Accurately, Mr. Stager identified increased ISTE membership among school leaders as key to the society better serving education. Fortunately, our most rapid membership growth is among school administrators who have established a new ISTE special interest group, SIGAdmin.
Objective scrutiny of the national consensus that constitutes NETS yields at least three salient points. The standards are broad targets of excellence, succinctly stated and encouraging local adaptation and innovation. Each set of standards was developed collaboratively with broad stakeholder and practitioner participation; administrator standards were actually developed jointly by 13 education leadership organizations. ISTE devotes massive precious resources—fiscal and human—to facilitate deep understanding and appropriate use of standards and of technology.
As with most powerful tools, standards certainly can be misused. So can reading, virtual reality and editorial comment. We choose to credit the thousands of educators, educational leaders and commercial providers who do “get it” (cnets. iste.org/docs/nets_testimonial.pdf and cnets.iste.org/docs/States_using_NETS.pdf) and therefore use standards appropriately. I encourage you to explore what ISTE already does in the areas Mr. Stager suggests, especially in dissemination of innovative and promising practices (www.neccsite.org.caret.iste.org, and www.iste.org/publishing). I hope that Mr. Stager joins ISTE, and that you do the same, to continuously improve our service to members and to education in general. As he indicates, active membership is critical ? whether you see ISTE as the problem or as part of the solution.
Thanks to Mr. Stager and DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION for this open discussion.
Don Knezek, firstname.lastname@example.org, is chief executive officer of the International Society for Technology in Education and co-director of ISTE’s NETS Project.