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Kora speaks on OETS and NETS

To me, integration of technology into education is a no brainer. Technology is such a powerful way to make content relevant to students' lives but it certainly does take a good deal of creativity to do so in a way that is not only meaningful to the students but is pedagogically sound.

Technology is one of the "essential skills" that is required by the up-coming new Oregon Diploma. Many of these skills are already being addressed in our classrooms today but to "use technology to learn, live, and work" is certainly a skill that is only just beginning to be truly integrated into classroom. The NETS and OETS requirements for teachers and students layout the ways that this integration can start to happen. The standards really acknowledge that technology is here to stay and all teachers need to begin integrating technology into their classrooms and be constantly developing their own technology skills. It seems to me that there is no longer an excuse for any teacher say that they aren't tech savvy and will be doing it all the "old fashion way."

These are clear expectations for both students and teachers about what the integration of and use of technology in education and the skills that students need to walk away from high school with looks like. To me the part of NETS*S and NETS*T that stood out the most to me is that it calls for teachers to be models of creativity and innovation, of communication and collaboration, and digital citizenship.

Teachers often assume that all students know a lot about technology but this is not necessarily true. A student may know how to use a tool but perhaps they have never even heard of digital citizenship or perhaps a student may have only rarely used technology for educational purposes. Whether our students are already tech savvy or not it is up to us as educators to allow opportunities for students to explore technology at a higher level--to help them to begin building connections. I think the coolest part about this all is that this is a collaborative learning process for both students and teacher. Students and teachers get to collaborate in ways that were never possible before and learning can be mutual.

There are so many ways to integrate technology into the classroom. I am teaching middle/high school language arts. Writing is a huge piece of language arts. There are some cool ways to integrate technology into writing. I'm thinking about research based projects (which would require "research and information fluency" and "digital citizenship") as well as new and creative ways ("creativity and innovation") to display those writing projects using available technology.

The amount of information that is accessible is astounding and giving students the skills to ferret out reliable sources and cite them properly will allow them to explore a given topic on their own at a far greater level than I might be able to cover that same topic with a whole class in a more traditional setting. I also think it would be very powerful for students to have their own digital writing portfolio be it they post it to a blog, maintain a folder using Googledocs or even some other way that I haven't even thought of yet. This would allow students to access and share their work with anyone they so desired and would allow me to give them more efficient feedback.

I have so many more ideas I'm anxious to ponder them further!