Last June at its annual conference, the International Society of Technology in Education launched ISTE Learning (www.istelearning.org), its own initiative to increase the impact of educational technology in school districts and to encourage superintendents to play a prominent part in the process.
The new Web site doubles as an online community and professional development center for teachers and administrators alike. “It’s now become apparent to everyone that if schools aren’t using technology to improve student learning, they will fall behind,” says Jayne James, ISTE’s senior director of education leadership.
ISTE Learning is set up as a virtual city, in which educators can visit a “Commons”—a searchable collection of Webinars, podcasts, and articles—as well as a “Caf?” for social networking. A “Learning Labs” space provides help in incorporating into classroom instruction such tools as wikis, blogs, RS feeds, games, and podcasts.
ISTE U will join the site in January as a source of short courses on effectively using educational technology. While much of the content in ISTE Learning is available at no charge, some will require a subscription.
A “Change Leadership Corner” for administrators will focus on podcasts, blogs, and success stories. “Research tells us that overall systematic change is not going to happen unless the district leader is on board and has a vision,” notes James, who adds that ISTE Learning follows the organization’s decade-old NETS Standards for integrating technology into education.
The version of those standards for administrators, released in 2009, largely parallels the areas highlighted in CoSN’s Empowering the 21st Century Superintendent.