This blog entry includes my notes from Dr. Don Knezek’s presentation this morning. Podcast appears below. My notes are in square brackets.

Listen to Dr. Don Knezek’s Keynote Address at the ICTT 2007 Conference

Dr. Don Knezek’s Keynote: Isolated Acts No Longer! Engaging Digital-Age Learners

I’m really excited about being here. Some of you may or may not know that I have connections in San Antonio. I have a sister who has lived here, a wife who is Director of Library Media Services.

I want to start out talking about what you’ll hear as the theme of my piece. You need to connect with each other to take technology where you want it to go. Put an end to teaching and learning as isolated activities.

-Connecting to Make It Go Where You Want It to
[cat herding video]

Engaging Digital-Age Learners

  • A bit about ISTE and ISTE’s NETS
  • The refreshed NET-S 2007
  • What’s new today
  • Technology and student engagement
  • Implications for digital-age teachers
  • Your wisdom for refreshing NETS-T


“Maybe I’m wrong, but I should say that in ten years textbooks as the principal medium of teaching will be as obsolete as the horse and carriage are now.”
Source: Diaries of Thomas Edison, 1925

Audience Feedback: Red tape is a major obstacle, and getting money out to campuses. In our school district, every teacher has a laptop and digital projector. Get $100 computer, and Internet network

Don: Could you get by with a set of textbooks? It’s not automatic.

What’s New and Impacted the Revised NET-S:

  • Globalization, multiculturalism, competitiveness: 1 in 5 people speak another language other than English.
  • Implications o the continuing digital divide – A digital divide transfers into a learning divide and their opportunities are diminished, not just in jobs and earning but learning itself.
  • New tools and new structures – Wikis, blogs, shared files on Google Docs, communication structures, tools for building knowledge, wiki-movement wisdom of masses.
  • A learning landscape that is increasingly digital – the resources that come from PBS TeacherLine, opportunities to learn are available to us that we can’t give our students.
  • Implications of current accountability strategies

Mission: Providing leadership and service to improve T&L by advancing the effective use of technology in education.

Who is ISTE?

  • Worldwide Network of Leaders in Education and Technology
  • 75 geographic affiliates
  • 16K direct members; reach of 85K with affiliates
  • Direct individual members
  • Corporate Partners – We don’t deal with businesses that do ugly things to schools. We keep corporate partners close so that we can influence them
  • Special Interest Groups
  • Array of Strategic Allies
  • Advocates of improved schooling through technology

The TILT Project is working together with ISTE and PBS.

ISTE San Antonio – NECC 2008 – June 29-July 2, 2008

New environments enable more effective strategies that engage more kids more deeply.

High School Courses Interesting (Grade 12 – Age 18)
Back in 1983, we were at 1/3rd, but in 2000 we were at 1/5th. That’s 1 of 5 high schoolers that thought that HS education was interesting.

As students are less engaged, they are less likely to finish high school. Engaging students is important.

In 2002-2003, this is the year when Internet use exceed TV use. About 90% expect to continue their schooling after graduating from high school; indicate importance for success. Only about 67% even graduate on time and far fewer continue their schooling (about 24% finish 2 years).

Establishing New Learning Environments:

Traditional — Incorporating New Strategies — New environments

Traditional – > New Environments

  • Teacher-centered instruction – >Learner Centered environments
  • Single sense stimulation – > Multisensory stimulations
  • Single path progression -> Multipath progression
  • Single media – > Multimedia; hypermedia
  • Isolated work – > Collaborative work
  • Information delivery -> Information exchange, publication, creation
  • Passive learning -> active/exploratory/inquiry-based learning
  • Factual/literal thinking -> Critical thinking, informed decision-making
  • Reactive response -> Proactive/planned action
  • Isolated, artifical context-> Authentic, real world context

Video of Palmer Junior High – The Bernoulli Principle
Video of students explaining the Bernoulli Principle. This is an example of technology use…project-based learning example. Select a science concept, research it on your own, produce a multimedia presentation that explains it to the class…then you understand that students are motivated by technology. 3 girls in this project. It’s a worthwhile use of technology.

ISTE’s National EdTech Standards – shift from 1998 -> 2007

Developed standards, essential conditions, implementation resources and assessment resources. Paradigm shift in focus from learning to use the technology to using the technology to learn. New focus: What students need to know and be able to do to learn effectively and live productively in an incrasingly digital world.

Buckets for the standards [I wish I had a copy of the diagram depicting these…]:

  • Creativity and innovation
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Research and information fluency
  • Critical thinking problemsolving and decision making
  • digital citizenship
  • Technology operations and concepts

Wide variety of folks…

“One problem with this set of standards is that it is difficult to work out how it would interact with subject-area Standards.”
Source: Tom Hoffman (

Implications for teachers: ISTE is in the middle of revising these standards…

Teacher employment and turnover…we have a teacher supply issue that is facing us. We seem to not be taking action. We’re not doing a bad job recruiting but look out how many are leaving. By the 5th year, we lose 50% of beginning teachers. Salary is a concern in the richer schools, but administrative support is the concern in poorer schools. If we don’t recruit or retain more teachers, the older group of teachers will retire or die.

Teaching as a world is flat enterprise:

  • Preparing teachers against up to date, international standards
  • Teachers fit for export
  • Globalization of education
  • Bringing an end to teaching as an isolated endeavor

Philipines and China are preparing teachers to ship to the U.S. and U.K. as an export…providing teachers for the U.S. when we don’t have any more teachers. Tutoring and academic services are coming from off-shore. Maybe those teachers will come physically or virtually. You have to prepare yourself for a multicultural experience. We have a lot of work to do.

Then: What teachers should know about and be able to do with tech
Now: What teachers should know and be able to do to promote students’ abilities to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly digital world. A fine distinction but a a FINE distinction.

Imperatives for the NETS-T Refresh?

What do you most want ISTE to hear?

prefer email to

Subject Line should contain: ICTT 2007

What do we know? National boundaries do not matter:

  • Expectations for technology are global
  • A shared vision is critical
  • Knowledgeable leadership is necessary
  • Essential conditions are essential
  • Skilled teachers are key
  • Measurement Must inform transformation

Everywhere, they want to foster creativity and innovation to build up their human capital?

What’s better? For Whom? at the end of the day.

Four challenges for 07-08:

  • Study digital-age learners and what engages them
  • Foster creative and inventive thinking for innovation
  • Prepare yourself to thrive in multicultural environments
  • Bring an end to learning and teaching as isolated endeavours

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