Administrators at the district and school level are instrumental in the successful pursuit and implementation of educational technology initiatives. As an instructional technology specialist demonstrating and applying the ISTE Coaching Standards, it’s a responsibility to help bridge all stakeholders to create a technology rich professional learning program. Exploring ISTE Coaching Standard 4: Professional Development and Program Evaluation with an administrative connection, I ask:
How will we, the technology integration specialists, involve the administrators in learning and sharing, in particular, the newly adopted state Computer Science Frameworks and updated ISTE Student Standards?
I believe that to unpack new CS and ISTE student standards, administrators also can unpack the ISTE administrator standards.
ISTE Administrator Standard 4: Systemic Improvement, states that Educational administrators provide digital age leadership and management to continuously improve the organization through the effective use of information and technology resources.
Helen Crompton said “For the improvement in your school or district to be truly systemic, it must involve a step-by-step procedure that staff can conduct on an ongoing basis. And to ensure the procedure really works, a good administrator would also find a way to measure the effectiveness of his or her educational organization and apply this same measure on a regular basis to ensure continuous improvement. Systemic improvement should happen at both the district level and the school level.” (ISTE. 2015) There are strategies that teams can use to prepare teachers and staff for technology integration. One way is to complete ISTE’s ‘Lead & Transform’ diagnostic tool which generates a report based on how ISTE Standards are implemented and how technology planning and roll-out is going based on 14 elements conditions.
One of the essential conditions our team can evaluate is how we are engaging the Curriculum Framework. In other words how do content standards and related digital curriculum resources align with and support digital age learning and work?
- Introduce the frameworks and standards to early adopters. The district’s elementary STEM Coordinator and I developed a 3 part workshop for elementary teachers interested in how computational thinking can be embedded into daily curriculum. One part of the workshop introduces the CS principles and we discuss what it looks like in individual classrooms.
- Collaborate with other district technology specialists. The Northsound Tech TOSAs meet monthly and recently have begun conversation around the CS standards and the new ISTE standards and what introduction, implementation, and instruction looks like for us, our teachers and students.
- Meet with district CS leaders. The regional Educational Service District (PSESD) in cooperation with Code.org, has recently gathered together regional Computer Science district leaders including district administrators, STEM coordinators, technology specialists, and Computer & Technical Education teachers for monthly meetings where we will identify and work on shared problems of practice such as the nature of K-12 CS pathways.
Putting it all together with the administrative team. Reporting back to the district administrative technology and instruction team is key to successful introduction of the standards. Together, then, we can create a framework for guiding and supporting teachers in implementing the new standards. What works best for individual staff and schools could be continued voluntary workshops, training instructional coaches and introducing it in PLC work, or specialists working to embed learning outcomes into already established curriculum. We can also learn our district’s progress toward technology integration with the Lead & Transform diagnostic tool where we can identify where we align with the ISTE Essential Conditions and where we have room to grow. Whatever we decide, there is much exciting work around new frameworks and standards and implications for student learning is great.
Crompton, H. (2015, February 4). Know the ISTE standards for administrators: Systemic improvement. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=281
Hoffmann, M. (2015, July 18). How to prepare your staff for a new technology curriculum in k-12 schools. Retrieved from https://www.beyondteched.com/k-12-daily-dose-blog/how-to-prepare-your-staff-for-a-new-technology-curriculum-in-k-12-schools7182015
ISTE. (n.d.). Essential Conditions. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/tools-resources/essential-conditions
ISTE. (2016). ISTE Standards. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/standards/iste-standards
K–12 computer science framework. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://k12cs.org/