The International Society for Technology in Education has developed the NETS-T standards for teachers to im
prove instruction in our digital age. As I work to meet these standards, I have been following a "GAME plan" (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009, p. 7) which I described earlier as including goal setting, taking action, monitoring learning, and evaluating and extending learning.
At the same time, the NETS-S standards are designed to help students improve learning in this digital world, and students can develop proficiency in these standards using this same "GAME plan" process.
First, students must understand what these technology standards are, and set them as goals they can work toward. There are indicators for each standard, much like the format of the Maine Learning Results standards document my students are already familiar with in the English Language Arts content area. The basic NETS-S standards are:
1. Creativity and Innovation
2. Communication and Collaboration
3. Research and Information Fluency
4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
5. Digital Citizenship
6. Technology Operations and Concepts
For any English lesson integrating technology, students may be working on one or more of these technology standards. For example, one may set a goal of demonstrating research and information literacy during an author study, and creativity and innovation during their presentation of research through digital storytelling or the creation of a web page following the author study.
I plan to teach students to organize their self-directed learning by writing down their goals, writing the actions they plan to take to meet the goals, recording the actions they do take, and monitoring, in writing, whether their actions are leading to proficiency in these standards or whether they should modify their plans. When students complete a lesson they have set goals for, I will teach them to evaluate their learning by writing reflectively, discussing what strategies worked well, what didn't work well, and how the experience can help them in future self-directed learning situations.
I believe this process will make students more conscious of how and why they learn best. I also believe it will empower them to take control of their learning, knowing they can meet goals they set and work toward carefully. One of the most important aspects of this game plan for my students may be recognizing when a strategy is not working well, and being flexible and creative enough to change their learning strategies to meet their goals. It is important for students to know this is not a negative action, but rather a quality of a conscientious, active learner.
Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology Integration for Meaningful Classroom Use: A Standards-Based Approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
International Society for Technology in Education. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-students/nets-student-standards-2007.aspx