Introduction: Classroom scenario

Mrs. Wright is an experienced middle school Social Studies teacher whose school has recently been connected to the Internet. When this resource first became available, Mrs. Wright was overwhelmed with the possibilities for her students and was unsure how to begin. Fortunately her principal was able to suggest that she consider the National Educational Technology Standards as a framework for appropriately integrating the use of the Internet into her classroom. As Mrs. Wright began to introduce these standards into her classroom, she transformed her traditional learning environment into an integrated technology classroom.

What are the NETS?

Mrs. Wright heard about the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Project which is an ongoing initiative of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). ISTE is a nonprofit professional organization with members from all across the world who are leaders or potential leaders in educational technology. ISTE is dedicated to fostering the appropriate uses of information technology to support and improve learning, teaching, and administration in K-12 education and teacher education.

The NETS Project is developing standards for educational uses of technology that facilitate teachers incorporating these new tools into the classroom. The National Educational Technology Standards for Students are divided into six broad categories as shown below. Each category includes performance indicators that will be introduced, reinforced, and mastered by students.

National Educational Technology Standards for Students

  1. Creativity and Innovation
    a. Students apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
    b. Students create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
    c. Students use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
    d. Students identify trends and forecast possibilities.

  2. Communication and Collaboration
    a. Students interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
    b. Students communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
    c. Students develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
    d. Students contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

  3. Research and Information Fluency
    a. Students plan strategies to guide inquiry.
    b. Students locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
    c. Students evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
    d. Students process data and report results.

  4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
    a. Students identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
    b. Students plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
    c. Students collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
    d. Students use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

  5. Digital Citizenship
    a. Students advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
    b. Students exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
    c. Students demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.
    d. Students exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

  6. Technology Operations and Concepts
    a. Students understand and use technology systems.
    b. Students select and use applications effectively and productively.
    c. Students troubleshoot systems and applications.
    d. Students transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.
Reference: National Educational Technology Standards (NETS)

How can the Internet be integrated into the classroom curriculum?

Mrs. Wright has decided to organize six teaching units that build upon the NETS for Students. In addition to the performance indicators provided by the NETS, she will develop her own performance indicators, reflecting the skills the students have mastered for each unit. Mrs. Wright wants to develop a new learning environment for her class that involves collecting and organizing information, and presenting results.

The first unit will be developed around standard six - technology operations and concepts. For this unit, she will introduce her students to Internet basics, such as the World Wide Web, domain names, and browsers.

The second unit will be developed around standard five - students should be aware of social and ethical issues of technology and the Internet. She will teach her students about safety and netiquette on the Internet and the global responsibilities of communicating with others through email, videoconferencing, and chat rooms.

The third unit will be developed around standard three - creativity and innovation. For this unit, she will focus on how she and her class will be able to use the Internet as a productivity tool to find resources that are available for their units of study. The fourth unit will be developed around standard two - student use of the Internet as a communication and collaboration tool. Students will exchange emails and plan their own web page, taking advantage of multimedia resources they have created or found on the Internet.

The fifth unit will be developed around standard three - using technology as a research tool to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources. Mrs. Wright's students will begin researching information on the Internet and evaluating web sites for classroom use.

The sixth unit will be developed around standard four - using technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions. Her students will collaborate to create web pages and electronic portfolios.

What are the benefits?

By accessing the Internet as a tool for learning, Mrs. Wright can develop new teaching strategies for curriculum design, enabling her to move from a traditional learning environment to a technology rich one. She understands the importance of guiding her students to become more active learners. By integrating the curriculum and technology through Internet resources, her students will experience problem-based learning.

Resources found on the Internet can provide her students with an abundance of up-to-date and constantly changing information, encourage purposeful writing, increase motivation to write, and help develop friendships across cultures. Consequently, stereotypical first impressions may be avoided among students. When compared to traditional methods, telecommunications will offer her students a more realistic way to broaden individual perspectives on global and multicultural issues.

How does this guide work?

The Internet: Ideas, Activities, and Resources is a guide for teachers to integrate the Internet into their classroom. The Internet is not an approach to teaching but rather a tool to be utilized in the classroom. As a tool, the Internet provides additional resources for teachers, such as lesson plans, teacher forums, expert advice, multimedia resources, and curriculum ideas. By using the Internet as a tool, a teacher is able to create a dynamic and active learning environment for his or her classroom.

This guide is divided into six chapters, with each chapter reflecting a unit of the NETS. You are encouraged to copy and use this guide in the classroom.

|| Contents || Internet Basics || Becoming Good Netizens || Productivity Tools ||
|| Communication Tools || Research Tools || Problem-Solving Tools || Appendices ||

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FCIT Home Publications The Internet: Ideas, Activities, and Resources Last updated 2009 Contents Introduction Previous Next Internet Basics Becoming Good Netizens Productivity Tools Communication Tools Research Tools Problem-Solving Tools Appendices