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Large Numbers of International Schools Utilizing ISTE Standards
By Audree Chase-Mayoral 01-Feb-17
According to an international survey conducted by Lehigh University’s College of Education’s Office of Global Online Graduate Degrees and Training (Global Online Office) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), K–12 international schools actively utilize ISTE Standards for teachers across the globe. The survey was conducted as a result of a partnership between Lehigh’s College of Education Global Online Office and ISTE to reach out to the K–12 international school community and gauge the use of ISTE Standards in classrooms. As ISTE is the largest organization creating international standards for teachers, administrators, and leaders, the survey provided valuable information to its leadership about the use of ISTE Teacher Standards worldwide. School representatives from five continents, encompassing 62 countries, completed the survey. Countries with the largest number of schools responding included: Kuwait (25), China (23), Spain (13), Thailand (6), and the United States (6). Other countries with schools reporting included Finland, Russia, the Maldives, Croatia, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Nicaragua, Spain, Peru, and Panama, to name a few. In most cases the respondent schools’ primary language was English, while some indicated they were bilingual in Arabic, Spanish, or Chinese. On average, schools reported a range of 50–150 teachers, with a majority of schools offering a full K–12 experience. Seventy percent of respondents were teachers or instructional technology directors and 30 percent identified themselves as school heads. Teachers and instructional technology directors were more likely to provide feedback on goals for using ISTE standards, utilizing technology in the classroom, identifying major challenges for utilizing technology, and formulating ideas on how to employ technology and ISTE standards in their schools more efficiently. The 10 percent response rate suggests that technology use in K–12 international schools is an important and timely topic to examine. Comments from both school heads and teachers/instructional technology directors indicated some familiarity with ISTE standards, but they are utilized to varying degrees. Respondents who reported unfamiliarity with ISTE standards indicated a desire to learn more about them. Inadequate time and financial resources were cited frequently as challenges to utilizing technology in the classroom. With regard to setting goals for harnessing technology more effectively in schools, one survey respondent commented, “Make teachers use more technology in classrooms. Give more priority in resource allocation of technological equipment and materials. Advocate with higher authorities the need for technological resources and staff development.” Another respondent stated that they hold five faculty meetings annually devoted to staff presentations to colleagues and that each presentation is expressly linked to ISTE standards for teachers and students. Furthermore, their school’s three-year technology plan is directly linked to ISTE standards. Respondents across the board indicated an increase in financial resources and professional development for staff would improve the use of technology in their schools. Some schools indicated infrequent availability of electricity was an issue, while schools in China reported that the Great Firewall is a barrier for effective use of technology. Schools employing the ISTE Standards indicated that they use them for: improving the quality and effectiveness of the curriculum; making meaningful improvements to their school’s technology plan; planning professional development for their teachers; and assessing student learning. Few schools indicated no familiarity with the ISTE Standards, while one respondent stated that they are too broad for utilization in the classroom, but are useful as a general reference tool to make progress towards students’ achievement. Another school indicated that the ISTE Standards are “hugely beneficial,” but that its institution was not prepared financially to implement them. Other schools reported that ISTE Standards are being employed throughout the curriculum, and that they are specific for teachers and “able to be integrated into multiple units.” In summary, the survey results indicated that most K–12 international schools possess some degree of familiarity with the ISTE Standards for Teachers and they find value in them, no matter to what degree they are implemented. However, more resources are necessary to improve the use of technology in the classroom.
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