Tech TitansHow does your school communicate the importance and manner in which we use technology to think, create, innovate and communicate? How do you visually help your students to make the connection?

The leaders of the Fairfax County Public Schools instructional technology program reached out to students to come up with a way to visually represent the ISTE Student Standards. 

A student design competition was presented challenging students to submit images for six characters that represent each of the ISTE student standards.

The winning student’s art was then incorporated into posters representing the Tech Titans for each of the standards and characters. All six are on the wall outside the computer lab at my school. On a daily basis I see students commenting on the characters, art and the provided information. Curiosity is engaged which leads to questions and discussions in class about what it means to communicate, collaborate, think critically, etc.

As Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is my new employer, I am feeling especially grateful for such innovative thinking and follow through by the leaders of our instructional technology program. Be on the lookout for a series of posts where I will share the poster for each standard/character and my review of the standards. The NETS have been out for some time now so it will be interesting to reflect upon them. My take will surely include the belief mentioned in this blog and on the Ed Tech Co-Op podcast that the ISTE NETS and AASL Standards for Students cover common ground and that they can be incorporated into one set of standards for our schools. An excellent example of this is the Information and Communication Literacies (ICL) outcomes developed at the Washington International Primary School.

This design challenge definitely offers opportunities for other schools and districts to come up with their own ways to engage students in the NETS. Having students digest the standards to then visually represent them is just one way to go. I am thinking students developing games, apps, podcasts, screencasts, mind maps, etc. around the NETS could be other avenues for students to think, create, innovate and communicate.

For more information on this FCPS program, check out the Tech Titan Web page. The provided video gives a nice overview including student voices in the project. And here is a chart provided to list some activities that support each standard.

Tech Titans

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