Brian Reed, Rockwood School District coordinator STEM and digital learning K-12, recently joined the ranks of the approximately 300 teachers worldwide to earn certification from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
ISTE Standards for Educators define the skills and mindset needed to transform teaching and learning practices in technology. They are broken up into seven categories, all of which describe ways in which educators can use technology to enhance educational offerings regardless of content area or grade level. ISTE also has a set of seven standards for students.
"To have this set of standards really gives credence and power to what we're doing with technology as both teachers and students," Reed said. "It's not just using technology for technology's sake. There is a clear purpose, reasons why we're doing it and clear goals on what effect the technology should have in a classroom, aside from just being a tool."
Reed's ISTE certification process involved two days of in-person training and eight weeks of intensive online coursework. After that, he had six months to complete a portfolio filled with examples of how he is fulfilling the ISTE standards in his educational practice.
Now that he's certified, he has also taken on a new role as a ISTE certification trainer for the Midwest Education Technology Community.
"My hope is to keep integrating these standards into what I do every day, whether it's curriculum writing or having a department meeting and making sure I lead by example," Reed said. "It is such a powerful force in why we do what we do with technology. In Rockwood, we are making sure that we are mindful that they exist, and we are purposeful in incorporating them into the work that we do."
Reed has worked in the district for 16 years, first as a Spanish teacher and then as an instructional technology specialist before assuming his new role before this school year.