Overview, Self-Assessment, ISTE Standards — Me not global

I completed my first tech in education class session last night.   The session was helpful in that it clarified many aspects of how to use the interfaces we will become intimately familiar with this quarter (Onenote, webpress.com, etc.) and our professor is a true technophile who’s enthusiasm for trying using new tech to enhance education is infectious.   We completed a self-assessment related to our own use of tech with our students and reviewed the ISTE standards  in class.  (when typing this the auto-correct tried to change “self-assessment” to “self-abasement” ;  kind of funny).  Completing the self-assessment and reviewing the ISTE standards felt like a fairly familiar exercise; we complete a tech survey annually for the state/district that asks many similar questions.   In both self-assessments, we decide whether we are advanced, semi-pro, or a beginner with regards to different aspects of using and applying technology in education.  The ISTE standards include many components that emphasize students taking ownership/control of their own learning, with technology being a tool that facilitates this process.   The standards also include sections on digital citizenship and communication and collaboration using technology.

Despite being considered a strong education tech user in my building I did score myself quite low in several categories when taking the self-assessment, including:

  • Student Standards
    • Communication and Collaboration
    • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Decision Making

As I looked closer at my individual self-scoring in these categories I found the lowest score I gave myself (a 1) was in the sub-category “develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures”.   I am trying to determine how and even whether (with a 4/5 class) I can/should address this.   We definitely complete “authentic” projects and work in my class throughout the year, but I am struggling to imagine taking a step towards global awareness and communication.   Sure, we read Scholastic News (online and paper), we study and learn about different cultures throughout the year, but direct connections with learners of other cultures are literally non-existent in my class at this time.  I imagine a buddy class from another county, or pen-pals, and other such ideas that could address this shortcoming, but then I also think of all of the standards and requirements I currently address, and the many enjoyable field trips and projects students in my class already enjoy, and think, “What would I get rid of to add this in?”   That is a dilemma I look forward to examining further during this course.

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