Time to dig up those ideas again and see how they could be implemented. Science MysteryQuest, Global Business Uses of VC, VC in the Real World, Dream Factory. How could we have students collaborate at a distance to produce original work on some “big problems“?

I am pleased that the new standards make a stronger case for videoconferencing and other forms of communication technologies. Wouldn’t you agree? Then give feedback before the deadline of March 31!

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