Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cast Your NETS-S

How much do you know about NETS-S? I am not talking about the ever stumbling basketball team from New Jersey. NETS-S stands for National Education Technology Standards for Students. These standards were established back in 1998, but were later updated to now include these categories:
  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
    (You can read the sub standards of each category here.)

When looking at these standards they are quite a lofty goal, especially for teachers who are always looking for more time to get everything done that is required of them. For many teachers, we are ready to explore new ways to allow students to learn. One of the avenues that is getting a lot of attention is the value of Web 2.0 tools in the classroom. These tools allow our students to communicate, collaborate, and publish in easier and more creative ways then we ever imagined. There are new tools being created all the time, and the great thing is that these tools can help us hit on the NETS-S.
In just looking at communication and collaboration along, we find tools like Epals, Skype, and Wikispaces. Each of these tools alone allow our students to communicate easily with secure environments and produce products that highly creative. Just looking at Skype, we can now make calls to classrooms all over the globe. Classes are no longer limited to the walls of their building or the borders of their county. Are you studying about earthquakes? What would it mean to your students to communicate with a class in California who has experienced quakes? There is really no limit to the collaboration that can take place through many of these tools.
Do your students need more instances of problem-solving and decision making? Why not seek about a project on GlobalSchoolNet that requires them to help solve a problem with other classrooms around the globe? Your students could now use their understanding and knowledge together with other students to work towards a unified goal.
Lastly, the need for learning digital citizenship is something that cannot be overlooked. We cannot assume that our students are being safe and respectful online. Many of them are already taking place in compromising activities outside of school. As teachers, we can be using these tools to help our students learn classroom concepts, but they can also help our students to learn about being safe, courteous, and kind when working on the web.
This is just a few of the ways that Web2.0 tools can help address NETS-S. There are certainly many other ways to work towards these goals. For me this is just a place to start. As I move on through the school year, I hope to rethink the ways I can help touch on all that NETS-S lays out.

*This post is for a Wilkes class.

1 comment:

  1. Great examples. Web 2.0 tools certainly afford us ample ways of addressing digital literacy and the NETS standards!